Sorry, USDA Employees: No More Deep-Fried Lunch

Cafeterias will adhere more closely to USDA's dietary guidelines

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 4, 2013 7:12 AM CST

(Newser) – For years, the USDA has been giving Americans dietary guidelines—and now USDA workers will have to start living by those guidelines, at least during lunchtime. The cafeterias at the Agriculture Department's DC headquarters have gotten a makeover, and the most headline-worthy change is that the deep fryers have been completely axed. That means some of the most popular items (fried chicken, french fries) will no longer be served. Other tweaks: Diners will be given 100% whole wheat bread and pasta, a dietitian is stationed on-site, and chefs have been instructed to use less oil, butter, and salt.

There are other, smaller, changes, including a new station in one cafeteria whose food completely conforms to the department's low-sodium, low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-calorie dietary guidelines, the Washington Post reports. But no one will be forced to eat healthfully: USDA workers may just decide to walk to some other government cafeteria; the Energy Department, for example, is still using fryers. Or they can just go to the Valencia Cafe, located in the USDA building but not an official cafeteria, to pick up some mozzarella sticks or onion rings.

Deep fryers have been axed from USDA HQ's cafeterias.   (Shutterstock)
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