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Marion Nestle On How Google Does Food

The Google campus in California


Fascinating. Marion Nestle, a leading national expert on nutrition, is back from the utopian Google campus in California and passes along this report of the land where food is free to employees and the Google gods do all they can to foment health. She’s impressed, and I have the feeling she doesn’t get impressed easily.

You have to read her whole post to get the full effect: the campus planted with organic vegetables that anyone can pick and eat; the myriad tricks to point employees toward the healthy food instead of the junk; the company bicycles to encourage activity. Even vending machines that price their snacks based on the amount of sugar, fat, saturated fat and transfat they contain. She concludes:

On this basis, Quaker Chewy Bars are 15 cents each, Famous Amos cookies are 55 cents, and an enormous Ghirardelli chocolate bar is $4.25. Weights don’t count and neither do calories. The machine is not run by Google. Whoever does it has a sense of humor.

Not every company can feed its nearly 30,000 employees like this but every company can adopt some of these strategies. It might save them some health care costs, if nothing else.