As I blogged in the past, I had been pointed to the Aramark ingredient disclosure policy listed on their website. On the food allergies page in plain black and white it says:
Upon request, we share with customers all ingredients that go into our final product.
So I emailed the representatives with whom I had spoken before, hoping that maybe the ingredient secrecy had all just been a big mistake on their own policies.
A week later I had received no response. So I forwarded the email to their boss.
And their boss.
And their boss.
The next day I got a phone call. Unfortunately for me, it was not from Aramark, but from the coordinator for a healthy schools grant project I have become involved with.
That day I learned exactly what having a "conflict of interest" meant.
(I would explain further but feel I have an obligation to keep such privileged information to myself)
After that phone call I realized I had a choice to make; either
1. Ignore the fact that Aramark was not following their OWN POLICY and continue with the grant project with which I could inspire wellness in other ways at my school and still work to bring national attention to ingredient transparency or
2. Leave the healthy schools project and fight the wrong
At that point I had no idea what I was going to do. I felt a responsibility for the project and my school... but I was also angry. I felt disrespected for having been ignored by Aramark representatives, and I was flabbergasted by the fact that they were not only being unethical by denying me these ingredients, but were also doing it under the public's false pretense that it wasn't their policy to do so.
That same day I got an email back from Aramark representatives.
Thank you for your inquiry. It is currently being reviewed by our corporate office. We appreciate your patience and will respond accordingly.
Over the weekend I sat on it. I was free to illuminate Aramark and ingredient transparency on a national level but if I chose the healthy schools project I would have to pretend none of this ever happened.
Today I went back to school and talked to some friends and teachers who offered a lot of support and guidance.
Now I know what I have to do.
Tomorrow I have a meeting with the project coordinator.
Tomorrow night I will post another blog.