#FatFreeIsn’tFine: Nazareth Students’ Fight for Cookies


by Marisa Barranco, Staff Writer

January 29th started out as any regular day. As per usual, Nazareth students went to lunch, many hoping to buy Quest’s cookies. Yet, students would find that their typical cookies were gone, replaced by new, trans-fat free cookies.

Little did the world know that such a small change would spark such an outcry, resulting in a student-led movement that will certainly be remembered in future generations.

For Nazareth, January 29th will be a day that will live in infamy.

“Our first reaction was, ‘This is an outrage, we will not let this stay in our school,’” Senior Jim Moster, the leader of the #FatFreeIsn’tFine recalls.

According to Moster, the beloved “original” cookies have been at Nazareth since the 90s, and it is simply an injustice to replace them. “From the time we are in middle school, to the time that we graduate, from the time that teachers come back to teach, we are still buying the Naz cookie,” he argues.

While the cookies are actually not fat free, but, trans-fat free, Moster concedes that the alliteration in the movement’s slogan was “too good to pass up”.

The movement began slowly, but steadily. Moster and several friends passed out over 100 signs to fellow students with #FatFreeIsn’tFine and “Bring Back Naz Cookies” typed across them. Many students chose to wear the sign and attach it to lockers or backpacks.

The movement really began to pick up steam when Senior Kevin Quinn created a petition for the original Nazareth cookies to be brought back, which is now facilitated by Liam Gram. It now has over 400 signatures, out of the nearly 800 student population.

Quinn states that he originally “started the petition as a joke because I thought it was funny and it blew up.”

Moster admits that he is unsure of where movement is headed, but while “the future is uncertain, what is certain is that we Nazareth students will not stand for this and we will not let Quest get away with this.”

However, Moster wants to clarify that the he loves the lunch staff and is more angry with the Quest company.

With an impassioned tone, Moster ends his argument with “the issue is the corporation that made this terrible decision and is tearing apart Nazareth Academy from the inside out. Our ultimate goal is to have the same Naz cookies that have existed for decades restored to this wonderful institution to make it the amazing place it was before.”

On the opposite side of the debate, Nazareth’s Quest Food Service Director, Karen Kwitkowski, offers her take on the cookie issue.

According to Kwitkowski, Quest has dietitians on their staff who help make their meals more healthy. Thus, the cookies weren’t the first food item to be changed in favor of a healthier alternative. Earlier in the school year the Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce was changed due to the high fructose corn syrup found in it.

“The cookie was changed because it had trans fats, the new cookie is trans-fat-free. That doesn’t mean that it’s fat free, it’s all butter,” Kwitkowski explains.

While students are complaining now about the cookies, they could have lost their beloved cookies much earlier. Apparently the change was supposed to occur after Christmas Break ended, but some of the past cookies were saved. As soon as they were gone, the new cookies took their place.

When asked her opinion on the movement, Kwitkowski said, “I believe it’s the students choice, but we have to make things as healthy as we can from a nutrition standpoint.”

“I’m given a list of items that I can order, and that cookie is no longer on that list. I would much rather serve food that everybody likes; I want to keep people happy, but it’s out of my control,” she explained.

While Quest’s decision is out of Kwitkowski’s control, the lunch staff has been offering samples of the new cookies to students. However, protesting students have yet to try these samples. In spite of this, Kwitkowski is understanding of student’s resistance to change.

Currently, Kwitkowski is “trying to get a Quest dietician to come out and set up a table so they can answer all the questions and concerns that the students have.”

Whether you’re a supporter of #FatFreeIsn’tFine, like the new cookies, or just don’t care, Nazareth students and faculty will remember January 29th as a day when the Nazareth family was tested, and it is yet to be determined whether the school will triumph in the face of chocolate chip adversity.