Because, I believe, of the New York law now requiring calorie information to be displayed by more establishments, we now have little signs on all the food at Starbucks indicating how many calories those delicious pastries actually have. I’ve always been roughly familiar with the content of the drinks, but the food varies so much from place to place that it’s really interesting to see it laid out like that.

The restaurants, of course, always resist this — they believe that it will cut into people’s desire to eat a muffin if they have to look down the barrel of how many calories it has. But my guess is that it will affect choices among pastries more than it will affect whether you buy one or not. When I looked at the case on a morning when I hadn’t gotten my act together enough for a real breakfast (tax time — don’t judge me!), it was really interesting to look and see that a blueberry muffin had a fairly manageable, breakfast-sized 320 calories, while a raspberry scone had a much more daunting 470. I think of both of those as “a treat with coffee,” and if one has 150 calories less than another, that’s good to be reminded of while I’m standing there. And look at the rustic apple tart, which is really quite tasty — only 190 calories, largely because by volume, it’s largely a sliced cooked apple.

I can’t say having a blueberry muffin every morning would be any kind of a good idea, but I was struck by the fact that standing there, it really was helpful to have those numbers staring at me, not for guilt reasons, but for what felt like very logical cost-benefit reasons, and in that moment, I was proud of myself a little.