Each Friday I compile a list that highlights five things you probably missed in the news that week and why you should care about them.
Here’s your list for the week of July 18:
1. Bowdoin College in food fight with best-selling author
There’s been a lot of chatter recently about college dining programs being too good, too extensive, which increases the cost of meal plans at the same time college tuition is increasing and student loan debt is ballooning. The chatter became downright hostile late last week when best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell blasted the foodservice program at Bowdoin College, saying that the college spent money on food instead of student aid. Gladwell went so far as to urge people not to attend any college “that serves amazing food in its dining halls. Atrocious fresh fruit is a small price to pay for social justice.” Bowdoin was quick to defend itself and its meal program and said the college is one of 15 that does not consider a student’s financial situation when deciding admissions.
2. New company takes aim at school lunch market
A new company called Pak’d is looking to take a bite of the school lunch market. Pak’d allows parents to order meals that are delivered to the home. The meals are prepackaged and include a main dish and three sides for $6.50 each plus a $5 delivery fee. The company started when on of the founders, a busy mom, wanted to find an easier way to provide healthy, sustainably sourced meals. The company’s humble roots—it started with a Facebook message to a small community on Chicago’s North Shore garnered 300 responses—have led to an even bigger future with $750,0000 in investments. As Darren Seifer with NPD told Crains, “I can see the market being there for something like this with parents not happy with what schools are providing them.” That means it’s up to schools to prove to its parents that they can provide the same services and at significantly cheaper prices.
Read more: Beyond chicken fingers: The new school lunch
3. Hospital vows to change foodservice after CEO eats meals for a week
Changes are coming to Ottawa Hospital’s foodservice program after the CEO and other management ate hospital-produced meals three times a day for a week. The CEO agreed with patients who had reached out to him saying the food was poor and that changes needed to be made. The foodservice department, for its part, says it is in the midst of a program revamp, which could see a room service program in the future. More immediately, the food is being addressed. The hospital says it will add more grains like quinoa to the menu, add plates for salads and add ethnic items to better represent the populations it serves.
4. Yale gives worker who smashed window a second chance
Yale has decided to give the worker who smashed a window he considered racist a second chance. A spokeswoman for the university said that the employee had expressed remorse about his actions and that he wished to rescind his resignation. The employee, Corey Manafee, would be allowed to return to a different position after serving a five-week unpaid suspension. Manafee’s lawyer, however, has said that Manafee, and his union, have not accepted the university’s terms as of yet. UPDATE 7.27.16: Manafee returned to his job with Yale dining earlier this week, and all charges have been dropped.
5. NYC large-volume foodservice operations must dispose of food waste—or pay a fine
New York City stadiums and hotels will now have to pay to dispose of their food waste. Fines for not doing so will go into effect in six months. The rules affect hotel restaurants with more than 150 rooms and stadiums with more than 15,000 seats. The regs do not affect fast food restaurants, grocery stores or caterers. These operations must pay to transport the waste elsewhere or for on-site composting. NYC’s Mayor Bill de Blasio says these rules requiring composting of organic food waste is part of his goal of achieving zero waste in landfills by 2030.