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5 things: Doctors call on hospitals to serve healthier foods

This and more are the things you missed for the week of June 19.

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 June 19: 

1. NYC schools must post health inspection reports

Following several incidents in recent months of moldy food and bones found in chicken, New York City schools will now have to report their health inspection findings online. The order was approved by the city council, and applies to both public and private schools. Public schools’ reports will be posted on the Department of Education website while those about private schools will be on the Health Department’s site.

Read more: City schools will now have to make health inspection results public under new bill 

2. Doctors call on hospitals to serve healthier foods

The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling on hospitals to walk the talk and offer healthier dining options in their facilities. The AMA, which represents 200,000 physician members, called on hospitals to reduce the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages and processed meats, and increase plant-based food options. The AMA suggested hospitals start with removing sugary drinks from vending machines as the first step. “Excessive sugar consumption has been linked to some of the nation's most debilitating diseases, and limiting the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages will go a long way toward helping people prevent the onset of these diseases, improve health outcomes and rein in health costs associated with chronic diseases,” wrote Dr. William E. Kobler, an AMA board member, in a statement.

Read more: Doctors Want Sugar and 'Cancer-Causing' Foods Out of Hospitals

3. College drops request for sugary drink tax break

Boulder, Colo., is getting a new tax on sugary drinks, and the University of Colorado has asked for a temporary exemption, saying it would cost the college $1 million the first year. It turns out that number is really around $200,000. Dining services realized its “error in their calculations” and removed its request for the exemption. Originally, dining services didn’t believe the tax would apply to them as the college is a state university and the tax is from the city. That, however, turned out not to be the case and dining services started exploring the cost implications. 

Read more: Apologizing for bad math, CU drops request for break from Boulder's new sugary drink tax

4. Meal kits for school lunch?

Why not? With meal kits being a big hit, particularly among millennials, it would make sense that the meal kit craze would hit school meals. The New Luncher is a meal kit delivery service for school meals that started last month in Singapore. Students can order restaurant-quality meals and have them delivered. Right now about 100 parents have subscribed to the service, with meals being delivered to homes. The company is in talks to work with schools to have them delivered there as well. The meals are cooked from scratch, and cost $7.90 (including delivery fees) for children aged 4 to 8 and $8.90 for those aged 9 and up. 

Read more: Meal delivery services for kids

5. Chicago schools keeps 90% of trash out of landfill

Food waste is one of those issues everyone is struggling with, particularly schools, as they deal with federal mandates requiring fruits and vegetables be taken with every reimbursable meal. One Chicago school has found a way not to reduce trash necessarily, but to keep it out of the landfill. Through a comprehensive program that includes recycling and composting, it has been able to send only 13 percent of its lunchroom waste, by weight, to the landfill. Studies have shown that the average is between 30 and 50 percent of lunchroom waste going to landfills. 

Read more: This Chicago School Keeps 90 Percent Of Its Lunch Trash Out Of The Landfill

Bonus: Operators create allergen-free dining venues

Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected].

Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM

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