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 Oct. 24:
1. Hospitals’ ban on sugary drinks rankles some
A hospital’s café should be a reflection of the health and wellness messages being dispersed throughout the rest of the campus, many say. To that end, many hospitals have killed sugar-sweetened beverages from their foodservice operations. Some, like Baylor Scott & White Health, a system of 48 hospitals in Texas, has cut all food or beverage that has more than 25 grams of sugar per serving, while others have cut regular soda but kept the diet versions to offer a caffeinated beverage option for those who don’t drink coffee. The moves have not been viewed as positive by all, with one California anesthesia technician saying hospitals should “allow people to make their own decision” on what to drink.
2. Harvard strike update: Workers break the picket lines and students join the fight
Before news that the strike had ended, news came out that not every union dining employee was striking and students were standing up for the workers. Fourteen dining services workers have decided not to strike and have been to work every day since the strike began several weeks ago, according to The Crimson. One catering employee said he was crossing the picket lines because he felt the benefits he and other dining services employees currently receive are fair, and that proposed healthcare and wage plans put forth by Harvard during the union negotiations are comparable to those found elsewhere in the industry. Two of those proposals are the university contributing the “equivalent cost of the Harvard University Group Health Plan enrollment premium” to a plan the union would offer in house, and offering “summer stipends,” payments of $150 to $250 weekly to be available to workers during the summer regardless of whether a shift is worked or not. The Union, Local 26, has rejected these offers.
Also this week, hundreds of students have walked out of class to support the striking workers. Nearly 500 students walked out of classes and rallied in Harvard Yard, while a smaller group of about 100 students sat in the lobby of Harvard’s dining services offices for nearly seven hours.
3. School launches Got Veggies campaign
A new campaign in one Minnesota district is using the popularity of a prominent dairy promotion and the “cool kids” in school to get students to eat more vegetables. The Got Veggies? campaign is a play on the Got Milk? campaign that helped boost milk consumption. But instead of celebrities pushing product, the Anoka-Hennepin School District is using high school athletes and student club members to encourage elementary school kids to eat their veggies. The district’s nutrition director said the older students were “like rock stars” to the younger students, so the program decided to get the adults out of the way to let the “stars” shine. One campaign poster includes a photo of the football punter holding a rutabaga with the caption “When it comes to eating veggies, I never punt.”
4. Pitt students waste more than 1,000 pounds of food each day in dining locations
A new study found that students at the University of Pittsburgh wasted 1,145 pounds of food each day in campus dining locations. The study was conducted by the college’s foodservice provider, Sodexo, which looked at food waste in two locations on campus. A similar plate waste study was conducted last semester, and when comparing results Sodexo found that students wasted slightly less food this time around (0.15 pounds per student per day in the spring study versus 0.11 in the fall study). One tactic the university might employ to help reduce plate waste is the use of preplated options. Signage could be used to inform students that they can ask for smaller portions of the preplated offerings.
Read more: Students waste 1,145 pounds of food daily
5. Americans consumed more seafood last year
According to a new government report, Americans are eating more seafood—we ate 15.5 pounds last year, more than a pound more than in 2014. The increase is the “most significant year-over-year increase in more than a quarter century,” according to an article in Time. The spike was partially attributed to Americans eating more canned seafood, particularly salmon.