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5 things: Oregon dining workers protest loss of free shift meals

This and more are the things you missed for the week of Jan. 23.

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 Jan. 23:

1. Oregon dining workers protest loss of free shift meals

Students from the University of Oregon’s dining services team protested the removal of their free shift meals. The meals were cut last fall. Students in the fall semester had to pay $1; this semester they pay $3. The students protested in the Hamilton Hall dining area. The free meals had been subsidized by room and board fees from those living in campus dorms.

Read more: Students protest over new cost of dining worker shift meals

2. Startup offers alternative campus meal plan

Meal plans are the lifeblood of any college dining program. One startup could threaten that at the University of Virginia and Georgetown. The startup, called Elevate, offers students the opportunity to buy a “meal plan,” which can be used at participating off-campus restaurants. Elevate claims it offers students a lower cost per meal than college dining programs. The 45 meal plan costs $600; the 75 meal plan is $925 and the 105 meal plan is $1,350.

Read more: Off-Campus Meal Plan Launches

3. Finnish recommendations call for more time for school lunch

One of the big challenges and complaints I hear from child nutrition directors is that their students do not have enough time to get their meals and eat them, then get to the classroom. This leads to an increase in the amount of food waste. It seems the US is not alone in this challenge. New recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the National Agency for Education in Finland are calling for students to have at least 30 minutes to eat and that lunch should be served between 11 a.m. and noon. The recs also suggested there be more vegetarian alternatives and sustainable options.

Read more: New school food guidelines aim for pleasant, sustainable dining

4. Americans still drinking lots of sugary beverages

After a decade of falling consumption of sugary beverages, new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that adults and children are consuming about the same number of calories from sugary beverages like soda and sports drinks now as they were in 2009-2010, the last time the CDC published comparable data. One theory behind the leveling off of the perception that Americans were cutting back on sugar-sweetened beverages is that while consumers are purchasing less soda, they are moving to teas, flavored waters and energy drinks, which contain added sugars. 

Read more: Americans were making a lot of progress cutting back on sugary drinks. Now that’s stopped.
5. Half of UK hospitals not meeting nutritional standards  

Only 55 percent of hospitals in England are “fully compliant” with standards set forth by the British Dietetic Association, according to a review by the Department of Health. To be fully compliant, hospitals have to meet “10 key characteristics of good nutritional care,” including screening for malnourishment and ensuring that patients have a choice and control over what they eat and drink. 

Read more: Half of hospitals serve food that fails to meet nutrition standards
Bonus: USC’s new juice bar quenches thirst for super foods on the go

Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM

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