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FDA healthy label

5 things: FDA to redefine “healthy” label on foods

This and more are the things you missed for the week of Sept. 26.

​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 Sept. 26: 

1. FDA to redefine “healthy” label on foods

Healthy. It’s one of those words that have a definite meaning, but the specifics of what healthy means to each individual is often different. So the FDA is going to redefine what the terms means for food manufacturers to be able to include it on packaging. There are currently rules for when a label can include the term “healthy,” but the FDA said that as “public health recommendations for various nutrients have evolved,” so must the term “healthy.” One example, avocados cannot be labeled “healthy” under the current rules due to the amount of fat contained. 

Read more: 'Healthy' May Be Getting a New Definition


2. Cafeteria workers lobby for $15 minimum wage

The past few years have seen a big push from employees at fast food giant McDonald’s demanding a $15 minimum wage. This week, cafeteria workers from several New Jersey school districts marched to the Essex County superintendent’s office to make the case for higher pay. The employees brought cheese sandwiches with them, which is the entrée most commonly served to students with unpaid meal balances. According to an official from the union the employees work for, the sandwiches were meant to highlight the low funding for school lunch programs, which the union member said translates to low wages for workers. 

Read more: Cheese sandwiches in hand, school cafeteria workers demand $15 an hour


3. Dining services’ campus farm might change scope due to budget cuts

The University of Minnesota Duluth has a 30-acre campus farm that not only provides goods for use in the dining services program but also is used as a learning laboratory for many classes. But that might change as the university it looking to make nearly $2 million in cuts. Dining services pays the farm manager’s salary but the director’s salary is paid by the college of liberal arts, which is in the process of identifying options to reduce $1 million. One option being looked into is the direction of the farm and its role in providing food to dining services for student consumption. 

Read more: Faced with budget cuts, UMD students get behind sustainable farm


4. Americans eating out less for lunch 

Flat grocery prices + increased restaurant prices = fewer people eating out for lunch. The NPD Group, a leading researcher, has found that a 1 percent decline in the number of restaurants this spring compared to last spring. While that’s hurting restaurateurs, it could be a good sign for onsite eateries, where price points are often much more competitive than commercial restaurants. 

Read more: Americans Aren’t Going Out to Lunch As Much


5.  Florida hospital offering grocery store tours

As hospitals look to foodservice as a way to help reduce readmissions, one Florida hospital is taking education outside the hospital walls. Dietitians at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital are hosting free grocery store tours to help customers make better-for-you shopping decisions. One of the main components of the tours is teaching customers how to properly read nutrition labels. 

Read more: Tallahassee Memorial Hospital hosting grocery store tours 


Bonus: Students donate meals to students in need


Contact Becky Schilling at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @bschilling_FM

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