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University of Wisconsin Students are NOT Happy About Freshmen Meal Plan

UW-Madison students blocked the school’s biggest dining hall in a protest yesterday.

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Some students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are really upset about the school’s meal plan for incoming freshmen. A group of students blocked access to the school’s largest dining hall yesterday in protest over a plan that will make it mandatory for incoming freshman living in UW residence halls to deposit a minimum of $1,400 into a meal plan account.

The Daily Cardinal reported:

Protesters read testimonies describing how the meal plan will negatively impact low-income students and those with dietary restrictions, as well as chanted slogans like “I can’t eat” before marching through the market area of the dining hall and eventually blocking the entrance to the market for about 15 minutes.

The plan was announced in December and is scheduled to billed to students on a quarterly basis, depending on the number of meals a students consumes.

Student Rena Newman was also upset that students were not informed of the policy in what she felt was a proper way, telling the Badger-Herald  “We didn’t find out about this policy through transparency. We found out through a news story after the policy had already been implemented.”

No student representative was part of the decision making process, by all accounts.

University officials said they were aware of the planned protest and welcomed the students views and respect their right to express them.

Food

Cheeseburger Happy Meals Will No Longer be a Thing

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In an effort to make their kids’ meals a tad bit healthier by reducing excess calories, sodium, and saturated fat, McDonald’s is making a few changes to their beloved Happy Meal and saying goodbye to staple items, including cheeseburgers and chocolate milk.

On Thursday, the fast food giant announced on Twitter that they will be cutting and changing items on their menu to will focus on, “nutrition criteria, simplifying ingredients, transparent nutrition information, recommended food groups, and responsible marketing.”

While diners can still request the “banished” menu items, McDonald’s believes that not listing the item will reduce how often they are ordered. In fact, according to the company, when soda was removed from the Happy Meal section of its menu boards in 2013, there was a 14% increase in the number of Happy Meals with water, milk, or juice as the choice of beverage.

We can expect to see several changes to the Happy Meal menu in the U.S. this year. The meals will have 600 calories or less, with only 10% of those calories coming from saturated fats and 10% from added sugar, and the meals are to have less than 650 milligrams of sodium. The six-piece chicken nugget Happy Meal will switched out with the kids sized fries, cutting the amount of calories and sodium in the serving of fries by half.

By June 2018, 100% of the meal combinations offered in the U.S. will be 600 calories or less, and all those combinations with be compliant with the new criteria for added sugar and saturated fat. However, 22% of the meals will not be compliant with the new sodium criteria, yet.

The evolution of the Happy Meal does not stop there. Currently, 28% of the Happy Meal combinations offered on the menu boards in 20 of McDonald’s major market meet the new criteria. By the end of 2022, McDonald’s aims to have at least 50% or more of the Happy Meals listed on menus worldwide follow the new nutrition criteria. These changes will result in an average reduction of 20% in calories, 50% in added sugars, 14% in saturated fat, and/or 17% in sodium, depending on each customer’s meal selection.

Even the Happy Meals toys are also going to be taking a hit. By 2019, children in more than 100 markets will have the option of choosing a book or a toy year-round with their Happy Meal.

“We recognize the opportunity that we have to support families as one of the most visited restaurants in the world, and remain committed to elevating our food, celebrating the joy of reading, and helping those in need through Ronald McDonald House Charities,” said McDonald’s president and CEO Steve Easterbrook in the press statement released Thursday. “Given our scale and reach, we hope these actions will bring more choices to consumers and uniquely benefit millions of families, which are important steps as we build a better McDonald’s.”

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Business

Dunkin’ to Stop Using Foam Cups by 2020

And it’s about time, too.

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There has always been something different about getting coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s a no-frill — but super tasty — alternative to Starbucks or your local brewer, with down home, no-frills feel.

And they serve their brew in those foam cups. Comforting and easy to grab, sure, but not very good for the environment.

Dunkin’ announced today that those polystyrene foam cups will be completely phased out from its stores globally by 2020, reducing the waste stream by millions.

Foam packaging of any kind decomposes very slowly, washes into waterways and can harm sea life and other creatures who depend on the water supply to live.

McDonald’s also said it will get rid of any remaining foam cups in the next few years as well, though they have already drastically reduced dependance on them.

So raise one to Dunkin’ for taking a step in an environmentally friendly direction.

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Entertainment

Will PepsiCo Really Create Female Friendly Chips?

Introducing the Lady Doritos, because only women are annoyed by the crunch of a chip.

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During a Freakonomics podcast on January 31, PepsiCo chief executive Indra Nooyi discussed the different ways that men and women eat chips. Nooyi used Doritos, which is owned by PepsiCo, as an example. Nooyi states that men will “lick their fingers with glee” when eating chips.

“When they reach the bottom of the bag, they pour the little broken pieces into their mouth because they don’t want to lose that taste of the flavor.”

Nooyi continued. “Women would love to do the same, but they don’t. They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public.”

According to Nooyi, the new chip will feature be, “low-crunch, the full taste profile, not have so much of the flavor stick on the fingers.” The snack will also be more purse friendly.

PepsiCo also owns brands like Lays and Cheetos, and while Nooyi did not confirm which brand will create these lady-friendly chips, this did not stop the phrase, “Lady Doritos,” from trending on Twitter on Monday.

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