Poll: Americans oppose federally regulated school lunches

Healthy lunch regulations are resulting in wasted food that kids won't eat, critics say.

SALT LAKE CITY—A new Rasmussen poll finds that just 25 percent of Americans believe the federal government should set school lunch nutrition standards; 51 percent think those decisions should be made locally, while 15 percent prefer to see state governments decide.

The poll is more bad news for the White House in the national food fight over school lunch nutrition.

The controversy stems from 2010 legislation known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which mandated standards with more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy, as well as less sugar, fat, and sodium.

The standards quickly generated controversy, both for their cost and because kids were less than thrilled with the food.

"Some of the stuff we had to offer, they wouldn't eat," Superintendent Gary Lewis from Catlin, Illinois, told CBS last year. "So you sit there and watch the kids, and you know they're hungry at the end of the day, and that led to some behavior and some lack of attentiveness."

Late last month the House Appropriations Committee approved an Agriculture budget bill that would allow a school to opt out of the regulations for one year if the school can show it is losing money.

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The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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