Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:
- Kids’ menu at fast food restaurants: Fast food restaurants present a real problem for kids’ diet and health, especially when one in three American children are considered overweight or obese. According to a 2001 study published in the journal Lancet, drinking just one additional sugary drink a day increases child’s chances of becoming obese. The good news is that McDonald’s announced last fall that it will stop promoting soda as an option in Happy Meals, joining Subway, Chipotle, Arby’s and Panera, which already dropped sugary drinks from their kids’ menus. However, majority of other fast food chains such as Wendy’s still offer sugary drinks as part of kids’ menu. Actually, being the fifth largest US restaurant chain, Wendy’s offers twice as many sugar-sweetened beverages on the kids’ menu compared to healthy beverages. To promote healthier food choices, kids’ meals should be paired with healthy beverages, including low-fat milk, water or seltzer. Please take a minute and sign this petition asking Wendy’s to take soda and other sugary drinks off its kids’ menus.
- Big companies helping coffee growers: In response to increasingly more difficult conditions for growing coffee due to climate changes, major players such as Starbucks, Keurig Green Mountain, McDonald’s and the J.M. Smucker Company are taking action to help coffee growers. For example, Starbucks helps keeping forests intact with its Conservation Coffee program run together with the nonprofit Conservation International that now involves more than 700 farms in Central America and South America. J.M. Smucker Companies help developing hybrid coffee varieties and also committed to using certified coffee for 10 percent of its retail supply by year 2016. Additionally, to support smallholders the company partnered with TechnoServe, a nonprofit trying to eradicate poverty, and the Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung Foundation. Also companies McDonald’s and Keurig Green Mountain committed to certified coffee. McDonald’s already purchases 25 percent of its global supply from sustainable sources certified mostly from Rainforest Alliance. The company has also invested $6 million in training coffee farmers.