Schuster’s Blog: Universal school meals, ultra-processed food, Lucky Charms update and more. | Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB)

Schuster’s Blog: Universal school meals, ultra-processed food, Lucky Charms update and more.

Posted by: and on Monday September 26, 2022

As some states support school meals, some colleges cut back on dining options, a new cereal on-the-go (no milk needed), Lizzo’s ‘cart,’ ultra-processed food, paycheck advance apps – yet another way people may pay for food and more!

Food at school/colleges

A handful of states (CA, ME, MA, NV, VT) now have universal school meals; CT offers it for part of the year and this November Colorado voters will decide its fate; MN, NY, WI, NC, MD plans to introduce legislation ( More NJ students now qualify for school lunch due to state bill ( PA implements universal breakfast this school year ( Higher food costs mean some college dining halls offer smaller portions, more plant-based items and fewer salad bar options (

Food news/food online

FDA closes 4-month Lucky Charms investigation over 8,000 self-reports of illness. The investigation included interviews in 4 states. There is currently no known cause for the reported symptoms ( Cereal on-the-go has milk powder and only needs added water for $1.98; comes in 4 varieties; this author provides her/her husband’s review; a non-dairy option may follow ( And in other cereal news, collectible toys return to cereal boxes ( Chocolate/candy companies meet/exceed goals of offering 200 calorie options and front-of-package labeling ( Gummy Lunchables…they look like food (cracker stacks, pizza) but taste like fruit! ( Fast Twitch, caffeinated Gatorade, coming February 2023 ( $4.99 deli sandwich goes viral ( Lizzo’s Instacart ‘Cart’ – Takis, Skittles, Coke, cherries, bananas and more – read reactions, details of what’s in her cart (, ( and ( Paycheck advance apps are heavily advertised and many low wage workers use them to buy food; some apps are problematic as some charge subscription, per-use or overdraft fees; others are offered by employers. Beware as they are unregulated! ( Automated robotic machines serve smoothies at Walmart, rest stops and other locations; already on some campuses; fast casual restaurants looking into this strategy (


Ultra-processed foods are in the news; Intelligence Squared held a debate about it you can listen in a podcast or online (; about the debate ( ERS (Economic Research Service) charts of note provide info about ag and other topics such as locally sourced foods in school lunch by food category; inflation by food category and more ( Want to hear about new food items/consumer trends? Each Monday watch a 30-minute segment, Lempert Live, with 2 food retail experts @ Beginning October 2022 Google ads must meet new ad standards including no pop-up ads, flashing animated ads and more (