The Mayor of Hollywood, Florida is every working person’s hero for mandating that all city-owned vending machines offer non-GMO, healthier snack choices.
This decision made by Mayor Peter Bober will positively affect all 45 city vending machines and thousands of people who work in government offices every day. As most of us are aware, grabbing a quick snack at the office is an all too frequent necessity, even when we would prefer to sit down to a healthy meal.
At least 30% of the products in each machine will meet the American Heart Association’s recommended standards for food and beverages offered in the workplace. Another 20% will meet at least one of the recommended standards, and at least some of the options are to be non-GMO.
Hollywood, Florida is part of a growing trend to make food and beverages sold through vending machines healthier. In Washington, DC, they will soon require that at least half of the offerings meet healthy nutrition standards based on existing federal guidelines. Many other cities are looking to do away with GMO-laden snacks as well.
Healthy vending companies have developed ready-made menu planograms that meet USDA nutrition requirements created by Registered Dieticians. Additionally, they can work with interested citizens to meet specific needs including offering Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free and Non-GMO selections.
This is a positive step toward eradicating the junk-food habit in America. In fact, more and more Americans are saying no to sugar, empty calories, and GMO foods.
Happily, companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s will need to make major changes to their menus if they want to stay in business. Coca-Cola saw 14 percent less profit in its recent quarter as global soda sales remain flat. McDonald’s said it needs to make major changes to its business to survive. Shares have fallen more than 5 percent this year.
Healthier ‘fast-food’ options like Chipotle, are gaining market share. They have been big supporters of alternatives to Big Ag farming methods, and they are moving toward using even more organic ingredients than they already do.
By adding healthy vending machines to the mix, we can expect health statistics to improve across the nation, and health-care costs to fall. Now – if we could just get companies to offer free yoga at lunch.