Ketchup is Not a Food Group in Children's School Lunches in France

ketchup cup photo

Photo credit: stevendepolo/Creative Commons
President Reagan tried to make ketchup a vegetable, and President Nixon loved to eat it with cottage cheese. The French do not agree.

In fact, they are trying to ban it from schools where les élèves are pouring it all over their food.The French government is concerned about obesity in the schools and about keeping its children French. They see their school cafeterias as having a "health mission but also an educative mission" according to The Times.

So they are limiting the amount of ketchup that children can eat to only particular foods: french fries, once a week. Otherwise, no ketchup with the blanquette de veau or boeuf bourguignon.

And no mayonnaise or salt either.

bag uette photo

Photo: 1art1

But lots of baguettes: these are to be distributed in unlimited quantities in schools.

It's all part of a new policy to make children familiar with French recipes so that "they can hand them down to the following generation." They want children to know that "in France food means conviviality, sharing and having a good time at the table." It's a good philosophy, and one that could be applicable to all countries and families.

So their preferred meal for school lunches is: a main course and a dairy such as cheese or yoghurt and a starter or a dessert or both. Red meat and fish must be served once a week. Crudites (or raw vegetables, salads) must be served one day out of two. Bon appetit.

In the UK, Jamie Oliver has been hailed for his campaign to improve school lunches. He tried to bring this concept to Los Angeles but ran into trouble there.

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