School food and the election campaign

School food and the election campaign

Aftenbeldet believes: There is no reason to raise the alarm about vegetarian school meals. This is primarily about saving money and making food that can be eaten by as many people as possible.

Not everything is puree and vegan in school food in Stavanger.
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This is a leader. The director expresses opinions and analyzes of Stavanger Aftenblad.

A letter from the Stavanger municipality stirred some minds. The letter addresses the Stavanger municipality’s school food scheme, and says hot food served in schools must be vegetarian. The use of lentils and beans should ensure the protein content.

Food has become a political arena, and also in what is sometimes referred to as the “Culture War”. For some, just the word “vegan,” or even worse, “vegan,” is enough to make them see red. But perhaps it is too much to think, as some have of course done on social media, that this is an expression of some kind of ideological campaign.

In fact, there are two considerations behind it:

The first is about making money last. Proteins such as meat, fish and shellfish are not affordable for everyone in Norway. In other words, it is not easy to cook food that is affordable for many people if there is a large meat and fish item on the menu.

The municipality prepares 27,000 rations of school food every week, and has NOK 22 per pupil at its disposal.

Second, there are students who don’t like fish, are intolerant to gluten, are allergic to nuts, don’t eat pork, and just love chicken. And so on and so on. In any case, it is not the schools’ responsibility that this is the case. In that sense, the vegetarian menu is kind of a less common complication. And this about “mashing” food is not about making baby food, but rather about using beans and lentils as a kind of thickener in soups, for example. something that is common to do.

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That said, perhaps the administration in the commune should have seen the noise coming, and perhaps phrased itself a little differently in the message. Stavanger is indeed one of the largest sheep and salmon municipalities in the country. Shouldn’t school food reflect this?

It is clearly tempting to be sarcastic about the criticisms Conservative politicians have leveled against the municipality’s “veggis letter”. The Tories are against free school meals, but if we’re going to have them in the first place, they must at least be very expensive.

At the same time, it goes without saying that in the food district of Rogaland, there must be a definite element of local food and short-travel food, as well as in school meals. And that’s it too. And if there is a political desire for it, school meal budgets can be increased so that there is room for more meat and fish.

We fully understand that those who would be running such a scheme might feel strongly the need to simplify. Because it is certainly not easy to prepare school meals that take into account all the special needs and desires that come from the students – and their parents – when it comes to food.

In other words, there’s reason to breathe from your stomach in this situation, and maybe chew the arguments a bit. It gives good digestion.


Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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