Recipes to manage side effects – Agglotv.com

A year after its entry into force, the UFC-Que Choisir takes stock of the Climate law which imposes a vegetarian menu per week and authorizes a daily vegetarian alternative. Based on theto analyse of 800 menus offered this year to students, the association shows that an uncontrolled implementation of the law increases nutritional and health risks, but also waste. Consequently, UFC-Que Choisir calls for a strengthening of the regulatory framework to guarantee the quality of meals, as well as the generalization of effective measures to limit waste.

VEGETARIAN MENUS: A REAL ASSET IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE FOOD TRANSITION

After transportation and accommodation, thefeed is the 3th post of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and, on its own, meat is the source of 40% of food GHG emissions. Vegetarian meals make it possible to reduce this environmental impact, particularly in school catering attended by 9.6 million students (1.1 billion meals per year), since a vegetarian school meal emits 4 times less GHG than a meal containing meat.

TOO WIDE USE OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS OVEREXPOSES CHILDREN TO ADDITIVES AND ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS

Our analysis of nearly 800 vegetarian menus served to children (1) shows that the proportion of industrial products is on average higher in establishments which offer a daily vegetarian menu (35% of industrial dishes compared to 23% for the other canteens) and that it can reach up to 84% in certain canteens. However, these products are generally ultra-processed and contain many additives, some of which are singled out by scientific authorities, such as silicon dioxide E551, suspected of containing harmful nanoparticles on the intestine, kidney and liver, or also calcium phosphate E341 and calcium diphosphate E450 which could increase cardiovascular risks.

Many of them are made from soy, a source of compounds suspected of being endocrine disruptors (phytoestrogens). While the National Council for Collective Catering recommends that canteens not serve more than one soy-based product per month to students, 22% of the canteens analyzed exceed this threshold. Worse, for daily vegetarian menus, it is on average twice the maximum recommended number.

FISH CONSUMPTION THREATENED BY THE DAILY VEGETARIAN MENU

Among the regulatory criteria on nutritional balance, canteens must offer over 20 days at least 4 menus based on fish (not breaded) which is a source of vitamin D and the only source of essential fatty acids, insufficiently consumed in 90% of children. However, 50% of the canteens studied do not comply with this obligation and the situation is getting worse with the introduction of the daily vegetarian menu. Indeed, with the proposal of an alternative every day, experts point out that children can never eat fish!

RECIPES SO THAT THE VEGETARIAN MENU DOES NOT INCREASE FOOD WASTE

While food waste currently represents 121,000 tons per year, the uncontrolled introduction of vegetarian menus further increases these costly losses. Indeed, surveys show that children do not appreciate the taste and texture of industrial vegetarian products, and 79% of cooks admit that they do not master the techniques of preparing vegetarian cuisine (2).

However, good practices, collected by UFC-Que Choisir from 21 experts, can significantly reduce waste, up to 45% compared to the national average for the canteens studied. For example, by reducing the use of industrial dishes ultra-processed and by securing the supply of vegetarian ingredients through partnerships with local producers (central kitchen of Bordeaux-Mérignac) or by preparing receipts inspired by dishes known to children (lasagna, chili, couscous, etc.) as in the urban community of Redon (35) or by involving students via “menu commissions” (college J. Prévert d’Entrelacs – 73 ). It is also possible to precisely adapt the quantities of vegetarian dishes to each age group (Crown – 16).

In view of the findings, the UFC-Que Choisir, promoter of responsible consumption, asks:

  • Mandatory application of health recommendations to limit children’s exposure to phytoestrogens and compliance with nutritional obligations in the implementation of vegetarian menus;
  • A training framework for the specificities of vegetarian cuisine for teams in charge of school catering.
DOWNLOAD THE STUDY

VEGETARIAN MENUS_DIAPOS.pdf

(1) Analysis of 779 menus served in 40 French communities, with regard to compliance with regulatory criteria reflecting nutritional quality and potential health impacts.

(2) Overview of school catering after the Egalim law – AMF – December 2020.

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Recipes to manage side effects – Agglotv.com