Uruguay Establishes New Standards For School FoodTue 30 Sep 2014
Story by Diego Ruete
Law nº 19.140 sets higher, healthier standards for food offered in primary and secondary schools in Uruguay. It applies for all public education institutions and will be implemented by representatives from the National Public Education Administration (ANEP in Spanish) and medical professionals working in the prevention of food-related diseases.
The head of ANEP’s Central Board (CODICEN), Graciela Almirón, is in charge of organizing events with ANEP representatives and medical specialists, where they can discuss the importance of healthy food options with teachers and parents. For instance, they often talk about the food standards recommended by the Health Ministry—and the fact they are not, unfortunately, always followed.
Almirón explains that her team also works with the Council of Secondary Education (CES) and administrators from school food programs. According to her, the new law will emphasize the urgency for healthier, more natural diets.
“It's an inter-institutional endeavor and we should all cooperate,” she said. She also stated we carry the responsibility to care for future generations, by raising awareness of and preventing obesity, hypertension and other food-related diseases.
Following the passing of the law, the Education and Cultural Ministry will start working on campaigns promoting physical exercise and healthy diets. Publicity of food that does not comply with state regulations, however, will no longer be allowed. The Ministry is also working to ban salt and mayonnaise from schools and restaurant tables.
About the author: Diego Ruete is a preschool teacher and cook. He leads the food education and cooking school Petit Gourmet since 2006. He works to improve children's eating habits, build trust, security and promote respect for nature and one another. In 2014 alone, Petit Gourmet has worked with 40 schools and more than 2000 children. This November, it will take part in the WISE awards. Diego is a also Food Revolution ambassador and co-founder of the Communitary Urban Orchards in Montevideo, Uruguay. Married to Ines and father of Lola (6) and Juana (5).
Tw: @Diegoruete Instagram: @petitgourmetuy
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