French officials are implementing a saucy new restriction on school cafeterias.
In an effort to combat obesity and promote healthy and culturally French eating, The Times reports that ketchup “is to be rationed in primary and secondary school canteens to ensure that French children remain French.” Apparently, officials are concerned that children are starting to neglect French foods in favor of “US-style snacks.”
(PHOTOS: A Worldwide Day’s Worth of Food)
The new rules state that cafeterias must offer four to five dishes every day, including a main course, a starter or dessert and a dairy product such as cheese or yogurt. Baguettes and bread should be available for every meal, but ketchup and its gloppy condiment cousin, mayonnaise, will only be allowed with certain foods. Ketchup will provided with fries; however, they’ll only be served once a week.
“We have to ensure that children become familiar with French recipes so that they can hand them down to the following generation,” Christophe Hebert, chairman of the National Association of Directors of Collective Restaurants told The Times. “We absolutely have to stop children from being able to serve those sorts of sauces to themselves with every meal. Children have a tendency to use them to mask the taste of whatever they are eating.”
NewsFeed admits that Hebert has a point: kids do tend to smother their food in ketchup to mask the taste when they’re in the school cafeteria. Perhaps Hebert has forgotten what canteen food tastes like, but NewsFeed pities the children who’re forced to go whole meals without a little ketchup to negate the taste of cardboard.
MORE: What’s In Your Taco?