Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vegetarian ban in France and orange chocolate cake

Grilled salmon and veges with fries
Food Diary (December 14, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with raisins, coconut, almonds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Grilled salmon and veges with fries
Dinner: Sourdough toast
Baking/sweets: Saffron cinnamon bun, chocolates

Today's Favourite Photo
Orange chocolate cake - Christmas tree

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Independent
I wonder how accurate this article is. It relates to vegetarian campaigner Paul McCartney criticizing the French Government for banning vegetarian meals in schools. 

Apparently there will be no meat-free days in French schools following a new decree that all students will have to eat meat if they want lunch at school. And taking a packed lunch is not an alternative as they are also banned. The ban will shortly be extended to kindergartens, hospitals, prisons, colleges and old people's homes.  

According to Raw Food Health over 2% of the French population are vegetarian. Other sites mention a lower percentage. I don’t know how reliable these figures are but assuming vegetarians are a minority then most people would not complain about this decree.

This ban makes me think about the article I summarized yesterday on food and beverage lobbying. Maybe the meat and fish industry had a higher lobbying budget.

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  1. Wow that Christmas tree cake is just beautiful! I would love to learn how to decorate like that! And I can't believe that there is a ban on vegetarian meals in school cafeterias. I had no idea. I wonder why since meat is more expensive in Europe... France is also one of the leading countries in health products like Gf products....interesting dichotomy.

  2. As long as I ignore the orange part of that cake... pretty! And something I could never, ever do.

    Also, no school I know of in Australia does cafeteria meals, so this all sounds strange to me anyway :P

  3. The Christmas tree is awesome! Wish I could do things like that.
    I'm sure there are other reasons for the ban ... maybe a little too sensitive to be published considering what they're going through right now. But not allowing a packed lunch is ridiculous.

  4. The salmon and chips look fantastic! Yesterday pizza, today chips... this morning you make me crave for both! (And I haven't had my breakfast yet!).
    I understand very well why they banned vegetarian meals in French cafeterias (nothing to do with lobbies): first, as you say, it's a minority (and in France really very few people are vegetarian compared for example to the UK); the second reason, which is linked to the first one: money (it costs much more to make a separate protein meal for vegetarians, the catering company will have to employ a dietician to plan this etc. so it will cost schools lots of money). Third probable reason: a couple of months ago a French couple (vegans I think) starved their small child to death and almost starved the second one because they didn't feed them properly. The authorities were called by the teachers because the older child (the one who survived) was incredibly thin and was often saying she or he was hungry. The problem was that the parents were well off. They just stopped eating meat and animal products and thought it was as simple as that with children. I think this horrible incident (they are both in prison of course) convinced the authorities that changing children's diet in a meat-eating culture is complicated, so expensive... (I also suppose all the parents would have to sponsor this change and I don't think they would be willing). In short money is the main reason. I suppose the situation might be different in private schools.
    Home lunch ban is difficult to understand. I have to see if I find the reason they give for that.

  5. Interesting that there is supposed to be such a small % of vegetarians. I wonder if it is true?

  6. Oh, what a great idea to use that kind of frosting tip to decorate the tree!

  7. What a gorgeous holiday cake! Such wonderful icing. And it's interesting that the US govt is not the only govt interfering in the daily lives of their citizens.

  8. Good grief, what a ridiculous ban. Sheesh. I'm a fan of eating meat with my own meals, but the idea of a ban on vegetarian foods is absurd.

  9. I love your lunch! Looks delicious, great picture, makes me really hungry!
    Great looking tree cake. WOW! Gorgeous.

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  11. Junia: see Sissi’s comments on why there is a ban on vege meals. It is an interesting dichotomy.

    Hannah: than it won’t be an orange chocolate cake:)

    ping: I am pretty sure you can do things like that, you already do.
    I don’t understand the reason for banning packed lunch

    Jasna: thank you

    Sissi: thanks for the explanations. It all makes sense and I wasn’t aware of them. It would be costly to make a small amount of balanced vegetarian meals so making it all meat based is easier and cheaper. Makes sense.
    That’s a sad case of a child dying. I am surprised the parents did not notice the deterioration in health, or didn’t take medical advice. I wonder what food they are eating in prison now! Its not easy to switch to being vegetarian without having a good understanding. It would be easier in countries like India where already a large percentage of the population is vegetarian.

    Lorraine: it seems like a small percentage but then French cuisine is meat/fish based

    Yummychunklet: it is

    Lizzy: yes, makes the US gov’t look good:)

    Mary: it is absurd, lets see how long that lasts

    Carol: thank you