School food competition 16.3.2016
Food Services, Municipality of Asikkala
Warm lunch gives a rhythm to Finnish daily eating. Free lunch, from day care to school is a social innovation that has been fundamental in building the Finnish welfare society. Now the new school food recommendations recommend that schools should not only offer nutritious and healthy food for all, but also support children, teenagers and adults in practicing sustainable eating as part of their everyday lives.
In POPRASUS we investigate how plant-based eating alters school dining. With this question our aim is to test the transformative potential of school dining for sustainable eating.
We work in close collaboration with our partners in school dining.
- City of Jyväskylä, Food Services Kylän Kattaus
- Rural municipality of Asikkala and Food Services
- Rural municipality of Liperi and Food Services
We have introduced a free, daily vegetarian option to the school menus in 2017 and engaged pupils to the development of school dining in the meantime. We conducted a survey of all pupils immediately after the introduction to gauge their immediate responses. We then opened the experiment up to more thorough deliberation by inviting secondary school pupils (aged 13 to 15) to evaluate vegetarian food and to design their own school menus. We also organised tasting events engaging pupils in thinking about various protein sources with the help of gaming. We
monitor the changes in the consumption of foods until
the end of 2018.
We continue experimenting also with Fazer Food Services in our lunch restaurant at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE). In the restaurant we have tested various ways of promoting plant-based eating with the help of labels and nudging. The experiment is part of the SYKE’s commitment to sustainable development. Our long-term work shows that we were able to reduce our meat consumption only after the kitchen prioritised vegetarian dishes in their recipe development and supply in their development. The results offer a critical look on the informational and nudging approaches in sustainable eating and highlight the dynamics between supply and demand.