Healthier and more sustainable school dining-rooms

Thirty-six schools in Barcelona, including publicly run centres, state-subsidised private and wholly private centres, are taking part in the project ‘Healthier and more sustainable school dining-rooms’ over the 2021-2022 school year. Supervised by the Barcelona Public Health Agency, the initiative is designed to promote healthier food, combat the climate emergency and strengthen the local and seasonal economy. The schools are offering menus with less red meat, more vegetable protein and more local produce.

05/10/2021 14:57 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Following a trial conducted at six schools last year, the project Menjadors escolars més sans i sostenibles is now being consolidated and rolled out further. The number of schools taking part in the initiative this year represents nearly 10% of schools in the city which offer dining-room services.

Under the supervision of the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB) and with the collaboration of the Barcelona Health Consortium, the project offers professional advice, training and follow-up for schools and restaurant companies and monitoring for school dining-rooms. It also provides support material and recommendations for families, to promote school menus which foster healthier and more sustainable food.

More local and seasonal food

The ASPB assessed the initial situation of schools taking part in the project and found that though they generally met the criteria on healthy food, some 67% of dining-rooms offered no main courses based on vegetable protein during the week. The assessment also identified a need to reduce the use of pre-cooked foods, increase the use of olive oil, promote fresh and local organic food and increase the presence of seasonal produce.

The implementation of the project managed to promote suitable weekly portions of fish, eggs, meat and vegetable protein, the use of olive oil for frying, more fruit for dessert, the inclusion of wholemeal pasta and bread, the reduction of frozen food and an increase in local seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Sustainable food as another step in the fight against climate change

The initiative Menjadors escolars més sans i sostenibles is one of the measures included in the city’s climate emergency declaration and also forms part of the city’s agenda as the World Sustainable Food Capital in 2021. The current food system accounts for between 21% and 37% of greenhouse gas emissions.

In this respect, Sustainable Food Week is being held from 14 to 24 October and will fill different spaces in Ciutat Vella and other city districts with activities to raise public awareness and offer resources which help towards the transformation of the food model.


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