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Serving up healthy and sustainable school meals? An analysis of school meal provision in Cardiff (UK)

Fairchild, Ruth and Collins, Andrea Jayne ORCID: 2011. Serving up healthy and sustainable school meals? An analysis of school meal provision in Cardiff (UK). Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 13 (3) , pp. 209-229. 10.1080/1523908X.2011.578402

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In the UK, the school meal has become an emotive political and social issue, following the realization that children's diets can impact on their educational attainment levels, health and life expectancy. Food and drink served in schools is now required to incorporate quality ingredients and be of an acceptable nutritional standard. The types of food and drink which are served in schools can also result in significant environmental impacts due to the way it is produced, processed and transported. Subsequently, policy-makers have also become increasingly concerned about how to deliver school meals which are more sustainable. This paper uses two methodologies (nutritional analysis and ecological footprint analysis) to draw conclusions about the nutritional value and environmental impacts related to food and drink served in secondary schools. Using Cardiff as a case study, we show that the average secondary school meal failed to meet nutritional standards and guidelines and had an ecological footprint more than twice that of a typical resident. Altering the school menu was insufficient to instigating change as pupils' purchasing behaviours also need to be taken into consideration. The paper demonstrates that a combined analysis of this type can provide policy-makers with a more rigorous and comprehensive assessment of the impacts of school meals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecological footprint, nutritional analysis, school meals, sustainable consumption
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1523-908X
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:36

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