Thursday, 17 January 2019

Are Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens?

So many children's food menus at the moment seem to scream the word "Healthy" but when you actually look at the menu, they seem anything but healthy and it got me thinking ... who says these menus are healthy and how is that decision made? How is it alright to include known Carcinogens and also state they are healthy?


The World Health Organisation categorised processed foods and meat as either a class 1 or 2 carcinogen (Cancer Causer) Foods such as Bacon, Ham and Sausage are right up there in Class 1 right alongside Asbestos and Cigarettes.

This isn’t even new, this happened years ago but we just pretend that it’ll be ok because we've always eaten these foods and its the norm to consume them. 


Are School Dinners Healthy? Cancer causing foods - Little House Lovely


We're currently encouraged to opt for more plant based meals and our fruit and veg portion advice sprang from 5 a day to 10 a day so why are children's "healthy" menus loaded with processed foods such as cheese, burgers and hot dogs, meat heavy and lacking in plant based options - even the vegetarian options are packed with cheese, quorn and veggie sausages (processed foods)



Leaves me puzzled - why is it ok to claim these are healthy? 

I wouldn't have thought menus where the majority of meals having either a class 1 carcinogen or a class 2 carcinogen would be allowed to claim they are healthy - especially if they are aimed at children and I think its devastating to see barely any plant based meals (is a jacket potato and beans really the best you can offer?) on these typical menus - I would expect, at the very least, vegetarian options to include vegan meals given the growing needs for vegans/ whole food plant based diets/ dairy free/  flexitarains / the eco conscious and those just looking to improve their health- and also future proof their chances of avoiding known Dietary diseases such as Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimers and Cancers.

The Cancer Research UK has a whole section on its website about how eating processed and red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer - scientifically proven - so why are we feeding children red meat and processed meat for their school dinners if even Cancer Research UK is telling you they know it causes cancer?


eating processed and red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer


this is also backed up by the World Cancer Research Fund too - urging you to eat little IF ANY processed meat - so why are our primary schools encouraging our children to eat it 5 days a week?


Eat little IF ANY processed meat - school dinners cause cancer


I feel like I strongly disagree with the majority of children's school dinner meals being described as healthy - especially when you take into consideration the information and science we have at hand in 2018/2019.

I'm not comfortable with the concept of trusting the schools catering service because they've used the word healthy when in reality they are feeding children carcinogens on a daily basis. 

Could you imagine how these menus would be received if we swapped the words over for other items from the exact same World Health Organisation Carinogen category - Cigarette and Mash Monday or Asbestos Sandwich Thursday anyone?

Imagine the uproar if the school dinner lady handed your 6 year old a cigarette instead of a ham sandwich - the sad reality is that we know that ham is a known carcinogen, the gamble is the same regardless of how in denial we are. 

Does anyone have a school offering meals free from (world Health Organisation) categorised carcinogens and leaning more towards organic (lets drop the pesticides) plant based meals to support our future generations? 

Adding the word healthy to these menus is inaccurate but companies get away with it because there’s no clear definition and is a buzz word open to subjective interpretation. 
I'm not ok with that - are you?

Here are some examples of current typical school dinner menus in the UK:


Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens


Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens

Healthy School Dinner Menus Packed Full of Carcinogens


Whilst I have focused here on information from The World Health Organisation, Cancer Research UK and World Cancer Research Fund, you might also be interested in learning more from either of these two informative, science evidence based documentaries "What The Health" and "Forks Over Knives" - both currently on UK Netflix.

Emma in Bromley


http://www.emmainbromley.com