Organic school meals in three Danish municipalities
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In order to prevent children and young people from becoming obese, healthier eating patterns are urgent. Organic school meals may be an effective strategy to provide healthy food to children. The purpose of this study was to take a closer look into the current status of organic school meal systems in Denmark, by conducting a case study of three municipalities in the Zealand region that have the most developed models for school meals service in this country. These municipalities have for some years introduced organic food for sale in their primary schools, with three quite different approaches. Copenhagen has established a large central kitchen, producing partly organic food that is heated and sold in tuck shops at the schools. Roskilde cooperates with an organic catering company, delivering food to be sold in school canteens. Gladsaxe has part-time employed staff preparing and selling food at each school, and these people are educated about organic food by a municipal coordinator. Based on interviews with key informants in the three municipalities, the report describes the involved actors, interactions among actors, and barriers and future plans regarding an increased consumption of organic food in school meals. Similarities and differences between the municipalities are discussed. The main challenges for an increased consumption of organic food in schools are related to lack of infrastructure in the schools such as kitchens and dining halls, and that the school meal systems developed so far are not well rooted among the pupils, teachers, other school staff and the parents.