You may have noticed the profound lack of samosas being sold in the MGCI galleria this year. If you’re part of a fundraising club you may already know why.
The Ontario government has finally effected a School Food and Beverage Policy. This policy, which has been in place since the start of this school year, basically states that any food sold in the school — including food sold at bake sales — must meet certain health requirements. There are very strict regulations on how much fat, sugar, and sodium is allowed in each food serving. Food is sorted into three categories: Sell Most, Sell Less, and Not Permitted for Sale. At least 80% of all food choices must be in the “Sell Most” category. Most traditional bake-sale items would fall into the ‘Not Permitted for Sale’ category. This includes deep-fried samosas — an entrée with more than 7g of fat per serving.
Eliminating unhealthy choices should encourage students to make healthier food choices. It should also mean that there is a greater variety of healthier food available at the school cafeteria. There are all sorts of studies linking healthy eating habits to intellectual development, and unhealthy diets to diabetes, obesity, and a number of other serious health risks.
There is, however, a loop hole in the policy that might be useful for clubs wanting to have bake sales. The School Food and Beverage Policy does not apply to food offered in schools to students at no cost. This means that a club can still offer free food to students who make donations. But maybe this year will see more clubs getting creative with fundraising. The Garneau galleria may even see a rise in low-fat vegan desserts!
And hopefully the Tamil Students Association will start making oven-baked samosas.