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France Bans Ketchup in School

You say catsup, I say ketchup ... but the French say it's simply banned. That's right, if you love ketchup in France, and you're in school, then you're out of luck.

In an effort to promote healthy eating (and to protect traditional French cuisine), the French government has (largely) banned ketchup from school and college cafeterias:

"France must be an example to the world in the quality of its food, starting with its children," said Bruno Le Maire, the agriculture and food minister.

Ronald Reagan's White House may have considered ketchup — made famous by Henry John "H J." Heinz, who produced the first bottle in 1876 — a vegetable. But Gallic gastronomes view it with the same disdain as American television series, English words and McDonald's restaurants: unwelcome cultural impostors.

Jacques Hazan, president of the Federation of School Pupils' and College Students' Parents Councils, told the Times of London that the new regulations are a "victory."

Kim Willsher of the Los Angeles Times reports: Link

They make it seem so unreasonable that Ketchup is being banned as a health measure, yet they fail to mention that there's about a teaspoon of sugar in every tablespoon of the stuff.
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They make mass produced ketchup that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it, and it tastes just as good. The French just want something else to complain about.
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@kbad - the ketchup I have in front of me (trader joes store brand) is 2g of sugar per 17g serving, and that's entirely from the puree. That's a far cry from a 1:3 ratio. There is far more sugar in a soda or juice (or glass of wine). Heck, there's more sugar in many salad dressings. The sodium content is a bigger concern, especially when compounded with the salt of the foods it's typically consumed with, but even then - the ketchup isn't the main issue.

This is a total power trip.
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Its not a main course! Its used by a lot of people in small amounts
So its still OK for them to eat chips (fries) cooked in horse fat?
They just don't like it because its American.
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Err, I mis-spoke about it being from the puree, the sugar is added... getting overambitious in my comment. Still, it's not that much sugar.

Reading the whole article, it sounds like the concern may be partly because of students using tons of the stuff, like the comments about putting it over stew and such. That's more than we generally use it, and I know there are places in Europe where it is much more heavily used that over here. That just make the anti-American commentary even more misdirected though. The other movements seem reasonable.

If you really want to be anti-American, rant on us for having schools that qualify french fries as vegetables, not ketchup... ;)
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OK... Banning ketchup from schools is not a anti-american measure : this article is incomplete, the government wants to reduce the part of fat and sugar in kids' meals so now fries, mayonnaise and ketchup are limited to one meal per week and canteens have to serve vegetables every day.

Moreover we don't disdain american television series (they make really good audience ratings) we only complain about the bad quality of our own television series.

Please, stop thinking every single act of frenchmen is against america.
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Oct 7th, 2011 at 5:36 pm
And yet it's the steak and fries and sausage and white bread that are killing them...

Take out the steak and your statement is correct. Although potatoes aren't that bad, but the awful veg oil that is probably used is.

Meat= healthy. Added sugar, wheat, grains= not healthy.
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Don't the french put sauce on everything? Wikipedia has 19 pages devoted to "french sauces". Are they going to ban those, as well?
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I find this a bit strange too but from what I gather (and as a french guy said) this fits into a larger "eat healthy" campaign. And it also seems like they are trying to protect their culinary culture. (Just like they are very protective of their language, they don't allow foreign words into french and invent their own alternatives instead. A lot of languages for example just use the word "computer", the french use "ordinateur".)

The French bashing every chance they got really get's on my nerves though. (And I'm not even French.)

>> "And they wonder why they are stereotyped as smarmy jackasses."

Have you ever even been to France? What do you know about the French? Let me make a wild guess: NOTHING.

But hey, I can play that game too:
(no nudity but probably nsfw)
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Now that Denmark did it all over in Europe countries are considering or doing fat taxes too:
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Oh! And now that I'm at it: all that unhealthy food that's invaded Europe and the rest of the world (fast food, soft drinks with more sugar than water, potato chips, all sorts of other candy food), guess where it all came from. That's right: the good ol' US of A. Thanks for nothing.
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@ hmm...

Last time I checked, in those countries the citizens are free to buy what they like. It's not the fault of the US if they buy that stuff, and I guarantee if you track down the original source of 95% of those foods, they have origins outside of the United States, considering the US is a relatively young country compared to most others. So you can take you anti-US sentiment elsewhere. kthxbye.
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To prove my point:

French fries - Belgium
Hamburgers - Germany
Sugar-based candies (Ages old)

"Soft drinks with more sugar than water"
Not possible, regular soda is 90% water, diet is 99%

Check your facts before you shoot off your mouth next time.
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What's with all the anit-French ire? I say, good for them for wanting to protect their culinary history. I grew up in Europe, and have lived in the US for 16 years, and boy, do I miss the kind of "fast food" you'd get overseas. And I've been to France countless times - I've never encountered any anti-American sentiment. So I repeat, what's with all the hate?
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@ Sandman

And the United States of America was founded by Europeans. True but beside the point. A hamburger is just ground meat according to the dictionary, nothing wrong with that. A McDonalds "meal": not quite the same thing.

There is at least one McDonald's in every city in my country. Most soft drinks are produced by Coca-Cola (they offer more than 500 brands in over 200 countries according to Wikipedia) or some other American company. The same goes for potato chips or all sorts of other candy. Examples: PepsiCo,Frito-Lay, Pringles, Mars etc.

>> "Soft drinks with more sugar than water"
Not possible, regular soda is 90% water, diet is 99%

I admit I was exaggerating. If it really had more sugar than water it would not even be liquid. You got me on that one.
One can of soda has the equivalent of 10 sugar cubes. (Link.) Happy?

Also it seems like it is OK to criticize any country but not the USA. Sorry for not knowing the rules.
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It's perfectly fine to criticize the US, and admittedly, I don't eat much McDonald's myself (I find it to be the poorest quality fast food out there).

What usually irks me is the fact that it seems that most countries blame their weight issues on the US. That seems like scapegoating to me. If I get fat from drinking soda, it's not the soda's fault, it's mine for drinking it in the first place.

France has every right to do what they wish within their schools and government, it's a free world (for the most part, lol). I find that most articles like this seem to be written in the guise of everything being America's fault. Getting fat from sugary foods is n't anyone's fault except those consuming the food in the first place.
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I've just read the decree in question from the website of the french ministry of agriculture (to which no articles ever link btw), and found ONE mention of ketchup, between parentheses, cited as an example of a sauce, along with vinaigrette and mayonnaise.
The decree states that SAUCES will no longer be available in self-service, but will be served in accordance with the dish.

Knowing that, read the LA Times article again, and try to quantify the stupidity of its author. This is not the french government blaming America, it's american media trying to appeal to some anti-french sentiment that I've become increasingly aware of since expatriating myself.
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