Why in the universities eat so bad

To the president of the Sustainability Commission of the university rectors of spain admits: "neither the law nor the budgets favor the quality of what you eat

Why in the universities eat so bad

To the president of the Sustainability Commission of the university rectors of spain admits: "neither the law nor the budgets favor the quality of what you eat" in their cafeterias

"The food offered in campus cafeterias is not healthy." That is a reality well known by many of those who have eaten once in one of them. What is significant is that the own managers of public universities to recognize that in their cafeterias and do not eat healthy. For Santiago García, rector of the University of Oviedo and president of the Commission of Sustainability of the Conference of Rectors, something has to change in its services, culinary if they are to be a framework for nutrition education for their students. At least, that is the goal set for their dining rooms. The problem, in your judgment, is clear: "Neither the law nor the low-budget favor the quality of what we eat in them."

From the past month of February, presides over this body launched in 2009 to share experiences of the growing number of universities as possible about how to promote a healthy environment. The bad reputation that the cuisine of this type of coffee shops has dragged on for decades, led many of them to seek solutions to promote good practices. That's why, in 2008, several of them created what is known as the Spanish Network of Universities Healthy in order to work in common.

"we Want the universities to be the model that are not now for the nutritional behavior of the students," stresses Garcia, who in a personal capacity, expected to soon change the bad perception that manifest their students in surveys regarding the quality of the cafeterias of the schools.

Oviedo is just one example of the many canteens that service the 237 institutions of higher education distributed by all Spain. In most of them, the affordable prices of your daily menu (between five and eight euros) will result in a quick and easy fix for those, including class schedules, group work and activities extracadémicas, find it hard to leave the campus. The problem is that, at times, not only with meals that don't meet your caloric needs but are also unhealthy.

that's why, last year, the Commission Sectorial CRUE-Sustainability developed a guide of requirements that has been distributed to all institutions in order to improve their tenders: at least one vegetarian dish as a choice, limit the offer of fried and breaded to a maximum of 20% per week or the option of whole-wheat bread are some examples of the specifications required of the catering companies.

According to Garcia, it is the expert staff of the different qualifications in each centre who advises these reports: "The work in a network with information shared, we all benefit if a has specialists in food technology or a degree in gastronomy, in order to produce good practices".

Despite all this, the public procurement makes it difficult for them to accept an offer slightly more expensive despite a better service. "There is that always hire the cheapest. Sometimes so much by economic issues as by the limited supply, we have to be a little demanding, and that is suffered by the user", explains the rector of Oviedo.

No university that suffer from diabetes or obesity can eat here.

Ana Albarsanz (nutritionist)

That is the tonic, predominant, but not the only one. In other cases, the economic effort of certain centres and the creative formulas of some companies begin to cope successfully with the demand that is increasingly aware of the students. So you see Happiness Martinez, a registered dietitian with Sodexo, a company specializing in restoration services that caters to several universities in Spain.

therefore, highlights the policy of cutting edge practice in the cafeterias managed by teams of dietitians and chefs of this company: "In these laboratories are not only organized dishes. Also formed cooks when you create a recipe with a new food". In the same way alludes to the variety of their menus (6,20 euros) to meet the demand of the intolerant. "We have an agreement with the Federation of Associations of Celiacs of Spain", wields.

What is certain is that, today, the services of companies such as Sodexo are only found in private universities such as Francisco de Vitoria, with a higher clearance budget. The rigid economic thresholds of a good part of public institutions complicate the implementation of better eaters. In the end, the differences just reflected in some statistics. For example, in the survey published in 2014 by the ministry of Health of Madrid about the opinion on these spaces. In it, the private received ratings more satisfying in all the aspects analysed (speed, attention, size of portions, quality) except the price.

This newspaper recently conducted a small random sample in one of the faculties with the highest student population of the University Complutense of Madrid. In the company of the nutritionist Ana Albarsanz and influencer dining Pilar Hermida, author of the blog The Gourmet, we access to a dining room with capacity for 300 people, in which there is an excess of pastries exposed along the bar. Not the same thing happens when choosing the menu, since that all food remains covered, as it argues Hermida.

"This is to go to a minimum. At 4.95 euros, it is impossible to turn a profit, to the menu," says Albarzanz, at the same time stresses that "it may not be" that an expert has supervised. According to the latter, none of the menus available containing the energy value, suitable for young people, with excesses of fried food on the menus normal and celiac and nutritional needs to be filled in the menu with salad, baked potatoes, roasted tomatoes and banana designed for vegetarians. "Where is the protein? Here there is a lack beastly, the vegetarian, you take away the media with this." Minutes later, the chef confessed that the menus of this type served does not exceed three daily.

On the same line, Hermida repaired, on the one hand, on the amount of oil contained in each dish. "Everything is excessive", remarked. On the other, "all products have the same smell and built-in know like. Only conceals the oregano", clarified the point to the jumble of spaghetti with pasta in the same dish. While he acknowledged that "it is normal that you can find for this price", said that "there is nothing healthy".

in the Face of this lack, Albarsanz was beyond. "Any universisecretary who suffer from diabetes or obesity can eat here," he said while pointing to a banana with the syrup that I had before. Something that, in your judgment, makes it clear that alternative meals are made "to meet".

Days later, we made a similar visit to a private university, Francisco de Vitoria of Madrid, next to the nutritionist Cristina Lozano. In a dining room for 400 people, the expert repairs both in the provision of various gourmet's meeting points as in the "enormous variety" of products. Around one of them, the students will review the 24 options of ingredients to set up your salad. Some, like the quinoa surprise Lozano, for being a product "atypical dining rooms of this type".

If well perceives an excess of sauces and certain reservations about the separations between the different dishes in order to avoid the contamination of allergens, believes that "there is variety enough for these kids to meet their nutritional needs without a problem." In the same line speak of the information offered. Unlike the previous visit, that it was impossible to know what products are suitable for vegetarians or coeliacs, in this case, the tables incorporate the data in each dish, allowing students to become familiar with what is appropriate for them to take.

This comparative is not, nor is it intended to be, not at all representative of the whole of the cafés Spanish university. On the other hand, shows a mixed fortunes between the food offered in the campus, public and private. "The worst thing is not that this will suffer from students or teachers, but that does not release a healthy message of our institutions," says Santiago Garcia.

Excess of red meat, low vegetable

Faculty Sciences. Information of the Complutense of Madrid. Price: 4,95

Menu 1. Fideúa and meatballs

The menu includes a first plate of fideua (noodle paella of alicante and a second of meatballs in sauce with a side of fries. For dessert, a couple of tangerines.

Menu 2. Stewed potatoes and grouper

In this menu, the first one consists in legs, stewed with beef, while the second is a fillet of grouper baked with a garnish of fried potatoes. The dessert, a banana.

Menu 3. Potatoes and meatballs

This menu is a hybrid between the other two. It consists of a first dish of stewed potatoes with beef and a second of meatballs in sauce. The dessert is a 'mousse' chocolate. According to nutritionist Ana Albarsanz, this menu suffers from an excess of red meat, whose consumption is recommended to sporadically. In addition, there is an excess of frying that match into the bowl with the meatballs and missing vegetables. Finally, the dessert have a many simple sugars.

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Date Of Update: 08 December 2018, 20:00

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