`Spain Looks at Overstocked EVOO for School Lunches - Olive Oil Times

Spain Looks at Overstocked EVOO for School Lunches

Jul. 27, 2010
Daniel Williams

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By Daniel Williams
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Barcelona

Spain’s Health Ministry, under a project related to the impend­ing Law of Food Security has pro­posed dress­ing the sal­ads of school lunches with extra vir­gin olive oil. Through the imple­men­ta­tion of olive oil in school menus, Mr. Trinidad Jimémenez’s Health Department hopes to curb the unhealthy eat­ing habits of today’s youth in order to pre­vent obe­sity and poor health. The inclu­sion of olive oil into school meals would also cre­ate an insti­tu­tion­al­ized increase in the inter­nal demand for Spanish olive oil, much of which has been forced to remain in ware­houses across the coun­try in order to limit out­put and res­cue falling prices.

One of the mea­sures out­lined in the pro­posed Law of Food Security pro­hibits the sale of food with high con­tents of sat­u­rated fats, trans-fats, salt and sim­ple sug­ars, whether these foods be sold from vend­ing machines, bars or sim­i­lar estab­lish­ments sit­u­ated in edu­ca­tional cen­ters. The law, which still has yet to be passed, has been revised and expanded upon by lead­ing sci­en­tists and health experts who fear the spread of unhealthy eat­ing habits among young Spaniards today, some­thing made even more acces­si­ble by the cheap costs and avail­abil­ity of such foods in cen­ters of learn­ing through­out the coun­try. These experts also unan­i­mously agree upon the numer­ous health ben­e­fits of rou­tine olive oil con­sump­tion.

The law’s pro­posed mis­sion is to help the school pop­u­la­tion to attain an ade­quate bal­ance of energy and sup­port the pre­ven­tion of obe­sity by lim­it­ing the con­sump­tion of unhealthy prod­ucts and offer­ing healthy options in their place.” The law specif­i­cally pro­poses using extra vir­gin olive oil as a healthy alter­na­tive to other salad dress­ings. In addi­tion to pro­mot­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar health, olive oil has been show to actu­ally make some of the nutri­ents in the salad eas­ier to absorb, such as phy­to­chem­i­cals and fat-sol­u­ble vit­a­mins.

Despite a far-from-per­fect health sys­tem and some of the world’s high­est rates of tobacco and alco­hol con­sump­tion, Spaniards still show low inci­dences of cir­rho­sis, strokes, var­i­ous can­cers, and heart dis­ease. Spaniards also boast the 3rd longest life expectancy in the world, trail­ing only Italians and Swedes, and live 3 years longer than the aver­age American. Many researchers believe that the Spanish health record and longevity can be at least partly attrib­uted to a diet rich in olive oil.

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La Razon.es July 12, 2010“Sanidad destierra de los cole­gios golosi­nas refres­cos y choco­lates”

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