Posted on 01 November 2008 by

Ketchup Banned in English Schools

By Vanessa Richins

In England, schoolchildren will no longer have a favorite condiment available.

Many schools there have decided that ketchup is too high in sugar and salt.

They are also banning Marmite, a salty yeast extract used in sandwiches.

According to the food industry guidelines, “the daily amount for a five to ten-year-old is 4g of salt and 85g of sugar.”

As an article in Mail Online states, ‘The council has probably looked at the values of sugar and salt per 100g but the thing is that tomato ketchup is consumed in small amounts – nothing like 100g, which would be about 15-20 teaspoons,’ says nutrition scientist Joanne Lunn of the British Nutrition Foundation.

‘Often it’s the things that children are eating with the ketchup, such as fried foods, that should attract more concern.’

As Ms. Lunn states, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, the antioxidant that helps fight a number of cancers, as well as other health concerns. I wasn’t aware of this, but she says that lycopene is fat soluble, so it is actually a good thing when ketchup is paired with fried foods such as french fries.

In Finland, researchers discovered that ketchup may help lower LDL cholesterol, as study participants saw their cholesterol levels lowered after 3 weeks of daily ketchup use.

I think that it is good that the school administrations are trying to promote student health, but I am not sure that this ban is necessary. Most people only use a little ketchup with every meal.

Do you think ketchup should be banned from schools?

3 Responses to “Ketchup Banned in English Schools”

  1. Shibaguyz Says:

    It seems like there should just be a low sodium, low sugar alternative to the ketchup being used. I know on the rare occasion when we buy ketchup for our household we use this alternative. That is when we don’t make our own.

  2. Nancy Bond Says:

    And lycopene is most heavily found in *cooked* and concentrated tomato products, such as tomato paste and ketchup. I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous. The miniscule amount of salt and sugar (when compared to other things being offered in school cafeterias) that are present in a packet of ketchup would be negligible as a health concern. What next?

  3. themanicgardener Says:

    On a lighter note, I hope you folks are familiar with the Ketchup Advisory Board, regularly featured on Prairie Home Companion. If not, it’s time to make its acquaintance. According to this series of fake ads, ketchup solves all problems because it contains “natural mellowing agents.”

    Those claims may be as true as the assumptions that led to this ban.

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