Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This is Really Happening - Calgary Pizza Chain Takes Over 9 School Cafeterias!?

Honestly this isn't a story from the Onion.

Coco Brooks Pizza has been granted permission from the Calgary Board of Education to take over cafeteria operations at 9 Calgary high schools in a move so staggeringly and mind numbingly stupid that according to this article from the CBC, even the students expressed shock,
"They’ve been promoting healthy food since junior high and then they open a pizza store; it’s weird"
Defending the move was Calgary Board of Education's Cathy Faber with the classic, "they also serve salads", argument. Ms Faber calls it a,
"turn around story for us, because we're starting to see with this increased traffic that there's actually a potential for a return on our investment"
Because apparently dollars matter more than nutrition and health for the Calgary Board of Education.

What would you do if your kid came home and told you the local pizza joint just took over their school cafeteria?

(And for my Twitter followers - I tweeted in December that I'd been sent the stupidest school nutrition policy I'd ever heard of - amazingly this isn't it. Look for that one in the next week or so)

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  1. Aw, c'mon Yoni -- these pizzas are GLUTEN-FREE -- that means they're healthy! (facepalm)

    That's a sad tale, but in Calgary, not a surprising one. I grew up there, and it's a town well known for chasing The Almighty Dollar. It doesn't entirely surprise me that a school board there is talking about reaping a return on investment, sadly.

  2. Anonymous8:34 am

    This is such a joke. I listened to Cathy Faber's interview and it reminds me of the court proceedings where all the CEO's of big tobacco companies swore they didn't believe cigarettes were addictive. And could somebody please explain to me how big chain pizza meets their "health standard" for youth as she claims. I love that even the students see the hypocrisy.

  3. Ripped from the headlines of The Onion.

  4. Anonymous11:22 am

    Chill out everyone. It's not any worse than the crap that Sodexo or Aramark or any of those other food services companies would sell. I say let them get a return. It's up to the parents to manage their kid's diet. The same parents that complain about this will take their kids to McD's or Pizza Hut for dinner.

  5. I can honestly say that I didn't choose anything healthier from my Calgary high school cafeteria back in the day. Nor from the McDonald's or 7/11 that were RIGHTNEXTDOOR either.

    Coco Brooks Pizza is good, but their salads suck, so the salad response is garbage quite honestly. I love that they're supporting a growing local company rather than the huge corporations that spew out cafeteria food however...

  6. I have new some information about this. Apparently the school board was unable to keep vendors Aramark and others as they said they couldn't make enough of a profit when asked to provide healthier options. The Board issued an RFP and the pizza company responded and agreed to provide food options that meet the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth and also revised their pizza recipes to use lower fat and sodium products. Having a functional cafeteria also helps keep students on campus (revenue) and not spending $ at fast-food restaurants and nearby convenience stores. While not perfect (the idea of pizza seems contrary to healthy food environments, and some would suggest that the nutrition guidelines themselves may not be perfect), in the long run this might actually be a good news story about bringing together businesses and schools for providing healthier foods to students. I suppose time (and sales) will tell.

  7. Anonymous4:07 pm

    I disagree with the decision to allow a single vendor (Coco Brooks) to have monopoly over our schools cafeteria’s?

    If Aramark couldn’t make a profit by providing healthy solutions then what is Coco Brooks doing in there as Coco Brooks food is high in sodium, fat and calories.

    Not only is Coco Brooks food unhealthy it is not right for the CBE to choose a single vendor in all of our schools. I think our children need more food choices other than Cocoo Brooks.