Organic Food Sourcing and School Food Environment in Denmark

Abstract: School food in many countries has become the object of change and innovation processes, not only in relation to policies for healthier eating but also in relation to policies for more sustainable food consumption and procurement. The purpose of this study was to examine the possible influence that organic food sourcing policies in Danish school meal systems may have on the development of healthier school food environments.The study was a cross-sectional analysis undertaken among 179 school food coordinators (SFCs) through a web-based questionnaire (WBQ) in a sample of Danish public primary schools. The organic' schools were compared to non-organic' schools. The questionnaire explored the attitudes, intentions/policies and actions in relation to organic and healthy foods served in the schools. Data indicate that 20 organic' schools were associated with the indicators of healthier school environments, including adopting a Food and Nutrition Policy (FNP) in the school (p = .032), recommending children to eat healthily (p = .004). Conclusions: The study suggests that organic food policies in schools may have potential to support a healthier school food environment.

Reference: He, C and Mikkelsen, B.E. (2014) The association between organic school food policy and school food environment: Results from an observational study in Danish schools, Perspectives in Public Health 134(2):110-116.