More Proof French Kids are Better Than Ours: Less Ketchup

heinz-ketchupIsn’t it enough that French adults are way more sophisticated than American adults? (Have you seen how cool the French look smoking cigarettes? I mean, hello?) Now comes word that French schools are under government orders to limit ketchup in their lunchrooms to help kids “keep their cultural identity.”

If there’s anything that can be closely identified with American culture and kids, it’s ketchup. On French fries (or pommes frites, as Fancy Nancy would say). On hamburgers. On hot dogs. On chicken (which, by the way, is kind of gross). Embedded on t-shirts. Under fingernails. Ketchup is about American as, well, ketchup. I mean, zut alors — ketchup couldn’t be more American if it was what Betsy Ross used to stain the stripes in her flag.

Under the new French rule, ketchup in school cafeterias will only be permitted to be paired with certain foods, like fries, and it is banned altogether from accompanying classic French meals such as beef bourguignon and roast veal with blue cheese sauce, according to Fox News. (Bravo, by the way, to French kids, nay, all French people, for eating roast veal with blue cheese sauce — with or without ketchup.)

But here’s the thing whether you agree that the French are more sophisticated, with this ketchup ban it seems as if they have a good point. Or at least half of a good point. Which is that without ketchup, kids will probably be less inclined to eat certain junk foods.

The new government decree also means schools have to “encourage” foods like spinach and broccoli, which is a good thing, of course. Bread will also be served in unlimited quantities, which is good, I suppose, unless your last name is Atkins.

The part about keeping kids connected to their cultural heritage by banning ketchup?

“Canteens [cafeterias] have a public health mission but also an educative mission,” Christophe Hebert, chairman of the National Association of Directors of Collective Restaurants, said to Fox News. “We have to ensure that children become familiar with French recipes so that they can hand them down to the following generation.”

Well, that’s so silly it has to be French, non?

Do you think Americans should follow France’s lead and limit ketchup in school cafeterias?


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