Providing healthy food options in school cafeterias
“Connect to the roots!”
Imagine a life where people can just go outside, pick their food straight from nature and enjoy every single bite. A direct connection to the food we consume, knowing where it comes from and what it does to our bodies.
Now think about today's society in The Netherlands, everyone still has the free choice to pick what to consume, with just one difference. We choose food with numerous ingredients with names we don´t understand, not knowing that they make us sick. Eventually aware that some products are simply not good for us, we still eat them. So, do we indirectly choose illness? Of course, there are many more factors that contribute to this decision but shouldn´t it be easier to eat healthy overall?
As of right now, it seems like a difficult goal to achieve…
Our vision is to go back to a time where nutrition is being used as a mean to fuel our bodies, where people are connected to what they consume and therefore stay in excellent health. Many people already live their lives this way, yet the mainstream society does not.
The three of us quickly connected through our passion for food and health. We first started by looking at ourselves and own nutritional choices, realising our close, but others’ distant, connection to food. Eager to change this and driven by our wish to create value within our direct environment, we decided to lay our focus on students at Windesheim.
Students have to deal with many challenges, stress, peer pressure, scarcity of time and lack of financial means being just a few of them. While daily tasks keep students very busy, they often tend to neglect their health and especially food intake.
At the beginning of our Value Creators journey we had difficulties finding our way. It was frustrating to encounter stakeholders, who weren´t aware of the issue. However, our coach uplifted our motivation by encouraging us to see it as a sign of room for opportunity. With this thought at the back of our minds, we finally found a main partner to collaborate with.
Approaching our topic practically, it was important to understand that students would have a different level of understanding. Our idea of Happy Tastings therefore seemed like a perfect awareness raising activity, as well as conversation starter. The event happened over a period of three days, where the team prepared, served and sold a plant-based beetroot burger at the Windesheim cafeteria. This was an opportunity to invite students to try a plant-based option, which was eventually healthier than what they would have chosen instead. There was another event planned in January but, unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, not possible to pursue.
For a continuation of our project initiative, we wrote and shared an advisory report to all stakeholders, including recommendations and suggestions on how to proceed.
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