• Sweden's news in English

Ban on lunch lady's food a 'misunderstanding'

9 Oct 2012, 13:50

Published: 09 Oct 2012 13:50 GMT+02:00

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“It feels like a stab in the back,” Annica Eriksson, the cook at Vikaskolan in Falun, told The Local.

Eriksson sparked reactions around the world when it emerged that she had been instructed to stop baking fresh bread and offering students a fresh vegetable buffet.

According to Eriksson, local authorities in Falun told her her food was "too good" and that it was "unfair" to students at other schools, arguing that her menu failed to adhere to a recently introduced nutrition programme.

The ensuing wave of negative publicity, including protests from students and teachers, prompted municipality officials to call a meeting with Eriksson to discuss the matter.

At the meeting, held Monday afternoon, Eriksson was told by the nutrition project leader Katarina Lindberg that local authorities would not stand in the way of her aspirations to offer pupils home-made bread and fresh vegetables.

“Annica misunderstood us, of course she can bake her own bread,” Lindberg told The Local.

She pointed to a statement released by the municipality on Monday which also attributed the episode to "miscommunication".

"What we've said that the fruits and vegetables should be chosen according to season; it's a matter of taking environment and climate considerations into account," Lindberg is quoted as saying in the statement.

While school cook Eriksson was happy to learn she can continue to add her own touch to the food served at Vikaskolan, she expressed her frustration at the municipality's attempt to describe the matter as a misunderstanding.

“At a meeting on September 24th I was told that I had to cook like the rest of Falun’s schools,” Eriksson told The Local.

“That’s what I did and then parents complained and called the press.”

According to Eriksson, other officials at the meeting explained that she needed to follow the guidelines of a 2011 nutrition project aimed at bringing up the level of school cooking within all schools of Falun.

She left the meeting confused as to why Falun municipality officials deemed her methods as unsatisfactory with respect to the nutrition programme.

Eriksson now believes Lindberg and others local officials in Falun felt compelled to act after being backed into a corner by a storm of negative publicity.

“Now they are saying they never told me to bring down the level of cooking and that it’s my mistake," she said.

Story continues below…

While Lindberg acknowledged that her colleagues were aware of the negative publicity, she emphasized that the interests of the children were what really mattered.

“We are all affected by the events and the media attention this received,” Lindberg said.

“This is about children’s food, that is our future.”

Sanne Schim van der Loeff

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Your comments about this article

15:30 October 9, 2012 by Fuzzlenutter
Boy, for a second there I thought that fat ass Michelle Obama had made it all the way to Sweden with her obsession with total control over what everyone (except her, of course!) eats!

Like Annica here, I smell a heaping portion of pure BS from the "local authorities". They are seriously embarrassed that the world now knows how ridiculous they look and are trying to nip it in the bud by portraying Annica as a liar.

Simply PATHETIC if you ask me...
15:47 October 9, 2012 by foxpur

I find it kind of funny you bring up Michelle Obama, who spoke several times on varied lunch programs for students that includes, specifically, more fruit and vegitable options.

Which you berate Michelle Obama for, and yet here is a woman that is DOING it and you think it's fine? A bit obviously hypocritcal.
15:52 October 9, 2012 by Rishonim
What a lame excuse. Typical Swedish bureaucratic idiocy where nothing makes sense. @Fuzzlenutter, Michelle Obama fat ass will fit perfectly within 60% of Swedish women along with wide hips and all ;-)
16:14 October 9, 2012 by Svensksmith
The biggest @ss is the one she's married to.
16:18 October 9, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
Lindberg has revealed that, in addition to being an utter imbecile, she is a shameless liar.

Why are we not hearing her superiors speaking out against her stupidity and incompetence?

Once again Lindberg exemplifies the dull mediocrity that she wants to drag down others to. If she is honestly concerned about the welfare of the children, she should resign.
16:57 October 9, 2012 by millionmileman
This School lunch backlash is becoming an epidemic from Wisconsin's POW like 850 calories, to Germany and now Sweden. "Who's on next?"


19:13 October 9, 2012 by cattie
Sounds like a classic case of Swedish Jantelagen

For uninitiated, Jantelagen is a Scandinavian attitude towards individuality and success, the term refers to a mentality which de-emphasizes individual effort and places all emphasis on the collective, while discouraging those who stand out as achievers.
20:47 October 9, 2012 by gregmons
"While Lindberg acknowledged that her colleagues were aware of the negative publicity, she emphasized that the interests of the children were what really mattered."

And she intends to do this by enforcing a lower standard of food on the children ... An interesting way of showing their importance.
02:53 October 10, 2012 by alecLoTh
...this happened to Jamie Oliver too. Bureaucracy and profit by a few individuals is to blame, it has nothing to do with rationality, common sense or wanting to feed children.
10:25 October 10, 2012 by marvin_everton
Here's what I think: TheLocal should stop making things up.

The truth about what happened is that a municipality had a temporary city-wide school food project that would in some ways "override" the schools' own menus for a month or so. Some said: "oh that's too bad, we like our food as it as".

End of story.

Everything else is complete fantasy made up by TheLocal. You have never been in contact with Annica Eriksson.

No one said her food "was too good". No one "slammed" anyone.

There's absolutely nothing in any swedish-speaking media supporting the stories that TheLocal have come up with.

What's worse is that this appears to be standard practice on this website. "Sweden's News in English", what a joke!
12:34 October 11, 2012 by clacke

No fantasy, just that TheLocal is notoriously bad at linking to their sources, and you are apparently not on facebook or don't have facbook-friends that like re-sharing these kinds of news.


It would seem that the municipality have a project aimed at improving school lunches across all schools and were not flexible enough to exclude the school that already had lunches better than the level set by the project.
00:02 October 14, 2012 by Ron Edge
@#10: So you, too, imply the cook, Ms. Eriksson, is a liar... hmmm, marvin??


Your (or, maybe, "You"...) 'guys' screwed-the-pooch, marvin, and that's the end of it.
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