A talented head cook at a school in central Sweden has been told to stop baking fresh bread and to cut back on her wide-ranging veggie buffets because it was unfair that students at other schools didn’t have access to the unusually tasty offerings. Annika Eriksson, a lunch lady at school in Falun, was told that her cooking is just too good.
Pupils at the school have become accustomed to feasting on newly baked bread and an assortment of 15 vegetables at lunchtime, but now the good times are over. The municipality has ordered Eriksson to bring it down a notch since other schools do not receive the same calibre of food – and that is “unfair”.
Moreover, the food on offer at the school doesn’t comply with the directives of a local healthy diet scheme which was initiated in 2011, according to the municipality.
“A menu has been developed… It is about making a collective effort on quality, to improve school meals overall and to try and ensure everyone does the same,” Katarina Lindberg, head of the unit responsible for the school diet scheme, told the local Falukuriren newspaper. However, Lindberg was not aware of Eriksson’s extraordinary culinary efforts and how the decision to force her to cut back had prompted outrage among students and parents.
“It has been claimed that we have been spoiled and that it’s about time we do as everyone else,” Eriksson said. She insisted, however, that her creative cooking has not added to the municipality’s expenses. “I have not had any complaints,” she told the paper.
Eriksson added that she sees it as her job to ensure that the pupils are offered several alternatives at meal times. The food on offer does not always suit all pupils, she explained, and therefore she makes sure there are plenty of vegetables to choose from as well as proteins in the form of chicken, shrimp, or beef patties. From now on, the school’s vegetable buffet will be halved in size and Eriksson’s handmade loafs will be replaced with store-bought bread.Her traditional Easter and Christmas smörgåsbords may also be under threat.
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