Fukushima to subsidise schools for using local products in school lunches

Fukushima Minyu News, the local paper of Fukushima Prefectural, reported that the prefectural government and its educational board had planned school lunch subsidy for using the local products from this April. The policy reflects the government's false belief that allowing children to eat the local product would sweep away the bad image on Fukushima and boost the local consumption. Nonetheless, late last year the board relaxed the limit for radioactive nuclide contained in exammined rice in school lunches. It must be difficult for the concerned parents to accept this unreasonable subsidy. One might claim at least the economic utility and health risk need to be discussed separately in Fukushima. 


The following is the articles from Fukushima Minyu News, the local paper of Fukushima Prefectual.


Fukushima School Lunches: “Local Ingredients” Half the Pre-quake Amount


According to research conducted by the Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education, it was found, as of February 24th 2013, that the percentage of local ingredients used in school lunches in Fukushima Prefecture had dropped to 18.3% in the current school year - down to nearly half the amount before the Tohoku earthquake. This figure strongly reflects the profound anxiety over radioactive materials associated with Tokyo Electric’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident; even whilst a system has been established for detecting radioactive materials during the handling of lunch materials and in the distribution of school lunches. Under these circumstances, the Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education as well as Fukushima Prefecture intends to support the city, town or village that is prepared to go back to using local materials for its school lunches. Moreover, they will attempt to gain the support of parents in the new school year.

The Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education carried out the research at school cafeteria kitchens of elementary and middle schools, etc. twice a year: during the first semester in June and during the last semester in November, to come up with these percentages for local ingredients used in school lunches, and the average values of these numbers. They will conduct this research each year. The average amount was 36.1% in 2010. The amounts in recent years have been roughly 35%, relatively high in comparison with the national level. Although research was not carried out last year due to the earthquake disaster, the drop in percentages has been significant over the last two years.


Fukushima Minyu News  02/25/2013

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