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Article

The Promotions of Sustainable Lunch Meals in School Feeding Programs: The Case of Italy

1
CREA Council for Agricultural Research and Economics—Research Centre for Food and Nutrition, Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Rome, Italy
2
Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome-via Ariosto 25, 00185 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andreia Matos Oliveira
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051571
Received: 15 March 2021 / Revised: 5 May 2021 / Accepted: 5 May 2021 / Published: 7 May 2021
School is considered a privileged environment for health education and school feeding represents an opportunity for promoting sustainable foods to young generations. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that is possible to select, from existing school menus, recipes that combine healthy foods with low environmental impact. A national sample of Italian school menus was collected and a total number of 194 recipes were included on a database containing 70 first courses, 83 s courses, 39 side dishes, 1 portion of fruit, and 1 portion of bread. A mathematical model was conceived to combine nutritional adequacy and acceptability criteria while minimizing GHGs emissions. The result is a four-week menu characterized by large vegetable components that were used not only as side dishes but also as ingredients in the first and second courses. Legumes and pasta are often included, and white meat is selected instead of red meat. The findings presented in this paper demonstrated that it is possible to design environmental-friendly meals from existing school menus. The mathematical model developed in this work has the potentiality of being completely scalable, easily updatable, and widely utilizable in different settings either for design or monitoring purposes as well as for research data collection. View Full-Text
Keywords: school meals; menus’ planning; feeding program; environmental impact; carbon footprint; mathematical modeling school meals; menus’ planning; feeding program; environmental impact; carbon footprint; mathematical modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rossi, L.; Ferrari, M.; Martone, D.; Benvenuti, L.; De Santis, A. The Promotions of Sustainable Lunch Meals in School Feeding Programs: The Case of Italy. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1571. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051571

AMA Style

Rossi L, Ferrari M, Martone D, Benvenuti L, De Santis A. The Promotions of Sustainable Lunch Meals in School Feeding Programs: The Case of Italy. Nutrients. 2021; 13(5):1571. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051571

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rossi, Laura, Marika Ferrari, Deborah Martone, Luca Benvenuti, and Alberto De Santis. 2021. "The Promotions of Sustainable Lunch Meals in School Feeding Programs: The Case of Italy" Nutrients 13, no. 5: 1571. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051571

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