UAE: Nutrition in school program
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The Ministry of Education of United Arab Emirates celebrates the first year of nutrition in the school program. PH7 Catering Services was selected last year by the ministry to start a pilot program inside public schools in Dubai and Northern Emirates to provide healthy food. They have organized and supported many food awareness activities, events and workshop to increase the consumption of fruits, vegetable and water.
An organic garden was one of these initiatives. The local organic company called Integrated Green Resources – IGR, one of the first organic farms in the UAE, was involved in this. Kids had the chance to learn how products are grown, and the difference between traditional and organic farming. They understood how challenging is growing in the desert and the huge effort needed to prepare the soil and maintain it (see picture). This is the only garden PH7 set up this year, but many schools showed interest in developing the same project. The company hopes to find more sponsors and local farmers willing to help them with new gardens in all Emirates next year. PH7 will prepare material for kids and teachers, and organize further events and workshops to let more and more kids learning about organic farming and making healthy food choices.
Demand for organic foods altogether is on the rise in the UAE as consumers are increasingly placing more value on products that are good for their health and the environment, Gulf News reports. Sales of organic packaged food in the UAE reached US$16.3 million (close to €12m) in 2013, according to Euromonitor International. Organic baby food was the most important organic product, sold for US$7 million in 2013; followed by organic sauces, dressings and condiments (US$5.7 million) and organic canned/preserved food, excluding ready meals, soup and pasta (US$2.5 million).
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