Here's Why Kids In France Can't Have Ketchup At School

Ah, ketchup, that famous condiment made from tomatoes, with an unmistakable flavor that's both sweet and tangy at the same time. You might be surprised to learn that Ketchup originally came from Asia and had a fishy flavor, but nowadays it's made with a variety of ingredients including allspice, garlic, red wine vinegar, chili peppers, onions, peppercorns, and brown sugar. Although it can be easily made at home, it's never really the same as that store-bought brand that we have become accustomed to.

We love to squeeze a bottle of ketchup over our foods, especially the fast food kinds like burgers, hot dogs, french fries, and chicken tenders. The condiment is a staple in many homes and can be found in nearly all restaurants across the country. Can you imagine your life without ketchup? 

The people of France had no choice back in 2011 when ketchup was somewhat banned in cafeterias. The French government placed a ban on ketchup in grade school and college cafeterias throughout the country, specifically the self-serve condiment stations (via Delish).

The French don't want ketchup ruining their food

According to the Los Angeles Times, ketchup can't be offered with any dish except french fries, or Pommes Frites, as they're called in France. However, in accordance with the ban, cafeterias can only serve french fries once a week. The French agriculture and food minister, Bruno Le Maire, says that France should be an example to the rest of the world regarding food quality and because ketchup is not as nutritious as fruit, vegetables, or dairy products, schools must limit servings.

Moreover, Christophe Hebert, chairman of the National Association of Directors of Collective Restaurants, wants more children learn about traditional French recipes so they can pass them on to the next generations, and banning ketchup is one way to make that happen. Jacques Hazan, president of the Federation of School Pupils' and College Students' Parents Councils, told the Los Angeles Times that children mask the taste of food by adding ketchup to their dishes, and due to the fact that food is very important in France, the ban on ketchup in cafeterias is a solution to that problem. 

Think what you will of this ban in France, but there are some ways that ketchup could be ruining your diet.