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Access Denied-You can no longer order at this address: New Food Regulations!

Big changes hit GZAAT recently, thanks to a surprise move by the Georgian Ministry of Education. Starting December 4th, junk food is no longer allowed – no sweet juices or snacks, and even the vending machine is now inactive. The school's atmosphere has changed. Students used to grab snacks between classes, but now they're left disappointed. Opinions vary on the severity of the ban, with some feeling it limits choices. Although the intention is to promote healthier eating habits among students, the policy has sparked a subtle rebellion within the school.

To depict why students are unhappy, a list of the foods that aren’t permitted to be sold is provided below: 

  • Chewing gum, candy, chocolate, discretionary food (chips, gummy bears, etc.);

  • Nuts, fruits, or vegetables that are processed with salt, sugar, or fat.;

  • Mayonnaise;

  • Canned products;

  • Mushrooms;

  • Sweet carbonated drinks;

  • Coffee.

The National Food Agency announced at the beginning of October that 9 students in the school of Savani village of Sachkhere municipality got food poisoning, which was caused by a cake bought in the school buffet. A microbiological study conducted by the agency showed that in the donuts that were sold at the school, the amount of mold fungi was significantly higher than the permissible limit. This was the catalyst which led to such measures being taken. 

Eka Tatishvili, a member of the administration, has expressed her opinions on the subject matter: 

Interviewer: What do you think about this regulation? 

Interviewee: This regulation needed to be carried out. The vending machine's contents were all very harmful to your health. It is unhealthy that students order fast food like McDonald's and Shaurmas every morning. We will be assembling a group of individuals, including a member of the administration, members of the parents committee, and a few students. According to the Ministry, they will be keeping an eye on the school cafeteria. 

Moreover, one of the students was asked for their opinion: 

Interviewee: I have never been a huge fan of cafeteria food, but on the rare occasions that I would eat, it was usually toast, fries, or something from the vending machine. It is a shame that the vending machine had to be removed since it was so comfortable for a quick snack. I always have a craving for sweet things for a quick energy boost. There should be some kind of an alternative for all the sweets that were taken away. I would suggest introducing organic fruit punches instead of the FuseTea. I hope our requests will be taken into consideration. 

The cafeteria manager was then asked for his opinion on the topic. 

The cafeteria managerhappy as ever to see GZAAT students with healthy diets!😋

Interviewer: How have you been managing the cafeteria's food preparation process after the regulations?

Interviewee: We switched to baking products. We don't fry anything anymore. Mexican fries have replaced french fries since they are prepared in the oven.

Interviewer: How long have you been working here? Have the parents ever protested junk food in the school before this new regulation?

Interviewee: I have been working here for a long time, even before Covid 19. In several cases, the parents have requested that all junk food be removed. This happened prior to the virus. For a while, we didn't have junk food. However, after some time, students began to protest, so we decided to bring it back. Since the government, not the school, created the regulation, we are unable to act the same this time.

Interviewer: Students are complaining about the prices of food in the cafeteria. Are you planning on decreasing the prices anytime soon?

Interviewee: All of the products we use are expensive and of the highest quality. Therefore, if we lower the price of the food, the quality must likewise decrease. That is not something we can do. Cheap bread, cheese, ham, or anything else is not acceptable for us. This will lower the nutritional value of the food while making it unhealthy. 

The only sweets that can be found in the entire school! 🍫🚫

The Ministry of Education is taking care of the students’ health, and while many seem unsatisfied, this decision is for the best. Hopefully these changes will soon become norms and everyone will be happy, realizing the benefits and importance of eating healthy food throughout the school day. 

Edited by: Natalie Gordadze

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