The Economics and Nutrition of Soy in School Lunch: Evidence from the Field
June 12th, 2018 | 9:00 - 10:15 AM CDT
The Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) hosted a webinar about its investigations into the nutritional value and financial cost of adding soy to school lunches. School lunch programs are a common strategy for fighting malnutrition in children, but little research has been done about the nutritional value of the lunches served to students.
In collaboration with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), SIL interviewed and observed caterers who cook hundreds of school lunches every day for the Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP) to find out the nutrition students receive from a school lunch in Ghana, and if substituting soy in these recipes would boost the nutrition without raising the cost.
In this webinar, SIL researchers and partners discussed the research findings and their implications for improving school lunches and other institutional feeding programs around the globe.
In conjunction with this study, SIL has designed a Soy in School Lunch Caterer Training, which it piloted at Tamale Technical University with caterers from the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) and Ghana Education Service last fall. The trainings educate school lunch caterers about soy’s nutrition and how their work helps address malnutrition in their home country. It also empowers the caterers with new cooking skills to integrate soy into different dishes, which they can apply to their own region’s cuisine.
Using evidence generated from SIL's field research, this webinar and associated panel of speakers showcased the nutritional and economic value of adding soy to school lunches. Researchers shared details about the soy in school lunch caterer training program, including how governments and development agencies can partner with SIL to bring these types of trainings to their school feeding programs.