Health Ministry to promote traditional foods, limit fast food

January 20, 2018

TEHRAN — The Ministry of Health is planning schemes to encourage consumption of traditional foods and is seriously reconsidering issuance of license for fast food restaurants, Mehr reported on Thursday.

Zahra Abdollahi, director general for the ministry’s nutrition improvement department, said the ministry is implementing schemes to promote consumption of traditional foods as they are being forgotten.  

Over the past two years, in a collective collaboration with nutrition experts in all provinces of Iran various kinds of traditional and local foods were recognized and analyzed regarding their salt, fat, and hydrocarbon content as well as their calories, Abdollahi said, adding, so using the data collected on the traditional foods in addition to some food advices a book titled “Iran’s local food” was published.

“Another measure that we are taking is to convince Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade to reconsider immethodical and irregular issuance of license for fast food restaurants and instead encourage granting license for restaurants serving local and traditional food,” she noted.

One of the reasons as to why people are taking more fast food and junk foods is that fast food restaurants are increasing by leaps and bounds, even the number of fast food restaurants are shooting up in rural areas, she regretted.

If by issuing fast food restaurants license the industry ministry is planning to create more jobs they had better do it by advocating opening restaurants offering local and traditional foods which are healthier, she suggested.

She went on to say that Iranians love traditional and local foods and such foods have higher nutritional values compared to fast food. “They are lower in food contents which increase the risks of non-communicable diseases,” she added.

Iranian fast foods such as kuku sabzi (made with a various vegetables mixed with eggs and fried) and kotlet (meat and potato mixed with eggs cooked in hot oil) are easy to make and can replaces sausage and deli meat, she added.

MQ/MG

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