Kärtner Kasnudeln - a delicious and vegetarian cultural good. Copyright by Fachberufsschule St. Veit an der Glan.

New school cafeteria - smart and sustainability

"It is important to me to show the young people that healthy snacks and meals also taste good," emphasizes Natalija Odobasic, head of the new cafeteria at the vocational school in St. Veit an der Glan, Carinthia.

And she is successful with her mission. In the cafeteria kitchen, she cooks according to the criteria of the Austrian Ecolabel for Schools, which the school has held since 2021. Healthy, climate-friendly nutrition is therefore a top priority at the vocational school!

Future only with sustainability. Sustainability generally plays an important role at the vocational school in St. Veit an der Glan in Carinthia. Therefore, the entire pedagogical team was also very pleased about the certification of the school with the Austrian Ecolabel: "We do not know the questions of the future, but one thing we know for sure: There can be no future without sustainability. That is why we live sustainability. As a visible sign of this, our school proudly carries the Austrian Ecolabel as an independent seal of approval for the environment and quality." The way to the state award has been documented by students and teachers in a very successful video.

New school cafeteria. One of the main focuses at the school is the nutrition of the apprentices according to the criteria of the Austrian Ecolabel. Thus, a new cafeteria was also installed at the school, which started in September 2021. We spoke to DI Helmut Birnbaumer about this. He is a teacher at the vocational school and is also responsible for activities and projects at the school within the framework of the Austrian Ecolabel.

All involved. "The electrical installation work in the school cafeteria was carried out by the electrical engineering apprentices in accordance with the specifications for the cafeteria equipment. And the office management and administrative assistant apprentices conducted surveys on menus and beverages, taking into account the Austrian Ecolabel guidelines," DI Birnbaumer tells us. Many apprentices were thus able to contribute their wishes and ideas. "Currently, the cafeteria is cooking for the day students. From the next school year, an expansion to the boarding school is planned."

Food distribution - The food is prepared individually for each person. Copyright by Fachberufsschule St. Veit an der Glan.

Meal time, common. Can the students individually determine the portions when food is served in the school cafeteria? DI Birnbaumer says: "Yes, they can say whether they want more or less. The food is prepared individually for each person. For example, the side dish can be omitted. But requests such as for more salad or less meat are also gladly taken into account." Nice effect of this: "There is virtually no leftover food. The plates are eaten empty. Food leftovers are mainly created during the cooking process and properly go into the organic waste garbage can."

Vegetable pan. Copyright by Fachberufsschule St. Veit an der Glan.

Regional organic products. Mainly local organic products are used to prepare the food? "Yes. When possible, we buy regional organic products. We are very fortunate to have some small suppliers from the region supplying us." Who determines the menu? "The cafeteria manager, but she always listens to the requests of students and teachers."

How are the vegetarian dishes received by the apprentices? "That is not so easy to answer, because the demand for vegetarian dishes depends on the year of apprenticeship, gender and apprenticeship profession. However, it can be said as a tendency that boys in skilled trades tend to choose meat dishes, and girls in commercial trades tend to choose vegetarian dishes."

Water carafes with vegetables. Copyright by Fachberufsschule St. Veit an der Glan.

Water. Apprentices can drink homemade juices without added sugar with their meals in the cafeteria: "Infused water is very popular, especially in the summer. No wonder: it tastes very good and also looks very attractive," says DI Helmut Birnbaumer happily. Water bottles are available for the apprentices in the classrooms themselves. DI Birnbaumer comments: "Sponsors were found for these important water bottles. There are also plans to provide the students with an attractive water fountain in the future."

A round thing. All in all, it's a well-rounded affair: the students like it. In addition, they learn how to handle food properly and mindfully. And they also "experience" healthy nutrition! We can only wish all the students at the vocational school in St. Veit an der Glan "Bon appétit!