It has been re-affirmed by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) that the mid-day meals prepared by Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF), which do not include onion and garlic as per sattvic religious guidelines, comply with the nutritional criteria set by the Karnataka government, reports The Hindu.
The APF prepares mid-day meals for 2,814 government schools in Karnataka but has been in the eye of a storm following claims that food prepared for school children by the organisation did not meet nutritional norms.
In January 2019, following objections to APF’s mid-day meals by the Karnataka State Food Commission and some activists, the state government requested testing of the nutritional content, taste, variety and other aspects of the meals by the NIN.
Maintaining that it had tested micronutrients as well as macronutrients of AFP food, the NIN stood by its report certifying that the meals were compliant with state norms. The institute says that it had scientifically tested the food using computational methods.
The reply from the NIN came after a group of 94 experts from a number of different organisations such as IIM Bangalore, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, among others, signed a letter alleging that the findings were not the result of a ‘systematic scientific study’.