New fry shops might be banned as part of the Dutch government’s public health plans
Translated by Thomas Ansell
With obesity one of the major public health concerns of the 21st century (along with malnutrition), the Dutch council for Public Health and Society has recommended that cities and municipalities up and down the Netherlands stop any further ‘snack bars’ from opening. As reported by the Omrop Fryslân.
Dutch snack bars are well-known for their long opening hours, quick service times, and the fact that almost everything on the menu is invariably deep fried. They are, however, a fixture of most Dutch high streets, and snack bar owners’ response to the council’s recommendation is that a ‘patatje’ is part of Dutch culture.
Sneek, for instance, has a large number of snack bars and other deep-friend vendors and current owners have mixed feelings about the plans: on the one hand it is less competition for them, and on the other they are extremely unhappy that the government might want to try and lower obesity rates and ‘limit freedom’.
“A broodje gezond [literally: ‘healthy sandwich’, often not at all] has more calories than a portion of patatje”, says the owner of the Snackbar Mangerie. “The choice of sauce is important. Fritessaus has much less [sugar/fat/calories] than mayonnaise. So I have that instead.”
Dirke Kedde, owner of the De Pôlle snack bar says that the choice to ban further fried outlets would be “bad for people”. Siao Yu, owner of Piranha, says that it would be better to tell people to enjoy their Dutch fried delights in moderation, for example with less sauce or added salt, and that “patat is linked with Dutch identity”. If the snack bars are closed, says Yu, then people would simply fry at home.