In cartoonishly cliche fashion, the French have placed a ban on ketchup in school cafeterias, unless and only unless it is served as an accompaniment that staple of Gallic fine dining, french fries.
"We can't have children eating any old thing," said president of the Federation of School Pupils' and College Students' Parents Councils Jacques Hazan, adding that the ban is a "victory." Officials are apparently so serious about lowering ketchup consumption that parents are even forbidden from packing it in their kids' lunches, and cafeterias are permitted to serve fries no more than once a week.
Of course, the war on ketchup is part of a larger effort to reduce sugar intake and improve the diets of French children, and schools are also being asked to include more fruits and vegetables in their meals. This is all well and good, but if anything's the silver bullet against childhood obesity, it probably isn't delicious, all-American ketchup. Now excuse me while I go spite-smother some escargot in half a dozen packets of Heinz.