Our FUSILLI city Oslo recently experienced a national media storm about the meatballs in their local nursing homes: the central kitchen, which delivers dinner to all 26 public nursing homes in Oslo, decided to add 20 % beans to their traditional meatball recipe (next to some other traditionally used non-meaty ingredients such as flour, eggs, potatoes, etc.) in order to make them healthier and also, to reduce climate impact.

The recipe was of course approved by a nutritionist beforehand and in line with the city’s overall political goals for more sustainable food. For example, Oslo has undertaken to reduce meat consumption and pursue a food policy in line with the “planetary health diet” by 2030 together with cities like New York, Tokyo, London, or Stockholm. To reach this, part of the plan is to halve meat consumption at the municipality of Oslo canteens and institutions by the end of 2023.

Nevertheless, the small addition of healthy beans caused the political opposition to create a media storm, demanding that “this unethical experiment using elderly as guinea pigs” must end immediately. The City Hall rejects all complaints, stating that it is good for people’s health and good for our climate, and is being supported by the Nutrition Association, which believes that the new meatballs are no cause for concern. Arguments of the opposition are that it is a big bluff to say that the nursing homes in Oslo will contribute to halving meat consumption, emphasizing that it is not the elderly that should now be responsible for saving the climate.

Read more (in Norwegian) about this “beany outcry”, with views from both sides, at:


Picture: Robert Steen, the Vice Mayor for Health, Ageing and Municipal Services (Credits: Robert Steen, Oslo Kommune; Meatballs, Unsplash)