Nine-year-old’s lunch blog shames school into making changes

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by Dizzy, May 29, 2012.

  1. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Nine-year-old’s lunch blog shames school into making changes

    http://grist.org/list/nine-year-olds-lunch-blog-shames-school-into-making-changes/

    Martha Payne had some sad-ass lunches at her school in Scotland —unsatisfying food that sometimes had more hair than vegetables. So the 9-year-old decided to start a blog with photos and vital statistics about her meals. Almost immediately, the blog got international attention, including from prominent school lunch busybody Jamie Oliver. Result?Martha’s dad just met with the local council,and it announced that kids could have unlimited salad, fruit, and bread.

    For each of her lunches, Martha rated taste, healthiness, and pieces of hair (usually zero but not always). But she only managed five ratings before the media attention started making the school self-conscious:

    Today was very different at lunchtime. Dad had already told me beforehand that some people from the Council were coming to lunch with a reporter from our local paper. There was also a new system for ordering food which I’ll explain when I understand it more. I didn’t see the visitors having lunch but I saw them hovering about and watching us getting served.

    For the first time ever I have seen at lunch cherry tomatoes, radishes, carrot and cucumber shreddings.

    You can see vegetables getting more prominent on Martha’s plate over the course of the blog. Here’s her lunch from the day when the council officially announced unlimited fruits and vegetables:

    Health rating 9/10, bitchezzz!

    In the U.S., people mainly worry that schoolkids eat too much lunch, not too little. But there are really a lot of intersecting issues —quantity, quality, even efficiency (my sense from the blog is that Martha is getting rushed through the lunch queue assembly-line-style, with little chance to choose her food). Schools do a lot of ugly calculations, weighing kids’ health against cost and expediency. But apparently, making that public is sometimes all it takes to force a change.

    I hope Martha enjoys her unlimited salads (and her brownie, which she said was “better than Dad’sâ€). And I hope the school council enjoys the taste of crow.
     
  2. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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  3. AussieAshley

    AussieAshley love herds

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    I really enjoyed her blog, I even bookmarked it for later. I think the quality rather than the quantity of food is the issue in most schools.
     
  4. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I never read blogs, but I read every post on hers.
     
  5. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    Is it just me or is that an exceptionally short blog? It's clever either way. ^.^
     
  6. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I think it's very new!
     
  7. ACooper

    ACooper Moderator

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    I think it's very good the school responded and did something better instead of getting angry and attempting punishment on the girl. Well done Martha :)

    Not a new concept by far, I've read school lunch blogs before.......they don't all get attention and/or action though!, LOL
     
  8. GipsyQueen

    GipsyQueen Active Member

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    Thats pretty cool!

    I remember my grade school lunches - and how unhealthy the were. (Foot-long hotdog, pizza, pb&j)
     
  9. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    Hey lunches look amazing compared to the school lunches I had growing up :eek:
     
  10. MinPinOwner

    MinPinOwner Member

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    growing up I only ate school lunches on Fridays which was Pizza day. Other than that I hated the school lunches in elementary and middle school. In High school they had normal school lunches and ones that were from local restaurants. I loved those lunches. I got Pizza that was from a local pizzeria.
     
  11. Cali Mae

    Cali Mae Little dog, big voice

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    Can I just make a comment about how good her grammar is compared to the grammar of nine year olds around here? haha. Also, it's great that her blog motivated the school to make such positive changes. :)
     
  12. Miakoda

    Miakoda New Member

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    Cole's school lunches were something out off the SciFi channel. You can proclaim "HEALTHY!" all you want, but when I see my son look down at his plate in confusion and exasperation, then we have a problem.

    I've been to Cole's school on several occasions, and here are the lunches I witnessed:
    -chicken tacos - because chicken is healthier than beef (cheaper too). however, when Cole and a classmate both asked me "Why is the meat grey?", and I saw that it was indeed a greyish color, then I wanted to go vomit. very few kids ate it.

    -chicken/turkey/?? salad - no more sandwiches for these fat children (bread has too many carbs!). let's give them a teeny cup full of a pinkish mixture containing chunks, a pickle, and three packs of crackers and call it a healthy meal. I still haven't figured out why the goop, I mean chicken/turkey salad, was pink, or why it had tiny unidentifiable chunks in it, but I would say that this meal would've helped our country moreso than waterboarding.

    -pizza - well, at least they get spoiled every now and then. or not. this meal was a piece of what looked to be a palm-sized (of a 5-yr-old child) portion of pita-ish bread, with a teeny bit of cheese, with chunks of tomatoe on it. it was disturbing to look at, but several kids did eat it. unfortunately, in an effort to combat childhood obesity, the serving size was appropriate for a 9-month-old baby....not an elementary aged child. then they had two baby carrot sticks, 1 broccoli flouret, and some sort of healthy cookie, which happened to be hard enough to drop from a fighter jet and at least take out a few people.

    I could go on. I understand the need for healthy lunches, but IMO, the schools down here have taken it to some sort of gross extreme. The food looks terrible, and it tastes even worse. The portion sizes are perfect for toddler, but the 10-yr-old 5th grader wouldn't get full. And it is doing no one any good when one realizes just how many children are throwing their entire plate of food-untouched-in the trash at the end of lunchtime.

    Keeping my kids at healthy weight is MY job, not the school's. I'd much rather them give my boys a jelley sandwich (all schools are nut-free facilities nowadays, and your child will be treated like a hardened felon should he show up with peanut butter or cashew butter on whole wheat bread), than give my son unidentifiable crap that just ends up in a trash can. Then I'm stuck with a hungry child all the while my tax dollars just got carried out to the dumpster out back.
     
  13. Kimbers

    Kimbers New Member

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    There's so much wrong with DPS.
    "Healthy" isn't a thing. I think they serve nachos dripping in four times the cheese a normal person would need nearly every day. It's between that and a greasy burger with fries. Can you imagine anyone eating that day in, day out for two-hundred plus days of the year? It makes me ill just thinking about it...
    And then for the free lunches, it's pizza. Literally every single day. They do give the kids a baggie with five baby carrots or half an orange, but still, seriously?

    I do agree with Miakoda- I'd rather have unhealthy but eaten lunches than "healthy" lunches in the garbage, at the same time, I don't think gray chicken is healthy. lol
    There has to be a balance somewhere in there...
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  14. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    Our high school's hot lunch was generally a couple pieces of pizza, a mountain of french fries, and your choice of ranch or, if you paid an extra $0.25, nacho sauce.

    But we weren't allowed to have sodas anymore because of childhood obesity.
     

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