I think the hero of the week goes to Martha Payne, who overnight has become an Internet sensation with her blog, ‘Never Seconds’. The blog was set up with the purpose of Martha uploading pictures of her school meals and rating them on various scales including food-o-meter, health, price and even pieces of hair.
Martha’s blog seemed to cause quite a stir with the local council, where they placed a ban on her uploading anymore pictures to the blog as it was deemed misleading. With public outcry at the attempt of censorship on freedom of speech, the decision took a drastic U-turn in 24 hours and now the blog has raised more than £40,000 for the Third World children’s charity.
The frustrating thing is that the council and the school know that the food they are serving is rubbish but yet they choose to ignore the fact. This attitude is doing nothing beneficial for educating society’s next generation on nutrition and how to eat well. The failed attempt at censorship simply shows they know exactly what they are serving up but doing nothing about it themselves. Could you imagine an attempt at censoring a food critics views? This is exactly what Martha is doing but just not in a restaurant.
These school meals pictured show what you may call food (I don’t) and are nothing more than sugar and processed carbohydrate. It’s food like this that has been linked to teenage obesity. I would love to know what is stopping councils providing children in schools with adequate nutrition at mealtimes?
Jamie Oliver has showed that it is more than possible to implement this in schools within a budget but yet it has not been rolled out significantly. I can’t talk for every council, as I’m sure they vary, but would council workers be happy if they received what Martha does every day for lunch? For example, Southwark council offices in London have the most nutritious subsidised canteen with more healthy options than not, so what really frustrates me is that it cannot be rolled out across the board.
We are living in a world where disease resulting from poor nutrition is prominent. Surely giving children the best knowledge of food choices and nutritional knowledge should be at the forefront to stop the disease epidemic in it’s tracks. Instead I have to sigh every time I walk past a bus stop at school kicking out time to see a line of children all eating fried chicken from a box. Perhaps a healthy lunch followed by a healthy snack prior to school kicking out would curb this.
With Martha causing such panic single handily, I wonder if some cogs will begin to turn but then again this is the optimistic self. I suspect the sad fact may be things will be back to normal on Monday.