When children are in school they have many hours of learning to do and since one of the foundations of being able to learn well is being properly nourished, you would think that schools would go out of their way to make sure that the brain food they feed to their students would be nothing but goodness. We know, unfortunately, that the brave battles being fought by such heroes as Jamie Oliver that this is not the case.

When schools serve garbage on a tray and call it food it sometimes takes an exposé to bring awareness and with any luck help effect change. In the case of school student Martha Payne, it came in the form of a blog called Never Seconds in which she documented through photograph and detailed description that which was being served at her school and if it had any right to be called food. On May 30th, for example, she documents the hot dog, sweet corn, and croquettes that were served and rates it at 8/10 on the health scale. On the 24th, on the other hand, the food rated a mere four.

Over the course of the blog, some changes were implemented in her school and since we know well that there is no such thing as coincidence, we realize that the school suddenly announcing that students are free to take as much salad as they like are a direct result of Martha’s blog.

The problem came on the morning of the 14th of June when Martha was taken out of class and informed that she was no longer permitted to take photographs of the food that was being served due to an article that was written in the local newspaper about the school. It seems that the ban on photographs was a decision that was handed down from the local council and it immediately prompted an outcry from many of the fans of blog as well as people who learned of the censorship of the blog through subsequent articles that were written about the ban.

Quite fortunately, the council changed gears within a day of the outcry and lifted the ban. We are quite grateful that cooler heads prevailed, but it certainly speaks of dark times when a school girl is censored by the local council for trying to bring better nutrition to her schoolmates.

If you have a school aged child, have you asked them what they are being fed on a regular basis? It may be worth inquiring and perhaps, in the spirit of Martha Payne, starting your own blog to bring change to the purveyors of nutrition — or malnutrition.


  1. My heart recoiled at what was being served in the name of ‘food’ when my children were school age (early to mid 2000’s) – and since then, I too have learned there IS no such thing as coincidence, (will follow up on the coincidence posting here in a bit)
    There has been some push to increase the ‘health quotient’ for student meals here in Tulsa, and surrounding areas. I’ve been impressed. I can’t say there was a blog behind it though, but here as well as anywhere, there’s always the health police. Sometimes good, sometimes less than desireable, and in this case I was glad someone spoke up and things have changed for the better because of it.

      1. Ok, one has to understand my background – I was raised a vegetarian, and a very healthy induhvidual indeed 🙂 but the grease laden pepperoni pizzas, the deep fried ‘chicken nuggets’, butter laden powdered mashed potatoes, bacon covered green beans and chocolate milk (really? more sugar??) Everything about it was wrong for a learning environment.

        1. Sounds like a perfect toxic mix! If that were being served at Chaim’s school in the future (sans the pepperoni on the pizza, naturally) I would make sure to pack him a bento box instead!

          1. Well (hanging head in shame) I KNEW I shouldn’t let my kids eat that in the first place…. but I was going through a ‘phase’ – thankfully that has been lifted! 🙂
            On another note: I was musing out loud to my husband this weekend. We have decided it’s a good thing we don’t have kids Chaim’s age now, we’d be incorrigible! I see things for what they are now…… I think I’d have to move to a kibbutz, and I couldn’t get there fast enough. 🙂

          2. Train up a child……. Something always rings in the back of mind about that. I always KNEW I’d prove Shlomo wrong…… but here I am.
            I can tell your doing your East Coast best with him. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed. 🙂

  2. It’s good to see the young blogger in question has the support of her father. I’m sure that means more to her than the thousands of comments of support.

  3. My mother always narrowed it down to the first TWO years of life is when the Character is formed. No Pressure.

Comments are closed.