Do you want to know what some kids are being served at school everyday? Nine-year-old Martha Payne of western Scotland will tell you. In fact, she was posting pictures on her blog for months showing just what primary school kids were being fed every day, and then being expected to perform academically. She reached a million viewers on her blog, but politicians silenced her.
Ms. Payne even had the attention of celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver. But after being called out of class, she was forbidden to take any more pictures of her school lunches, a move largely influenced by politicians in Scotland. After an outpouring of anger over the decision, school officials, including the education minister and the local council, changed their minds, reversing their ban on Ms. Payne’s postings.
Her blog, Never Seconds, shows what school kids are being fed around the world – from the US, to the UK, Vietnam to China.
Her brave attempt to bring light to the poor quality of food that is being served to our nation’s children should be applauded – not silenced.
According to Ms. Q, a grade-school teacher, our kids are served primarily, “Deep-fried popcorn chicken, tiny taters, bread, barbecue sauce, ketchup, milk. That high-fat, high-sodium, low-fiber menu is a typical lunch at a typical American elementary school.” Most school lunches are also full of genetically modified ingredients.
How can we expect our children to perform on tests, learn anything of value, or even modify their behavior when we feed them such crappy food?
As Jeffrey Smith has reported:
“Before the Appleton Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria’s processed foods with wholesome, nutritious food, the school was described as out-of-control. There were weapons violations, student disruptions, and a cop on duty full-time. After the change in school meals, the students were calm, focused, and orderly. There were no more weapons violations, and no suicides, expulsions, dropouts, or drug violations. The new diet and improved behavior has lasted for seven years, and now other schools are changing their meal programs with similar results.”
There is a better way. Programs like the Organic School Project not only feeds kids healthful, organic, non-GMO foods, but also teaches them how to grow food using sustainable gardening methods. Models like this one can be implemented even in urban settings where there is little access to green space. Our children deserve better, don’t they?