Monday, May 21, 2012

Nine-year-old takes a stab at Cafeteria Lunches

Martha "VEG" Payne of Argyll, Scotland eats the same way millions of school children do around the world.  Hold out the tray, have the lunch lady plop something on, shove what part of it you like into your mouth, and hand it back. Here's her typical meal.

I can see how you'd get sick of that. Anybody can complain, but Martha decided to do something about it. With the help of her dad, she created a blog (, check it out) to critique her school's meals.
Sample rating: (Not plagarrism, you know exactly where I got it)

If soup is on and some sort of cake and you are having some sort of roll, wrap or sandwich you are allowed to have soup and a cake. The soup today was potato and leek. I really like all the school's soups. My roll was white bread with butter and grated cheese. I am not sure what cheese it is. I had cucumber and lettuce with it. Normally all the cakes are iced but today we had a choice of iced or not. I chose iced!

Food-o-meter- 9/10
Mouthfuls- 29
Courses- starter/main/dessert
Health Rating- 7/10
Price- £2
Pieces of hair- 0

She's been blogging for less than a month, but already her site has gathered 675,00 hits, growing by the second. (Excuse me, what do I have? About 1/300,000th of that? I've been at it for over a year. Jealousy is oozing from my pores right now. How exactly does one go viral?) But what's more-the school council has now granted Martha's school unlimited bread, fruit, and salads.
That's about the level my elementary school lunches were on, only I remember mine being a little bit bigger. But I do live in America, land of mass produced edible factory sludge. At least it comes in large quantities.
Speaking of which, some people are drawing comparisons between Martha and Michelle Obama.
I think I'll draw my own.
Martha: Has to live off this stuff every day, unless she packs a home lunch.
Michelle: Dines at the White House nearly every evening, unless it's ones of those days when she banquets with foreign dignitaries.
Martha:  Wants better, healthier food that will leave her feeling less hungry.
Michelle: Wants everybody else to munch on organic vegetables followed by a round of rigorous jumping jacks. After all, exercise can be fun.
Martha: Takes a picture and jots down some numbers.
Michelle: Shows up at some random cafeteria to smile, wave carrot sticks at the media people, remind the young people of America to take care of their bodies so we don't become fat and useless, and then leaves.

And what's that statistic I keep hearing about how one in every three American teenagers is overweight? It usually comes on over Channel One News, which we watch in homeroom four days a week. Each time I hear that, I glance at my two friends, then at my body, and try to figure out which one of is supposed to be fat. 
I'm five foot one, weighing in at 106 pounds. Scrawny. Tell me it must be my friends, I'll put all of that behind a fist and introduce it to your face. How would you like to be called fat in the name of education?
Lots of girls are small and slim, or tall and slim. But there are nearly as many with rectangular bodies and stomachs that naturally stick out, that's the way they were born. I know very few teenagers I'd consider overweight, and those are the girls who inherited big torsos and more than substantial arms, the ones who have already tried diets, the ones who already tried exercise plans, the ones who refuse class treats. 
The ones eating the exact same lunches as the slim girls.
And what about guys? Guys are supposed to carry around extra weight. If a grown man sees a hefty boy walking around the grocery store, he'll walk up and ask, "You play football, son?"
I don't know how the White House determines fatness, but I suggest they check their scale.
Okay, rant over. Back to Martha, person this post is about. It's nice to see somebody taking a stand. Keep up the good work!

1 comment:

  1. This kid is going to have some life, She's a real Scot. { BLOG }