9-Year-Old Shames School Into Healthier Food With Blog About Its Lacking Lunches

Here at Consumerist, we know a little something about publicly shaming big, bad companies into doing right by customers. But apparently, it works on other levels as well — say, a 9-year-old girl blogging about her terrible lunches at her school in Scotland.

Martha wasn’t too happy with her grody lunches that were unsatisfying and not so big on the healthy food. So what did she do? She started to blog about them, complete with pictures and a quick rundown of the meal’s important bits, notes Grist.org.

For example, on a day with a picture of pizza, some kind of croquet and a muffin:

Food-o-meter- 6/10

Mouthfuls- forgot to count but not enough!

Courses- main/dessert

Health Rating- 4/10

Price- £2

Pieces of hair- 0!

Underneath, she adds a telling anecdote about how satisfying her lunches were: “The good thing about this blog is Dad understands why I am hungry when I get home. Today he made a Banana Loaf, shame I don’t like bananas, see I am not perfect!”

After only a few posts, Martha’s blog had gone viral, gaining not only the attention of other schoolchildren worldwide, who are sending in pictures of their own school lunches, but from the school council. It ultimately decided kids could have unlimited fruit, bread and salad after meeting with her dad.

Said Martha about the turn of events:

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.

It only takes a little spark to get a big fire raging, right? We applaud you and your crusade for a healthy, satisfying meal, young Martha!

NeverSeconds [NeverSeconds]

Comments

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  1. LabanDenter says:

    Someone is about to be the most hated kid in school.

    “For the first time ever I have seen at lunch cherry tomatoes, radishes, carrot and cucumber shredding”

    Martha sounds like a typical know it all kid. Earth to 9 year old, your 9.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Earth to the rest of the first world: Your children are getting too fucking fat.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I’ve seen some dumb comments in my time, but yours might just take the cake.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Is it carrot cake?

      • HoJu says:

        Which will no longer be served at Marthas school… because it’s unhealthy.

      • LabanDenter says:

        I know addressing the issues is hard for you. You’d rather just attack people.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Meaningless comment is meaningless?

          Care to explain that a little better?

          What issue could you be referring to? Could it be the issue of unhealthy lunches at schools? I don’t need to tackle that one, the 9-year-old did it for me.

    • OSAM says:

      Belittling 9-year olds loses its impact when you get your “your/you’re” wrong.

    • Coffee says:

      Did you look at the pictures in her blog? Not only were the lunches shit, but there was very little nutrient value in them and the portions were extremely small. Calling her a know-it-all because she wanted to change that? Way to discourage a young kid from having an opinion and doing something positive.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      My kid loves carrots and cucumbers, although isn’t crazy about plain tomatoes and won’t eat radishes. Most kids will make good choices when given the chance, especially if they have adults who make good choices and give the kid some guidance. (e.g. “No, you can’t have chips for snack. Would you like an apple or some carrots?” Usually they’ll ask for carrots or an apple themselves after a couple of times.)

      • JennQPublic says:

        Also, they will never make good food choices if there’s never good food around to choose.

        Kudos to this girl for speaking up in a positive and creative way.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Remember what this girl has to deal with in her daily life – ridiculous things like the metric system and pounds, shillings and pence.

    • Hibyeman says:

      BURN THE OP AT THE STAKE that food looks better then the us kind and it looks like shit

    • Quirk Sugarplum says:

      Agreed! This sort of privileged attitude is what happens when you take kids out of the workhouses where they damn well EARN their occasional cup of cold gruel and are thankful for it. Thank God there are right-minded people like you left in the world who don’t buy into the scams of so-called malnutrition and self-empowerment. Huzzah!

    • PunditGuy says:

      Your 9 what?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I think you’re just jealous a 9-year-old has done something more meaningful in their life than everything you’ve done so far put together.

      Don’t be jealous of a 9-year-old. That’s just sad.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        My 9 year old loves to make fun of the school lunch pizza. He LOVES pizza. He just doesn’t have any tolerance for BAD pizza.

        A taste for cruciferous vegetables is not mutually exclusive with a taste for good pizza or burgers.

    • suez says:

      Right, she should be like most Americans today and reject those “healthy” foods for good old Freedom fries and pizza (a solid vegatable!) and be happy about it. What is she, a Communist?!

    • aleck says:

      Earth to LabanDenter. You need to ask that 9 year old how to spell right.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    I’m less surprised about this issue and more surprised that “grody” is actually a “word.”

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=grody

    • Cat says:

      Totally. Gag me with a spoon.

    • Martha Gail says:

      I always thought it was “grotty.” In A Hard Day’s Night when George is doing a survey for that teen clothing line, he says grotty and when the man asks what he means, he says, “you know, grotesque.”

  3. Cat says:

    And as soon as little Martha stops being a thorn in the council’s side and all the attention has faded… Same as it ever was.

    In the meantime, Haggis for everyone!

  4. deathbecomesme says:

    HBO has a show about this. Was watching it last night. Makes me want to bust out my old walking shoes and get going just for the sake of my future young ones.

  5. caradrake says:

    Some of those lunches do seem very, very lacking. I’m glad they are allowing unlimited fruits and salads. That’s a great change – especially as it sounds like their salads are more than shredded iceberg lettuce with red cabbage and carrots.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I agree. I like the idea of the salad. I wish my school would have done that. Although it was nice to have milkshakes on the snack bar.

  6. Schildkrote says:

    If she did this in an American school the board would quickly find a way to expel her. I’m sure it could be spun as “cyberbullying” somehow. Homeschool ahoy for young Martha.

    • evilpete says:

      Agreed

      • Plasmafox says:

        My country’s schools are far too poorly funded to have time for that kind of vindictiveness. Or teaching.

        Kids are fat because their parents teach them to be fat. It’s not like these precious snowflakes are getting a healthy diet at home and the big, bad schools are forcing them to eat shovelfuls of lard until they turn into landwhales anyway.

  7. Cat says:

    I’m actually surprised by how few posts it took for her to get some action – her fist post is from April 30!

    And damn, those pictures of Asian school lunches look good! No wonder they trash American kids in academics. Its hard to think if you’re eating a just few mouthfuls of faux food for lunch.

    • CubeRat says:

      I so agree with you. It’s only 9:30a and the pictures made me hungry – I wish I had those options for lunch!! Too bad the food options here are so bad – bad enough that the vending machines have the best food. (I forgot my lunch at home)

    • theotherwhitemeet says:

      Not only how fast the story got picked up but how fast things change lead me to believe this is just some PR stunt.

      • RedOryx says:

        In one of her posts she said “Even bigger news my dad got a tweet from Jamie Oliver!”

        I’m thinking maybe her dad has some connections and is the one getting the word out.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          Why? Because a celebrity chef known for pushing healthier school lunches reached out out of nowhere to contact them when he learned of the blog via a medium where no one needs to know you to communicate with you?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Agreed, those asian meals look amazing, and healthy. This bottom-dollar country is really sad sometimes.

  8. Hi_Hello says:

    i look at the food before the changes, they look awesome!!!

    there’s teacher who did this, ate school lunch and blog about it.

    I love school lunches, I don’t care how ‘bad’ it was for you.

  9. Budala says:

    How I hate people who want to push their lifestyle onto others. Let me have my freedom, that food may fit me just perfectly. Don’t like it then don’t but it, bring healthy food from home. Once a business figure out that the stuff they are selling is not being bought then they will switch products. I don’t see VHS players or tube tv’s in stores either anymore.

    (I bet her parents aren’t cooking healthy food either)

    • Coffee says:

      Let you have your freedom? Are you just trolling? Is this Poe’s Law? I can’t tell. I sure hope so. If not, Jesus, you’re thick.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Why are you talking about a SCHOOL lunch like it is a restaurant?

      This is paid for through taxes, and tax payers want their children eating healthy.

      • OutPastPluto says:

        It’s an elementary school. The core academic mission of the school should not end at the cafeteria door. The same things these students might be taught in health class should be reflected in the kitchen. They are not adults yet. The menu should reflect the fact that the school is acting “en loco parentis”.

        Lunch should be a lesson like any other in any other room in the building.

        It should also not do the children harm.

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      How I hate people who want to push their lifestyle onto others. Let her have her freedom, that food may fit lots of kids just perfectly. Don’t like it then don’t but it, bring junk food from home. Once a business figure out that the stuff they are selling is not being bought then they will bribe the school board. I don’t see VHS players or tube tv’s in stores either anymore.

      (I bet her parents aren’t ordering fast food every night either)

      FTFY

    • Cat says:

      This is not a business, it’s a public school. And they aren’t “little people” they are growing children.

      If you, as an adult, want to eat small portions of crap, that’s your choice.

  10. RedOryx says:

    I think this is my new favorite blog.

  11. Outrun1986 says:

    I feel her pain, my high school went from nearly home-cooked lunches, the cafeteria actually made food including home made pizza which was very good and students clamored for it, for a very cheap price to slap a frozen piece of pizza on the student’s tray and give them a pinch of salad with watered down dressing… I had to make lunch for a few friends for a long time… fortunately the change was midway through senior year and I was out of there before the food got even worse.

    • tooluser says:

      I survived high school on nothing but cream soda and bagels.

      Oh, and a sandwich with a live roach trapped inside.

  12. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    It ultimately decided kids could have unlimited fruit, bread and salad after meeting with her dad.

    That would not have gone over well at my schools, but back then you could bring peanut butter sandwiches to school.

  13. sirwired says:

    “For example, on a day with a picture of pizza, some kind of croquet and a muffin:”

    What, exactly, is a “croquet”? I know it’s a lawn game, but that’s certainly not lunch-related.

  14. dush says:

    Unlimited bread doesn’t sound like a healthy option for young children.

    • Doubting thomas says:

      Why not? Bread has been the staple food of human beings since before the Egyptians built the pyramids.
      Only in the modern world where we are too lazy to burn off the calories we eat have carbs been viewed as a bad thing.

      • dush says:

        Giving a kid unlimited of any kind of food is just not a good idea.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Then why did you say specifically bread in the first place? Unless you specifically meant bread and are now backtracking.

          • dush says:

            I would surmise kids will go back and eat all the bread they can over eating all the salad they can. Maybe I’m wrong and they’ll go back after unlimited fruit.
            So I take it you think that offering young kids unlimited food is fine. To each his own I guess but providing children with boundaries is generally the best way to go whether it’s food or something else.

            • Conformist138 says:

              Unless these are kids that have been starved throughout their lives, I doubt many are going to gorge on bread to a truly harmful extent. After all, it is only a 30-40 minute lunch time and there are lines to deal with. A kid could only manage to do so much “damage” with bread in that time.

              • dush says:

                I don’t discount that. It just seems irresponsible to have it be unlimited.
                If they don’t actually mean unlimited then why say that? Probably just a stupid PR move.

      • Nikephoros says:

        If you compare the skeletons of our hunter-gatherer ancestors compared to our ancient farming ancestors after agriculture was invented, it is pretty clear that farmed grain was an health disaster. The hunter gatherers rarely had cavities, and had few signs of endemic malnourishment/stunted growth. The early agriculturalists were significantly shorter and had very few teeth left by late adulthood.

        The only upside to mass cultivation of grains was it could support a huge population in a relatively small space. Then again, a lot of humans living in small spaces for the first time was a public health disaster in its own right due to creation of pandemic disease.

  15. scurvycapn says:

    What is up with those trays? Silverware in the middle and the second largest space is reserved for a dessert? Why do they need dessert? It’s lunch. You don’t even need dessert after dinner.

    Whatever happened to rectangular trays where every item got its own space to chill out without intermingling with the rest?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      It’s just standardized trays. But I agree it makes sense on some of those trays where all the main food is just tossed together in a single section, but then the dessert takes up the largest space all alone.

      But the main dishes in the two largest sections, then the dessert in a small compartment.

      Those pictures of asian food is amazing, and every compartment is filled perfectly.

      • tooluser says:

        They need a focus group to optimize the food placement based on the six relative dimensions of food geography: size, color, shape, texture, taste, and jocularity.

        1) Arrange platter by size of portion and/or individual piece ratio to provide a comforting decrease in relative area taken according to the Fibonacci series.
        2) Colors shall be laid out by hue and brightness so as to most closely mirror the natural surroundings. (e.g. gray food in front on cloudy days, bright food in front on sunny days.)
        3) Shapes of foods shall be harmonious with spiritual well-being based on an amalgam of multicultural indicators (Ref: S. Dinny, K. Monghammer, Journal of Geometric Nutrition, 1983). Each child’s plate shall be carefully arranged to satisfy their cultural heritage needs.
        4) Why are you reading this???

  16. eezy-peezy says:

    At 9 she writes better than most online commenters.

  17. Kuri says:

    Try this in an American school and you can find yourself expelled.

  18. Starfury says:

    My kids don’t eat school food often; the quality isn’t very good and it’s not that hard to make them a sandwich to take.

  19. Lisa W says:

    Say what you want, but I think it’s awesome that a 9 year old has a blog and that people actually read it. ;-)

  20. Emily says:

    I’m surprised it’s a Scottish kid doing this. I actually love haggis and other Scottish staples, but light their food is not.

  21. Levk says:

    Man they have better lunches then what I had when I went to school.. that is sad

  22. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    I thought Martha was generous to give this lunch “6/10″ on the foodometer.

  23. Plasmafox says:

    I’m thinking this was probably entirely orchestrated by her mother on behalf of some left wing organization whose name we will learn in the update.