9-Year-Old Food Blogger Should Inspire Parents To Take A Closer Look At School Lunches

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I’m not sure how I missed the awesome story of Martha Payne and her food blog Never Seconds, but apparently I lost consciousness sometime in April. That’s when this 9-year-old little girl started getting attention for chronicling her school lunches. She analyzed the meals in a way only kids can. She looked at “a “food-o-meter” rating, a health rating, how much the meal cost, how many mouthfuls it took for her to eat it, and how many pieces of hair had slipped into her meal that day,” as well as a picture of each lunch. Oh and can we say, total grossness on the hair count.

Not at all surprisingly, the school lunch provider didn’t appreciate being called out by one of their students. Especially not after that student got recognition from the likes of Jamie Oliver, noted health crusader. So the school banned Martha from taking pictures of her daily lunches. They explained, “The council has directly avoided any criticism of anyone involved in the ‘never seconds’ blog…however this escalation means we had to act to protect staff from the distress and harm it was causing,” said a representative of the council. The council also expressed concern that the lunches on Payne’s blog only “represent a fraction of the choices available to pupils.”

That’s classy guys, accuse the 9-year-old of giving an unfair portrayal instead of addressing the obvious nutrition issues with the food their serving hundreds of  kids.

The good news is that thanks to a little internet backlash, the council was forced to end their ban and allow Martha to continue documenting her meals. Not only that, the press and media surrounding the controversy has helped this impressive young lady raise over $30,000 to donate to Mary’s Meals, a program that strives to alleviate hunger and poverty in schools around the world.

Yay! Happy ending, right?

Well yes, it is. But you know what would make it even better? If parents began to pay attention to Martha’s cause. If they noticed the seriously troubling nutritional options that she was documenting.

A couple months ago, parents were outraged about the use of “pink slime” beef in their local school districts. And yet, once the grotesque-sounding meat product was adequately vilified, we went right back to ignoring the health standards enforced in public schools. We picked up on a trend, complained a little on Facebook, and then conveniently erased all thought of nutrition at schools from our memory.

We should be applauding intelligent and strong young ladies like Martha Payne. But we should also be paying attention to the serious food issues she’s exposing. It shouldn’t take another media controversy to get us discussing what our children are eating for lunch every day.

(Photo: NeverSeconds)