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Photo Credit: Martha Payne

Thanks to new fan and friend John Evans, I just learned about NeverSeconds, a blog written by a nine-year-old Scottish schoolgirl named Martha Payne (a.k.a. “VEG”) who was tired of her awful school dinners. So Martha decided to photograph her meals, rate them (she counts the number of hairs included at no extra cost), and share them with the world.

A clever kid! But this story gets even better.

Once VEG’s school council got word of the blog, they banned her from taking photographs of her meals. But Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef who has been campaigning for healthier school meals worldwide, launched a social media support crusade via Twitter. After millions of blog hits and public outcry, Roddy McCuish, the leader of the Argyll and Bute Council in West Scotland, lifted the blog ban. McCuish claimed preventing the photos from being posted was a form of censorship. So VEG is online once again.

Not only is she still posting her meals, she’s receiving photos from children and educators around the world. Plus, Martha is raising money for Mary’s Meals, headquartered in Scotland and right here in New Jersey! This non-profit organization’s mission is to feed children in the most impoverished nations.

I have a passion for healthy eating, so I just had to blog about this young girl’s chutzpah! I hope you’ll support her over at NeverSeconds and maybe submit your own school lunch! If she posts your picture, VEG will even tell you how long she took to find your location on the globe. It’s a good food and geography lesson all at once!

So…just for fun…I wrote a song parody for Martha/VEG. Sung to the tune of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name”, this is “School Gives LUNCH a Bad Name”. Enjoy and mangia!

School Gives Lunch a Bad Name

Your meal’s a la carte
But it’s still lame.
Martha,
School gives lunch a bad name. (Bad name.)

A “balanced” meal is what they sell
They promise you chicken but give you dry spelt.
A plain white tray with no mashies,
And globs of brown stuff that stink like bad cheese.

Oh, it’s a load of yuck!
Oh, they told you don’t blog
But Jamie told Twitter,
“You’re righteous, photog!”

Your meal’s a la carte
But it’s still lame.
Martha,
School gives lunch a bad name. (Bad name.)
We read your grade; it’s a four you claim.
Martha,
School gives lunch a bad name. (Bad name.)
School gives lunch, oh!

Bring the fork to your lips,
Pull out hair with your fingertips.
Your school cooks bad, we don’t know why.
It’s not too hard to make fresh veggie stir-fry.

Oh, it’s a load of yuck!
Oh, they told you don’t blog
But Jamie told Twitter,
“You’re righteous, photog!”

Your meal’s a la carte
But it’s still lame.
Martha,
School gives lunch a bad name. (Bad name.)
We read your grade; it’s a four you claim.
Martha,
School gives lunch a bad name. (Bad name.)
School gives lunch, oh!

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