June 26, 2012

June 26, 2012

NeverSeconds

Though I like few things less than children, I like few things more than Britons and lunch. Imagine my surprise when my Sunday Washington Post perusal included a story titled “British girl's blog on school lunches stirs it up.” Um, yes please.

Turns out that a 9-year-old Scottish student named Martha has been blogging about her school lunches on neverseconds.blogspot.com for the past few months. She takes a picture of each meal and rates it on various criteria (taste, how long it took to eat, etc.). As the blog gained in popularity, students from around the world started sending Martha pictures of their own school lunches. Asia, Canada, Africa, etc. Martha notes how long it takes her to find each submission’s hometown on her globe (“San Francisco, California, USA…12 seconds!”) and makes brief commentary on the submitted lunches.

Frankly, it’s a combination of precociousness, food, and international flair that has me all aquiver.

I certainly wish I’d thought of it first. Not as any sort of social commentary; whether or not our children are getting nutritional lunches doesn’t chuff me either way. As a kid, my favorite school lunch was something called “mock chicken leg,” but I’m sure Milwaukee Public Schools had the very best intentions. I yearn for the days when I could get a full hot meal, with beverage, on a compartmentalized tray, for like $2.

Speaking of containment, that’s one of my favorite parts of the photos that get sent to Martha. Turns out that school lunches are dished up in a variety of ways around the world. Some kids get plates. Some get bento boxes. Some get trays. And the food. Oh, the food! Japanese students get soup, rice, and fish. Israeli students get falafel. Atlanta students get hamburgers and chips. Phenomenal!

What makes Martha a much, much better woman than I is her commitment to charity. Martha’s taking any money made from the blog, including solicited donations, and putting it all towards feeding children in Africa. Whereas I would be buying an iPad or something, she is trying to change the world. Maybe there’s hope for humanity after all.

Nah, probably not.

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