You are what you eat & drink

School Lunches from Scotland

Not only Scotland, but the world.

Argyll, Scotland

This week there has been a furore created by a nine-year-old girl from  Lochgilphead Primary School in Argyll, Scotland.

Some weeks ago Martha began a blog, little did she know that this blog was to become famous, so famous in fact that it’s infamy lead to the local council banning Martha from taking photos of her school lunch.

NeverSeconds

What began as a writing project with the help of her father spread across the globe within a week with 100,000 hits. I can only dream of such success. The blog was intended for her family, but it went viral.

What did Martha write about?

Simply her school lunches. Each day she took a photo of her school lunch and wrote a report on it; detailing number of mouthfuls, presentation, likes and dislikes, rating the meal on a scale of 1 – 10 and noting, tongue-in-cheek, whether or not she found ‘a hair in her soup.’

Martha Payne and NeverSeconds

The project was not derogatory nor offensive, although the meals at times appeared a little skimpy, it was never intended as a political message to change things. She had the consent of her teachers and staff to photograph the meals and enjoyed a good rapport with all.

The project escalated, and expanded as people from all over the world began to send school lunch photos from all corners of the globe.

Little bear plates from Japan

Each day featured one of them along with notes. They came from America, Canada, Japan, Finland, in fact all over. Some meals were better, some meals were free (Martha’s school lunch wasn’t), some meals were less appetising than others, some came in little bear or brightly coloured plates rather than the sterile white prison-like plates at Martha’s school. But there was always goodwill.

Along with the blog went a charity project. Mary’s Meals fed school children in Africa and Martha’s hope was to raise £7,000 to provide a new kitchen.

But!

The big ugly politicians raised their ugly heads!

The Argyll and Bute Council took umbrage at a newspaper report and attacked the girl with heavy artillery; they banned her from taking photographs of the lunches.

A sad post appeared, simply, “Goodbye.”

That was when the poop hit the oscillating ventilation mechanism. It flung poop far and wide, the poop flew across the globe and landed square on the on the council’s own lap. They had literally pooped on themselves.

Martha’s blog had previously gone viral, the English language doesn’t have an adjective to describe the resultant backlash from the ban, it went viral on steroids. Angry e-mails to the council, newspaper reports, blogs (inc my own political rant blog), the works were thrown in anger from the world.

The news of the council’s backpeddling also became widely reported.

This caused so much embarrassment to the council they had to recant and remove the ban within hours.

The adverse publicity created by the council only served to highlight exactly what they were trying to hide. The blog counter added 1 million hits by lunchtime on the day after the ban.

The £7,000 Marta was trying to raise shot from £2,000 to £11,000 within hours, and now Martha reports £45,889.46 has been raised.

The spinoffs from this farce have spread wide. The Scottish Falsetto Puppet Show has written and performed a song, and while I can’t find it on YouTube, here is an image.

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So if you are in need of effective publicity, go and visit the guys at Argyll and Bute Council, they seem to be the experts.

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