Wednesday 23 May 2012

Two, no three, no four fantastic bits of news today!

Whilst I was having my tea my blog went through 1 million hits! I didn't see it but Wrae sent me a photo showing the counter so I haven't missed out, thank you Wrae. When I started writing this I thought only my family and friends would see it so it's amazing so many people have visited and you all care about school food.

My second bit of news is that Dad and I have been invited to a meeting organised by a famous Scottish chef called Nick Nairn. He's invited loads of important people and us to discuss school food and school cooking lessons. I'm really looking forward to meeting him if I can go.

I almost forgot to take a photo today and I had a bite of my burger before I remembered so I turned it around so you can't see it! I had yellow and red peppers, cucumber and roast potatoes. The roast potatoes taste different to the ones at home, My roast potatoes today tasted more like mash. The weather was so nice we were allowed to take our lollies outside.

Food-o-meter- 6/10
Mouthfuls- I lost count when I started licking the lolly
Courses- main/dessert
Health Rating- 4/10
Price- £2
Pieces of hair- 0
Wristband- Orange

Jamie has sent me a photo of a school meal from Yokohama, Japan (33 seconds!)

I only recognise the asparagus, if it is asparagus! Jamie explains,

'I think this one was my favourite, and it had a container of white rice on the side. From the top left and going clockwise, it had:

- pickled daikon radish and sour plum
- steamed sliced okra
- konnyaku jelly (the grey lumpy bits - a high fibre chewy food made from the devil tongue plant. Not much flavour on its own but picks up sauces well) and a chewy rice dumpling thing
- green beans and carrots and garlic
- white fish (mackerel, I think) wrapped in a leaf and steamed
- vegetables and egg cooked with a soy glaze

Taste 8/10
Healthiness 8/10
Price 450 yen (£3.61)'

I recognise the green beans and carrots now! There are so many things I have never tasted.

My last two bits of news? I went to the Dentist and need no fillings again and Mum and Dad came back proud from Parent's Evening at school.

What a day!



  1. It's amazing how different the lunch in Scotland you had compares to the one Jamie sent from Japan. I really liked the Japanese tray with all the cubbies and each one filled with a different food.

  2. This blog is so much fun to read, especially the posts with lunches from other countries. I went to elementary (primary) school in Grand Rapids, Michigan 16 years ago (gosh, that makes me feel so old!) and they weren't nearly as healthy or yummy-looking as any of these, though we never had to worry about not getting enough. I am glad that schools are starting to open their eyes a bit more and provide healthier and yummier lunches for their kids.

    1. Funny...I went to elementary school near GR also...and that was 20 years ago! :-)

  3. Good job! Some of your pictures remind me of what I have been served in an airplane... Yesterday I found this collection of amazing Japanese lunch boxes:

  4. I love, love, love your blog. Keep posting. We are reading it here in Lake Tahoe, CA.

  5. It's interesting to see your school meals. My kids would have loved to eat the ice pop ;)
    By the way My kids get homemade lunches to bring to school. Maybe you can take a look at my blog. There are many photos of their lunches :)

    1. LOL, charsiubao/roasted pork buns in Germany!!!

  6. A link to an article about your blog and the stir it has caused was posted by "Millions Against Monsanto" on Facebook today. That's how I got here, anyway. You go girl!! Keep it up. Greetings from Albany, NY, USA! :-)

  7. Love your blog. I am a lunch lady here in Massachusetts (my husband is from Ireland so he is familar with the school lunches in your neck of the woods, oh and he calls me a Dinner Lady since that is what they called them over there). I love you see what you are getting everyday and comparing them to what we serve. Keep up the good work.

  8. Great Blog and fun to read! A german newspaper wrote about you today

    Keep going and many greetings from Frankfurt, Germany

  9. I love your blog! First time reader from Phoenix, AZ! I hope that you are able to go and meet with Chef Nairn. It sounds like you are a pioneer for changing meals in schools! Good luck in your efforts!

    P.S. Our kids rarely get ice pops with their school lunch and it gets up to 110 degrees here!

  10. Hi Martha,
    I read about you in the german news, and think your blog is really fantastic! I can't quiet believe that you're just nine years old :) you will be a great writer and journalist one day!
    I'm a social worker at an elementary school and always shudder when I see the food they serve our kids. But then again, they always get alot on thier plates. Most kids don't finish up, though, becouse it tastes disgusting.
    Keep up your work, it seems to make a change already! And people finally talk about that very importent topic! :)
    Good Luck, greetings from Mainz, Germany

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. You're doing a great job by raising awareness about school lunches. Have you gotten any pictures from Finland yet? Our school lunches are pretty good and free to pupils. Hope you get to eat lots of veggies and fruits and less processed meat and white bread from now on. Keep up the good work!!

  13. Hi Martha,

    Great blog. I am very proud of you. Unfortunately your school is not an exception. Schools in Germany are serving similar quality and quantity. The boring point is that the students and their parents are not aware about the quality of the served food. The main reason is that we do not have a "food culture" in Germany. I hope that some German students will post here their meals.
    It would also be great if some French pupils could post their meals here. I heard that they really have a quite a high standard which is strictly regulated on governmental level.

    Greetings from Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

  14. Boah, ist das eklig. Essen ist Bestandteil jeder Kultur, wie sollen die Kinder diese Kultur jemals an ihre Kinder weitergeben, wenn sie einen solchen Fraß vorgesetzt bekommen?

  15. Keep up your good work! It is possible to make good, nutritious foods that are local grown and/or made. My school district, Bethel School District in Eugene, OR, has been nationally recognized as a leader in this movement. And the kids LOVE the food!

  16. Hello Veg,
    I see the standard of the food has gone down again. This meal is really poor. I hope your and your Dad's meeting with Nick Nairn and others goes well. Maybe things will change, but it will take some time, so keep up the good work.

  17. You might show your school leaders this site.

  18. Great blog from San Jose, California! Your lunches seem to be improving with the new system. I am 25 years old, but when my kids go to school, I hope that they are as bright as you are.

    Glad to see also that my hero Jamie Oliver has contacted you. How amazing! Keep up the good work and we're rooting for you!

    PS. you've had 10,000 visitors since I linked over to your blog from ;)

  19. Great work, dear Martha!
    I read about your clever studies in a famous German Online Mag:
    You'll surely find someone to translate it for you.
    Go ahead and keep on unmasking a poor system!
    Good luck

  20. Hi Veg! I love your blog! You should think about switching it to a better system like Tumblr so people can follow you easier! Keep up the great work. ~Aaron in Brooklyn, NY

  21. what an awesome blog! so sorry for the food you had for lunch today. I wouldn't wanna eat it. am also wondering why they haven't changed the food completely yet, with your blog getting this much attention.
    Greetings from Weissenhorn, Germany

  22. That's your lunch, Veg? What a disaster.
    I'd like to know what your head teacher had for lunch.
    I bet it looked nothing like yours.
    Great news that you blog hits have passed a million.
    I'm not at all surprised. I wonder if you realise what a good idea this blog is.
    Great stuff!

  23. Hello from New Orleans, Louisiana. You have a fantastic blog, I love seeing the photos of the lunches and reading your descriptions. Keep up the good work. Thank you for a fun inside peek at lunches from around the world.

  24. Hello and greetings from Germany! Here is an article from one of the biggest news site in Germany:

    I think it's great what you are doing. Keep going!

  25. How vile and disgusting this "food" is. Your principal and school board should be on trial for child abuse - and no cafeteria staff should be willing to serve this garbage to children. I am certain that if they loved their own children they would never serve such trash at home. Have you asked them how they justify it?

  26. I'm so enjoying your blog Martha. Keep up the great work!

  27. God, Veg, I hope you're aware that your blog is the best thing that has happened to the internet.

  28. Hi VEG. Reading here from Australia, where we don't have school lunches. Kids pack their own lunch and take it to school, so everyone has something different. You can buy "tuck shop" on certain days where they can choose from things like pies, sausage rolls, noodles, cakes and sweets.

    Mostly kids in Australia bring sandwiches and fruit with some snacks like muesli bars etc.

    Great blog and congratulations on the successes!

  29. Hi, I'm Louise and I'm 8 years old. I live in San Francisco and we don't have school lunches at my school. We have to bring our own. I want to encourage you to keep writing because I think it's fantastic. (I'm using my mom's email address)

  30. Can't believe this. This is no food, it's garbage. It's so disgusting! Everyone could do it better, even with less money.

    At my University we have a huge salad-bar with dozens of fresh salads and good warm food every day. This week the motto is "africa". On Monday I ate chickenfilet, carrots and fettuccine with mangosauce (well, I don't think this is very "africa", but I liked it) for 3,65 Euro and I've had enough for the whole day!

    You're a amazing girl. I hope all your dreams come true. Greets from germany!

  31. Hey VEG and Dad!
    Good job here, it's so fun to read it.
    I love the fact that kids around the world are accessing and comparing their food. Food is a very serious matter especially for growing children.
    Salutes from Fortaleza, Brazil.

    1. Thank you. It's a real eye opener seeing food from around the world. A movement by kids to improve their food in schools? Now taht would be powerful!

      Veg's Dad

  32. What a wonderful thing you are doing! I hope you keep it up and I hope to see your lunches continue to improve. I only hope we can get a handle on our dreadful situation here in the States. As a mother it makes me really happy to see kids like you taking matters into their own hands and being proactive about your health and welfare. Congrats on all of the good press you are receiving from around the world.
    ~Rachael from Puyallup, Washington, USA.

  33. Hi, great blog. I'd like to send you a picture of a school lunch from Korea but I can't find an email link. How should I contact your blog?

  34. Following you from Nashville, TN! :)

  35. Wow! This is amazing! I am watching the counter and you you get several hits every second - and over a million hits! How does that happen after a month of blogging? You must be one amazing kid who will go on to do amazing things. Great job! from Melbourne, Australia

  36. So someone read about you on Facebook and a German newspaper highlighted you too...and the front page of Yahoo had an article about you the other day....which is how I found you! Seems like the whole world is slowly becoming a follower :) Keep up the good work....LOVE your blog!

  37. Hi Veg! Keep posting, we love to see your posts everyday. Too bad in Indonesia we don't get lunch like yours. We have to buy snacks and stuffs to hold our hunger instead of having lunch. The only meal that we can eat here is only Meatballs.

    Greetings from Indonesia

  38. Great blog, Martha! I've enjoyed reading all about your lunches here in Vancouver, Canada. I hope you keep getting more salad and more choices. This is a fantastic idea; your school will be more motivated to serve better food if they know the whole world will see it the next day online.

  39. Hi Veg,

    Just wanted to say I love your blog and I think it's amazing how you are spreading awareness and the importance of providing nutritious, delicious, and filling lunches to students.

    I am currently an English teacher in Aomori, Japan at elementary and junior high schools and I just wanted to share what a pretty typical lunch in Japanese schools looks like. (I see that you already posted one from Japan today, but here's another!)

    - bowl of rice
    - vegetable soup with sliced daikon and carrots
    - slice of salmon
    - various vegetables and beef in a thick, brown sauce (to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what all was in this, but it was good)

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Veg loves Japanese food. I'll show her the photo. Can I lift it if she'd like to use it?


      Veg's Dad

  40. Hey Martha/Veg!

    I'm the young mother (I still call myself young despite being 27, is that ok :-p ?) of a 9 months-old. I am French and live in Germany... Not looking forward to putting my daughter in school and see what she will get for lunch! I have been told that here the kids have less than an hour to eat and do not go home... Hopefully we can maybe do packed lunches. In France the kids at primary school get 1h30 to eat which is great, in my parents' small town a lot of them actually go home for lunch (in my whole life at school I haven't eaten more than 20 times in the school restaurant! which I am very grateful for). The children do get proper plates (the ones that break) and reasonably sized helpings. As for the quality of the food... everybody is always complaining but well, who doesn't in France ;) ?
    I am amazed to see your pictures and how little food you get!! How can you even manage to find the energy to carry on learning and working the rest of the day? I hope things will change for the best!

    You know how I got to your blog by the way? You are in the news in Germany! Well done!
    And as for the million viewers... I was on the page last night and saw it! Amazing :)

    Keep going, will be following you from now on.

  41. Hey Martha,

    you are the star in the most read German (online) newspaper (!
    I hope this will have enough impact for your school to change your lunch menu :-)

    Best regards from Brussels,

  42. Hi Veg,
    Well, I know that English kitchen is not so famous, but your lunch would cause a riot in prison
    The food is very industrial, artificial flavors, a few vitamins and less suitable for children.
    Children will lose their ability to taste and smell natural food.
    Please continue fighting for a healthy and adequate school lunch

    keep going with your blog ;-)

  43. Hi Martha. Great work on your blog, and congratulations on the million hits.

    I am an American teacher working at Japanese primary schools. Though I don't like everything on the menu, I must admit school lunch is one of the things Japan does really well. My lunches aren't as fancy as the one Jamie sent you, usually just two dishes plus rice or bread and milk. Still, they are light years ahead of what was available growing up in America. The lunches are prepared fresh daily at our school, served by the students, and eaten in the classroom.

    Today my school lunch was milk, rice and barley, flaked fish mixed with scrambled eggs seasoned with sweet rice wine and soy sauce with peas and carrots. I had a bowl of spinach and mushroom soup and a frozen pear half on the side. About a 7 out of 10 for taste. The nutrition is always spot on.

    By the way, the mystery veggies in the top right corner are konnyaku, daikon (the large round brown thing), sato-imo (a kind of mushy Japanese potato), and the white and brown bit is chikuwa, a food made from fish paste. The were all likely simmered in a fish broth and soy sauce based soup called oden. Yum!

  44. Very well done, Martha !
    You are an inspiration to all !

  45. Congratulations on everything!

    Except for that feeble lunch.

  46. Angry BIRDS lunch box.

  47. angry birds lunch box

  48. Hi Veg

    Your food looks really poor today. Have a look at my Blog and see how we serve Burgers for 0 year olds.
    here is Yesterdays Menu

  49. Also how do i get the Total Pageviews counter for my blog ??

    1. Just add the widget. You can do so in the design section :)
      The lunches you prepare for the private school pupils look great. Lucky kids!

  50. Hi!

    Nice blog! Keep it going. I am shocked what is beeing served in your school. This is some kind of nasty food, I would say. How is it possible to find so much hairs in your food? Does the personal wear hairnets and gloves?
    Read about your blog on the german web site (link see above) - I think your pageviews will explode today! :-)

    Best wishes for you!


  51. Hiya

    This is Todays Lunch.

    please have a look

  52. Veg, I just saw a post about you and your blog on Facebook. I just wanted to drop a note saying way to go! Not only are you bringing awareness about school lunch (by the way, yours look much better than what my kids get here in Georgia, USA) but you are also encouraging writing. So proud for you and your family. Keep going! I'm going to bookmark your page so I can keep up with you, many hugs from the USA!

  53. Dear Martha,

    you are just going viral in Germany. It is unbelievable what the school serves you for lunch. I'm at uni and we pay €2.30, which is about £1.85, for the cheapest meal which includes a soup, a salad (if there is no veg in the main course), a main course and a dessert or fruit. So it is absolutely shocking for me to see how little your school does with those £2 they can use per pupil to make lunch. What I was wondering: how many children are in your school?
    I hope your blog puts a lot of pressure on the council so you soon can enjoy a tasty healthy meal for lunch.
    All the best,

  54. Hi Veg,

    Your blog is amazing :)
    Greetings from Brazil

  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. Ugh! Two steps forward, one step back. The past two days' menus weren't so bad, but this one is back to Square One. It's mingy, there isn't anything green worth mentioning, and once again, there are the empty calories of an ice lolly where something more nutritious is needed. Someone needs to tell the council that ice lollies are a snack or a treat to be indulged in occasionally, not part of a lunch that should be helping grow strong bones and muscles and teeth.

    Frankly, I'm appalled at this one.

  57. Veg - thank you so much for your blog! I'm sharing it with several students near where I live (very close to Chicago). Keep it up - this is fantastic!!!

  58. Hello,
    I am reading your blog from the United States (Rhode Island), and I really enjoy it.

    On average your school lunches look to be of a higher quality than the school lunches at the public primary schools I've seen (in Massachusetts and New York). (I'm grown up now)

    I love seeing the pictures you get of lunches from other countries as well!

    What you call an Ice Lolly we call Ice Popsicles in the US.

    Keep up the good work!

  59. hey girl! I am having lots of fun reading your blog!
    Um beijo

    Blumenau, SC - Brasil

  60. Darling,

    go on with your great investigations!

    Here are some more photos about good food and good life - simple and joyful in german gardens and kitchens:

    You'll become a wonderful journalist, I'm sure.

    From Bremen
    your fan
    cinghiale - rabatte- carolin

  61. Hi Veg, congratulations on your blog's success.
    School lunch for my three girls (11, 8, 8) here in Savannah, Georgia, USA, is not very appetizing (not to mention only semi-nutritious - on the plus side, it is cheap: $1.65 / £1.05), so most days they make their own at home.
    I'm thinking of sending them to school with a camera now so we can shame the school board into improving it.
    Also, in today's Japanese lunch there is a vegetable that you are not familiar with that is also very popular here in the Southern US- okra. It is very nutritious, some would say delicious, veg that figures in West African, South Asian and Japanese cooking.

  62. Veg! Great topic, I've been blogging for years without going viral, so good for you. And congrats on your good trip to the dentist. I just had a small cavity filled at the dentist this morning here in Seattle, Washington, USA. I way past school so can't send photos of a lunch, but up in Bellingham just south of the Canadian border the schools are working with local farmers to provide locally and organically grown, fresh vegetables and such in school lunches.

    If you want a peek at life here in the Pacific Northwest, check out But then you really should be doing your school work instead.


  63. 1st - massive congratulations on your internationally famous super-blog!

    2nd - this meal looks a bit more like one of the early ones...the pepper is a nice addition but it's another bun!

  64. Hi, I am homeschooled and invite you to check out my blog

  65. Veg,

    This is such a cool idea and I am so glad that someone actually eating school lunch is taking such an interest! My daughter is only 2, so not eating lunch at school yet, but I may start rating the lunches I fix for her :)

    Oh, and the Japanese lunch definitely looked more nutritious and well rounded than any others I've seen! I'm jealous!

  66. Hi, VEG - your blog is great! Your lunches, less so. I would be ashamed to feed a kid what you depict here. That's just pathetic! I remember that my school lunches (in the 1970s) were not so paltry, and our cook really did her best with what she had. I remember fondly her fried chicken, blueberry squares (a kind of pie) and boiled cookies (a fudgy chocolate/oatmeal confection). Less fond in my memories - stewed prunes, stewed plums and Velveeta squares!

    Good luck in your efforts! All schoolkids should get good food that gives them the energy they need to do the hard work of learning and playing. Best of luck from Vermont, USA!

  67. Keep it up, girl! You've got quite a fan here in me - Miss Petra in Philadelphia, PA, by way of Tirrenia, Italy. Bravissima!

    Oh, and I'm thrilled for you for Jamie Oliver's accolades!

  68. Hi Veg I was happy for his blog and I believe you will go far. I live in a city in Santa Catarina, Brazil. I have 4 children aged between 8 and 4 years (the 4 are twins) and here in escolsa they have 5 meals a day with all the necessary nutrients all coordinated by a nutritionist. Many products provide family farmers (small producers in the region) that provide for mayor products with best quality and price. I hope that in his school and many others may have also always a healthy diet. Continue in this fight!

  69. Hi Veg,

    You story was featured in one of the biggest news portals in Brazil!

    Congrats! What a wonderful idea! I will organize school lunch photos to send you later, which I'm sure will interest you.

    Here is you story feature in Brazil:

    And I saved you the main page and you story for keeps:

    1. I read this news. I live in Japan but I am Brazilian.
      I showed your photo to my daughter and she was shocked.
      Even on days that she needed to miss classes, at least wanted to have lunch there, the food is better than mine.
      Here in Shizuoka, they also serve green tea to drink and gargle to prevent colds.

      Sorry about my poor English.

  70. This photo shows an ABYSMAL meal! What the heck is with the bomb pop? No way would anyone get an ice pop in our school as part of lunch. I know, i know... that's probably all of the kids' favorite part. :)
    What would you think of no desserts, but an apple or melon or some other kind of affordable fruit to fill that section of the tray? What do you think your classmates would think of that substitution?
    Seems like that could be put into place quickly.
    Great work, well done!

  71. I felt sorry for your food at the same time happy for my children to study in Japan.
    God job.
    You will change the world.

  72. You have a great blog! Here in Finland we have free school lunch and we have hamburgers maybe only once in a year. Students here often groans that the food doesn't taste good, but I think it isn't that bad. And I think it's quite healthy too.

    I hope you will some day get better and healthier food in your school. But as I said, your blog is great and it is very interesting to see, what kind of meals other students from other countries are used to eat in their schools.

  73. This is FANTASTIC. I am so proud to know that someone of your age is caring about the nutrition you get. I also read that Jamie Oliver has give you a thumbs up. KEEP IT UP. Jamie Oliver TRIED to get Americans to change their horrific eating but it failed. We should be humiliated and ashamed but we aren't. The really healthy eaters are a minority. We all are so obese and lazy-so many young kids are so, so fat. They have these enormous round faces and weigh over 150 pounds before they are even 11. It's boys and girls. Little tots who look to be 60 pounds at age 4. I know that I am ashamed when I see even my friends who have children regularly eating fatty, sugar laden, salt laden foods, usually eat out. School kids can't go an hour without sneaking into their backpacks for cookies, candy, drinks of sodas, and chips. It's not just a few either.

    I am so happy that things have changed. Keep monitoring this. I am sorry you were fed such horrible food in portions not fit for any human. I wish Americans would wake up to SMALLER portions and more healthy offerings. It would be nice to hear a young woman and man say THEY REFUSE to go to the fast food restaurants and ACTUALLY COOK. But it's a badge of honor in the US to be lazy, self indulgent, look down on others, and think that everything should be brought to you on a platinum platter with gold forks. And no, I'm not ultra thin. I have had to deal with the same issues myself. But I have made changes and I'm hoping that I see the younger generation make those food choices better. It's just SO sad.