Friday 28 September 2012

Our Story

Just wanted to let you all know we've been given the chance to tell our behind the blog story for the first time.

Martha and I have written this together to share the highs and lows that will take us to Malawi next month. Most importantly every sale will feed 25 children in Malawi for a day with Mary's Meals.

Out Nov 15th. Pre Order here and share the experience with us.


Veg's Dad

A lunch from Lagos

Hi Veg!!!!

I just read your blog and wanted to say FANTASTIC work!!! Keep it up!

I went to school in Lagos, a city in Nigeria which is a country in West Africa. We had to be at school every morning at 8am, but we left school everyday at 1.30pm (except Fridays where we left at 2pm because we had clubs after school). Because we left school so early, we only ever needed snacks to eat at school which were usually sausage rolls, meat pies, sandwiches, cookies and sometimes even cheese balls. The school did not provide any meals for us so we had to bring these from home, which usually meant everyone brought their favourite snacks. On Fridays, however, because we stayed at school a little longer, our cook at home always made us an awesome Nigerian rice dish called jollof rice. Those were the best days! We sometimes had sweetcorn on the side which I loved as well, but mostly it was served with chicken or beef and 'dodo' (the English word for dodo is plantain: it looks like a banana but you can't eat it without cooking it. It is so yummy!).

Because jollof rice was my favourite, I've attached a picture of what our school lunch looked like on Fridays. I'm now at boarding secondary school, and on holiday at the moment, so I sadly don't have these anymore.

The dodo is in the top right hand corner of the picture and the stewed beef and chicken on the left side. There were always 0 pieces of hair because our food was cooked at home, haha. We had to use coolers to keep them warm till lunchtime.

Well done on your blog once again!


Thursday 27 September 2012

Smell of African air

Dear Veg,

I saw on your blog that you are asking for African themed meals. I used to live in Cameroon, and whilst I don't cook many Cameroonian meals, I thought I would share a few of my favorites. Perhaps you'll try these, or similar meals, in Malawi.



Favorite Cameroonian meals:

Poulet DG: a chicken dish with lots of veggies, notably plantain. 'DG' stands for 'directeur générale' since the dish used to be expensive so that only the well off could afford it.

Fried plantain: scrumptious. Not terrifically healthy, but scrumptious.

Fufu and ndoleh: Manioc boiled and pounded into a paste like dish (fufu) and bitter leaf (ndolé) pounded until the bitterness is gone and mixed with groundnuts and meat/prawns if affordable (ndoleh). The cats I had in Cameroon were named Fufu and Ndoleh.

All the best for your trip to Malawi; I hope you love the smell of African air the way I do.


Tuesday 25 September 2012

Fingerprinted for lunch.

Nice to meet you everybody, the name's Jess! I come from a small West Midlands Village in England and I'm in year 10 (I think that means grade 9 in the USA). I think my high school is considered small compare to others, we have about 120 students in each year and we have years 7-11. My canteen doesn't have set meals like VEG, we have are fingerprints taken at the beginning of the year, and using these machines around the school we put money on our accounts so when we queue up to choose our food all we need to do is swipe our fingerprints near the till. My canteen doesn't have much of a variety unfortunately, there's typically sandwiches, pizzas, burgers and chips available each day but no super healthy options; the rest of the food is cake and chocolate bars so I bring in pack lunches. I am over the moon to be considered for a guest blogger, I love trying new recipes and different foods, and I love to try and be healthy as well.

For lunch today had thick wholemeal granary bread with lettuce ham and Marmite on it; an apple and some grapes; a Fredo, a apple Caprisun (can you tell I like apples) and a little cup of veg (tomatoes, radish and sweet pepper). I also went to costa coffee after school and indulged in a soy milk cappuccino, yum! I'm not lactose intolerant or anything, I just like the soy milk taste.

Food-o-meter- 9/10 (not that keen on the radishes)
Mouthfuls- Can't remember I forgot to count!
Courses- Lunch and sides
Health Rating- 9/10 (Freddo)

Thank you for this opportunity to post and I hope Neverseconds never stops! :)

Monday 24 September 2012

To Melbourne, Australia!

Hi Martha,

I'm an ICT teacher and some of my students did a small project about their lunches based on how people post their lunches on your blog. We are a very multicultural school, so lots of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. I have attached 12 of them for you to see. Maybe one might make it on to your Neverseconds Blog, the students are very excited to see.

We love reading your blog and we are planning some fund raising for Mary's Meals in our Fourth Term.


Like them all! Thank you, Veg.

Hi my name is Victor Phan I go to Footscray North Primary School
And I am a grade 4. And am 10 years old .My class is 3/4GH. My teachers are Miss Hazama and Miss Grimston. live in Victoria, Australia.

Foods ingredients: sandwich, cucumber, ham, and cheese and tic-tac.

Taste rate:8/10
Health rate: 9/10
Bites: 16 bites
Pieces of hair:0
Cost: $ 5.00

Hi my name is Sallam. I go to Footscray North Primary School. I am in 3/4DW. I have 2 teachers Mrs Dalaveris and Mrs Walker. Today in my lunch I have chips, a sandwich with cheese and chicken, banana yoghurt and a muesli bar all in a box.

Food rating: 8/10
Food meter: 6/10
Heath rating: 5/10
Bites: 10
Price: unknown
Pieces of hair: 0


Hi my name is Mekrie I go to a school called Footscray north primary school Melbourne victoria. Today I am having shapes, noodles chicken nuggets and a banana.
Food-o-meter 9/10
Health rating -7/10
Mouth full -35
Courses- snack main

Sunday 23 September 2012

I'm so excited!

Thanks to the JAM classroom in New York it's been a mini world tour in a week! I have really enjoyed all the lunch boxes. I don't want to pick a favourite because they are all so good!

I have been talking to lots of people about going to Malawi. I'm talking a lot about it because I am excited about it. I have been told food on planes isn't very good but I hope they are wrong. I have never eaten a meal on a plane before. I don't think a plane has a kitchen it must be made on the ground and reheated in the air. I will rate my meals on the plane!

It's amazing how the kitchen has improved from a little shelter with a thatched roof to a building with walls and a metal roof. The next picture you see of the Friends of NeverSeconds kitchen will have me in it. I will be there! I will tell them how it happened that a blog built a kitchen.

I can't wait to meet all the children. I have packed some footballs and wind up torches. We don't have any Kwatcha for Malawi yet so we've no money. Dad says it's ok. Soon I start taking antimalarial tablets. I have to have 4 a day but my sister only has to have 1. It is because I am not quite an adult and not a small child either.

If you have any African themed meals please send them in for next week to along with any questions for Malawi!

Mutsale bwino! (Good bye in Chichewa.)


Friday 21 September 2012

And our journey comes to an end…….

Today, here, at our school we are celebrating the International Day of Peace. We will have a peace circle with our parents and teachers and we will talk about what makes us peaceful, about what peace means when we are alone, and what peace means when we engage with others. It will be fun!

Well, for today’s lunches, we have, Sophia S., Anabelle and Camila.

Sophia’s lunch is composed of many parts – in fact, today it includes all of her all-time favorites. Let’s start with her sandwich, a vegemite and butter sandwich on sourdough bread (her favorite, her mother told us). Vegemite sandwiches are a staple in Australian children’s lunch boxes. They are the Australian equivalent to the US peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Have you ever tried one? She also has three slices of salami, for protein, sliced cucumbers, raspberries – and one Tim Tam, because every lunch box needs mostly healthy food and occasionally a treat! (Tim Tams are an Australian biscuit.)

Anabelle has Macaroni and cheese today, with peas and turkey hot dog, and strawberries for dessert. This is a typical American dish. Her family shared a fun fact about this dish: July 14th is National Macaroni and Cheese Day and is also Anabelle’s Papa’s birthday!

We will finish our week at NeverSeconds with Camila’s dish! As you can see we come full circle – we saw empanadas on Monday, and that’s what Camila has for lunch today.
Camila’s mother sent some more information about empanadas: they were first made in Spain and Portugal. They were portable and filling meals for working people. They were carried to Latin America by Spanish and Portuguese colonists. Camila also has apples, as her treat.

And so, from New York, we bid you all farewell! But Martha, NeverSeconds and Mary’s Meals will stay with us. Martha reminded us that you don’t need to grow up to change the world, you can start at any time!


Paula, Keri, and the students of JAM

Thursday 20 September 2012

Julia Child would be proud!

It is Thursday already; our week is coming to an end.

Today we will see the lunches of Gabriel, Deviana, Amelia and Ezra.

Gabriel is half Brazilian, like me. At times we speak briefly in Portuguese, followed by some giggles. It still amazes me, how the children can swap from one language to another in a moment. Well, back to his lunch! Today Gabriel had raisin bread with cheese, a strawberry cereal bar on the left and juice on the right. His mother said that Gabriel loves raisins.

Deviana’s lunch was a novelty for us. She is from Sri Lanka and her mother was kind enough to share some information about today’s lunch. The lunch is called Kiribath (pronounced Kiri Buth in the Sinhalese language). Its translation is milk rice. It is a very traditional dish and is always served at celebratory occasions in Sri Lanka (from birthdays, christenings and key holidays to Christmas and the first day of school). It is traditionally served for breakfast on the first day of every month.
Deviana loves eating it because the rice is soft and creamy and the palm sugar is sweet! She also has two fruit choices. Tradition holds that, at the naming ceremony for Prince Gamini (who became the most famous king of Sri Lanka, 164 BC – 140 BC), Kiribath was served to the guests.

Amelia’s lunch would make Julia Child’s proud! Boeuf Bourguignon, a dish created in the Bourgogne province of France, her mother told us. It is a traditional French dish. The dish was created to be economical for average French citizens: it is made of easily-accessible and affordable ingredients. She also has a cheese stick, juice and blueberries.

Ezra’s lunch today is a sandwich, carrots, apple, some cheddar cheese crackers and a doughnut. Ezra is half French and he was very eager to have the picture of his lunch taken. He wishes all a Bon Appétit!
Food-o-meter: 10/10
Bites: unknown
Eating with the mouth closed: apart from two little reminders we did great!
Speaking with the mouth full: nearly there!!!!
Food dropped or spilled on the floor: we forgot to look!

Wednesday 19 September 2012

How does lunch time work?

We thought we should share how lunchtime works at our school. We go to the playground at 11:00, and when we get back at 11:30 we have our lunchtime (we are SO hungry by then!). We have lunch in our classroom, so we come in from the playground, we line up to wash our hands then we go to our cubbies to get our lunch boxes. We then choose where we want to sit and we set our place. We are encouraged to have the main meal first, then dessert, because it can be hard to eat the main meal after the sweetness of the dessert! If someone didn’t bring a drink we do have a water fountain in the classroom. After lunch we clean up our spot and we can rest a bit, looking at a book while our friends finish their lunch.

Today’s lunches are from Max, Marco, and Sophia Ann

Max’s mother explained that she uses a special lunch box for his lunch, from a company called laptop lunches. She alternates what is in the lunch box daily, but there is usually a salad and either a sandwich or cheese & crackers. In addition there is always some fruit and occasionally a yogurt. Today, as you can see, he had fruit (blueberries, strawberries and raspberries), carrot sticks and the little pot with salad dressing (Max really likes homemade salad dressing!), a hard-boiled egg and a Petit Ecolier cookie. Max also has an organic chocolate milk.

Marcos’s lunch is called Onigiri (rice ball); it is rice, seaweed, fish flakes and seasoning. It is a traditional Japanese snack or “brown bag” lunch or picnic food. All Japanese children eat Onigiri, Marco’s father told us – and Marco clearly likes it! Many Onigiri have something in the middle – salmon, kelp, tuna, pickled plum, etc… Marco also has Cheerios (a brand of cereal), green beans and a cookie.

Sophia’s lunch. Today she has salmon patties from a green market near her house. She goes with her mother to buy salmon there. Her mother told us that, as she is Canadian, she marinates the salmon in soy sauce and maple syrup and then they bake the fish and mix it with breadcrumbs and seasoning to make the patties. What makes this lunch really unique is that from beginning to end, it is made by Sophia and her mother, together. Sophia also has carrots, crackers and a yogurt.
Food-o-meter: 10/10
Bites: unknown
Eating with the mouth closed: we did great!
Speaking with the mouth full: we need to work on this some more!
Food dropped or spilled on the floor: getting there…
Tomorrow we will see the lunches from four other classmates! See you tomorrow!

Tuesday 18 September 2012

The journey through JAM continues….

Keri, here, as Paula mentioned yesterday I am half Irish. Potatoes are very popular in Ireland: they are almost always included in the main meal of the day (unless it happens to be something like pasta - and maybe even then!)
In the past, though, potatoes were often not just included in the meal: they were the meal! As a result, there is an old rhyme that is often quoted in Ireland:

"Pratai ar maidin,
Pratai um noin.
Da n-eiroinn san mean-oiche,
Pratai a gheobhainn."

I'm not sure - that may be understandable to you in Scotland! In English, it says,

"Potatoes in the morning,
Potatoes at noon.
If I got up at midnight,
I'd get potatoes."
Now back to our JAM lunches:
Today’s lunches are from Alexandra, Nikka, Julien and Ryogo.

Alexandra was really eager to participate, and she brought one of her favorite foods: a croissant! You can see that she has an elaborate lunch box, with separate dishes – the croissant is in the one at lower left. She also has fruit (sliced apple), salad (cucumber) and a treat (mini crackers). She told us that another favorite food of hers is Mac & Cheese!

Nikka’s mother explained to us that his lunch is “Pelmeni” which is a traditional Russian dish. Pelmeni are dumplings, which consist of a filling wrapped in dough. Nikka’s pelmeni has meat inside. Pelmeni originated in Siberia. He also has cucumbers in the pot on the right and a drink.

Julien was really interested in learning about what people have for lunch at other schools. He was impressed that some children didn’t have any lunch and that a child about the same age as his older brother is helping to change that. Julien is part Italian and his lunch today is a typical Italian dish, penne with tomato sauce, which is usually served as a first course at lunchtime. He made sure to let us know that he also loves gnocchi, another Italian dish. He is having chocolate pudding for dessert.

This is Ryogo’s lunch. Of course, NeverSeconds visited Japan last week, and we saw many school lunches that, if you look closely, resembled his. He has a choice; he can use cutlery or chopsticks. Do you know the history of chopsticks? Let us tell you a bit:
“In Japan, chopsticks were originally considered precious and were used exclusively for religious ceremonies. The earliest chopsticks used for eating looked like tweezers; they were made from one piece of bamboo that was joined at the top. By the 10th Century, chopsticks were being made into two separate pieces. Called hashi (bridge), they differed in design from Chinese chopsticks in that they were rounded and came to a point; they were also shorter (7 inches long for females and 8 inches long for males) than Chinese chopsticks. The Japanese tended to make their chopsticks from a variety of woods. Starting in the 17th Century, they were the first to lacquer these wooden chopsticks, making them slippery but quite durable. The Japanese were also the first to create disposable wooden chopsticks (called wari-bashi) in 1878.” (Source - Hospitality Guild)
Food-o-meter: 10/10
Bites: unknown
Eating with the mouth closed: we did great!
Speaking with the mouth full: still a work in progress
Food dropped or spilled on the floor: working at it!

Tomorrow we will see the lunches from three other classmates!

Monday 17 September 2012

Hi Veg, and friends of NeverSeconds!

We are so happy to participate in your Around-the-World Lunch Tour. We are in kindergarten and our classroom is called JAM (how perfect is that, better yet on toast ). Which JAM is your favorite? (Strawberry!-Veg)

We thought would be nice to start by sharing a video that our school principal, Jackie, made: Greeting the World in Peace. In the video, Jackie takes a few moments to consider the common theme behind so many of the diverse greetings people use around the world:

Our school is located in New York City. It is an International School, and JAM has seventeen students from many different nationalities. Although we all speak in the same language (English) at school, we are from many parts of the world, and at home we may speak a completely different language. In our classroom we have two teachers: one is Brazilian/Italian and the other is American/Irish. I am Paula, one of the two teachers – the one from Brazil (I am also Italian). My American/Irish colleague is Keri.

At JAM we eat lunch in our classroom and we bring our lunches from home. When I came from Brazil to teach at JAM, my students’ lunches caught my attention right away – there was such variety among them! I have learned a lot over the last several years, from watching what my students bring to eat. I have seen Iranian, Bosnian, Indian, Japanese, and other cuisines. I have had a student whose lunch varied with the seasons, and others who prefer to eat the same thing every day. I have had a student who would build savory crepes during lunchtime: he would take all these plastic containers out of his lunchbox and explain what he was doing as he assembled his crepes – while Keri and I would look on, amazed!

Of course, our students also notice each other’s lunches, and there is a lot of learning at the lunch table, as we talk about what each of us has brought. We particularly notice the differences and smells!

I introduced the children, and the parents in this year’s JAM class to NeverSeconds and Mary’s Meals. Everybody was eager to be part of what you started Martha. The parents wrote descriptions of the lunches and the children exhibited their lunches for the photographs. So everything that is written in our blog posts this week is the result of teamwork! We are also delighted that on our last day on NeverSeconds will be the International Day of Peace and we will be celebrating it at our school. We will talk about it on Friday.

Today’s lunches are from Eduardo, Leah and Mica

Eduardo’s lunch is Tortilla Espanola or Spanish Omelet is the most commonly served dish in Spain. It is made of eggs, potato and onion. Can you guess from where Eduardo is from? Eduardo also likes yogurt, and that’s what is in the pot at top right in the photo.

Leah’s lunch is a salami and cheese sandwich on toasted white bread. Leah comes from two cultures, half-Japanese and half-Canadian (Jewish origin). The lunch is obviously none of them, says her father: it’s an original creation from New York. Another of her favorite lunches is seaweed (Japanese) with cream cheese on it (Jewish)! She loves fruits (strawberries, today, in the small container), which make up roughly half of her lunch. She has some candy in a plastic bag, as a treat, she also has shortbread cookie chips in the bag on the left and juice to drink.

And we will finish Monday with:

Mica’s lunch (Micaela) – Estas son empanadas argentinas. Las empanadas se originaron el Galicia (Espana) y Portugal. Es ahora un plato tipico argentino.
Las empanadas se suelen servir em fiestas, como entradas, o plato principal, o en festivales. Se pueden preparar con differentes rellenos y sabores. Cuando se sirven diferentes tipos de empanadas, estas son cerradas con differentes “repulgues” que sirven para diferenciarlas.

These are Argentinean Empanadas. Empanadas trace their origins to Galicia (Spain) and Portugal. It is now a traditional Argentinean dish.
Argentinean empanadas are often served at parties as a starter or main course, or in festivals. They come in many flavors and fillings. When several types are served, a “repulgue”, or pattern, is added to the pastry fold to differentiate them, so guests can tell them apart.

We changed the rating system a bit, because we’re in kindergarten:
Food-o-meter: 10/10
Bites: unknown
Eating with the mouth closed: we did great!
Speaking with the mouth full: work in progress – we must stop doing that
Food dropped or spilled on the floor: none (yay!)

Tomorrow we will see the lunches from four other classmates! See you tomorrow!

Sunday 16 September 2012

Who is child 31?

Thank you to Doni for the amazing blog posts you have written in the past week. I especially enjoyed the Kyushoku Koshien because I liked picking the winner! I have realised that Japanese school dinners have smaller portions but lots of different varieties. I like to taste new food without people telling what they are and I would like a week of Japanese dinners.

Next week our guest bloggers are from the United Nations International School in New York. In my class we have Polish, French and Scottish pupils. I wonder how many nationalities there will be in next week's class?

I have just seen Pavlova's fantastic £373 pounds go onto my Mary's Meals JustGiving page. That doesn't include the virtual lemonades she sold. You have very generous friends who have shared their lemons with you and bought your lemonade. It must be a good recipe! Thank you to you and your friends. What you have done is amazing!

It's been a big week for Mary's Meals because there is a new film coming called Child 31- The Story of Mary's Meals. On friday they released the trailer and I am going to the premier in Glasgow.

It's great that all those children are going to school and not on the street. I think living on the streets means they have no home.


Friday 14 September 2012

Giving Thanks for Food

I show you our school lunch menu for Friday;

Katemeshi (Mixed Rice with Vegetable), Eggplant Soup with Sesame, Grilled Pacific Saury, and Milk.
Food-o-meter- 8/10
Health rating- 7/10
Bites- unknown
Courses- Rice, soup , 1dish
Price- JPY234yen (Approx. US$2.9 £1.8 )
Pieces of hair- 0

And Another dietician sent me a menu for Martha's projects;

Rice, Satsuma-Jiru (Chicken Soup which is local dishes from Kagoshima region), Deep -fried Flying Fish, Simmered Konjak and Vegetable. and Milk.

Oh. I got one more picture from another dietician..

Rice, Seasoning for rice, Simmered Striped Dried Radish and Hijiki seaweed, Fried Salmon with Cheese, Cucumber with Chili sauce, and Milk. Mustard Spinach is grown local.

It is the final day for me to appear in NeverSecond blog. Therefore, today I would like to talk about giving thanks for our food.

Before starting a meal at home and school , Japanese people say "Itadakimasu."
Although "Itadakimasu" is often translated into English as "God bless you," it contains an expression of gratitude for the person who cooked the meal, however it does not have any religious connotations.

But I like to study comparative culture about giving thanks for food based on each belief in the world.

The above kanji (Chinese letter) chant is called "Gokan-no-ge". It is to giving thanks for one's food. Buddhist verses to chant before eating. It is mentioned;

First, let us reflect on our own work and the effort of those who brought us this food.
Second, let us be aware of the quality of our deeds as we receive this meal.
Third, what is most essential is the practice of mindfulness, which helps us to transcend greed, anger and delusion.
Fourth, we appreciate this food which sustains the good health of our body and mind.
Fifth, in order to continue our practice for all beings we accept this offering.

When I first heard the second term, I have reflected on what others have done for us. However, I have a question myself. What am I doing for others? Am I pulling our weight? Is this food being put to good use by sustaining me? It was heavy for me.

Let’s see a few European painting.

Daniele Crespi: San Carlo Borromeo at Supper、1628

St. Carlo Borromeo devote himself to a life of poverty. He is reading the bible in tears. There is a “bread” and a bottle of water. But He does not pick it up. He is the paragon of believer. There are many masterpiece art featured meal in Europe. Because meals do not act only to satisfy the appetite simply, but also had a religious and spiritual meaning.

On the other hand, there is a funny painting like this.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: The Land of Cockayne, 1567

It is a very famous painting of Bruegel the Elder. You can see so many foods in this painting. I like to find allegory or meaning. Religious manner of diet is included also. I think it is one of dietary education.

The traditional faith of Japan is animism and nature worship. We can see a lot of agricultural rite.

"Otaue" is one of the Rice Planting Festival of Shinto shline. It is an ancient event praying for a rich rice harvest. called a celebration in advance. Farmer play a role of rice-planting in the precincts of shinto shrine.

Another "Otaue" (rice planting) also organized by shinto shrines. Saotome (rice‐planting girl) set out rice plants in the fields of a shrine. Tanokami (deity of rice fields and harvests) is a deity (Shinto religion) that Japanese agricultural people believe watches over a rich or poor harvest and brings about a bumper crop of rice. Because the Shinto religion was founded on beliefs in the deities of rice cropping, such as Tanokami, rice has been considered to be a most valuable food.

Last month, I went to see a rainmaking ritual held on the once every four years when the Summer Olympics roll around. Three hundred men carry a 36-meter-long gigantic dragon that weighs 3 tons made of bamboo and straw, bravely parade the 2-kilometer-long road from a shrine in the district to a pond, and pray for rain and good harvest there.

Actually said, I am taking part in the rice trust system every year. And harvest season has come.

Our rice harvest is planned for September 23 on Sunday.
Rice cultivation in Japan requires farming villagers to cooperate in planting and harvesting during specific time frames. Now we are also inviting foreign participants for harvesting.

If you are interested in rice harvesting, please tell me. You can see Mount Fujiyama, also from the rice field in Yamanashi. To thank the participants, each person will be given rice.

In this way, I savored the joy of harvest and food. I reflect on our own work and the effort of those who brought us food.

Outdoor drum bath is wonderful after farming.

How do you do for reflection?

Lastly, I have enjoyed talking with you and I really appreciate meeting wonderful people and having great experience here. Arigato gozaimashita.

If you enjoy my post here, please help to Martha’ Project. Maybe it is also giving thanks for food, I think. ;-)

Oh. I got so many vote and comments for the school lunch contest in 2011.
Thank you very much again.

Winner of: #6 WAKAYAMA,
Second Place: #9 KOCHI
Special Award 1: #8 KAGAWA
Special Award 2: #12 GIFU

VEG, how do you know that!? If the world championship of school lunch will be held, which would you like to do judge or contestant?

I look forward to seeing you again.
Never Second?
Oh... Don't mention it again.



Thursday 13 September 2012

Improved through Friendly Rivalry

Hello everyone. Doni is here.

Thank you very much for deeply-appreciated message.
Arigato gozaimasu. And I'm sorry for my terrible at English. I was a student with poor English. As you might know, my best subject was the lunch time at school.

Our School lunch menu for Thursday;

Rice, Simmered Chicken and Konjak with Miso. Deep Fied Chicken, Boiled Japanese Mustard Spinach, and Milk. The above Mustard Spinach is grown at local.

Food-o-meter- 8/10
Health rating- 8/10
Bites- unknown
Courses- Rice, 3 sides
Price- JPY234yen (Approx. US$2.9 £1.8 )
Pieces of hair- 0

Today another school dietician who is my friend sent me a picture for Martha’s Project.

Cooked Rice Chinese Style, Vermicellifine Noodle Soup (Soup of somen noodles and various ingredients in a soy sauce broth), Meat Ball with White Sesame, Grape Jelly, and Milk.

Our school served a lunch for 188 days a school year. It is hard work to menu which is concerned balance of nutrition, calories, like and dislike of children and more.

School dietician should to raise a child to become a healthy eater. It is big challenge for them. Dieticians are thinking about what children liked, what they didn't like, what kindthey liked and what they didn't mind but would rather not eat.

Yes, Dieticians are checking kitchen waste every day, and they peep in to see what children are doing at lunch time. And so dieticians develop a game plan.

OK. Today, I introduce school lunch contest in Japan. It is called Kyushoku Koshien.

(Opening ceremony of the school lunch contest)

This tournament is designed to encourage local production for local consumption and that through the tournament to compete on behalf of the regional dishes are offered in school meals across the country to educate about healthy eating. This year the seventh contest will be held at Tokyo in December.

I usually cosponsor this contest to sneak into the contest room.

Contestants are 12 school (included central kitchen) representative of 6 region of across Japan. Players are School dietician and cooks in pairs.

(Immediately before the final, Contestants check their own uniform)

Criteria of the contestants are as follows;
-Menu what you have previously provided as school meals before the date of the finals.
-That according to the Ministry of Education Reference Intakes for school meals.
-Local products to be a menu that uses local products, taking advantage of the features that.
-It has been used as a teaching tool, live food education
-Nutrients and amount (in the case of elementary school students and volume for middle grade) that is correct
-It is the menu that nurture children love joy regional
-Cook 6 meals servings within 60 minutes
-Cooking and sanitation management process to follow standards of school meals and health management
-The application form attached a picture of the menu.

I think it is so hard to cook 6 meals within 60 minutes.

But they do that. OK, I show you all lunch menu of final contestants in 2011. I bet you will be surprised with them.

1) Iwate

2) Ibaralki

3) Fukushima

4) Gunma

5) Toyama

6) Wakayama

7) Nagano

8) Kagawa

9) Kochi

10) Kagoshima

11) Okinawa

12) Gifu

Please guess who won.

Ah. These menus are special for contest. Please don't believe menu like the above is served every day.