Saturday, 3 November 2012

Big weekend, bigger week!

Veg here

This week started with me worrying about Ms El, Zee and Sunflower in the storm. I'm glad they are OK but their school hasn't reopened yet. Maybe they will tell us about it when they get back. There are lots of packets of things I have not seen before like the Veggie Straws. Do you have information on the packet like we do on our food?

It's a really big weekend because Mary's Meals are celebrating tomorrow!

They are ten years old and everyone is welcome to join the celebration in Glasgow tomorrow. I am going and there is going to be a film premiere! The film is called 'Child 31' and there will be a special guest. I don't know who it is.

The BBC are showing our documentary on the BBC News Channel this weekend. I get embarrassed watching myself on television! It is good though so please watch it if you can.

It is National School Meals Week next week so I think a lot of people will be talking about their dinners. The website is I am not sure what you do next week if you don't love your school meals. I would like to see all your meals next week, good or bad!

I am smiling all the time at the moment because it's not just Mary's Meals that are ten next week. I'll be in double figures too!



  1. Happy birthday for next week!

  2. Great!

    Happy Birthday to Mary's Meals, and also, happy birthday to you too Martha!

  3. Happy birthday Veg, you have done more than in your first 9 years that many will do their entire lifetimes!!

  4. Yes, food producers are required to put nutrtional labeling on foods here, as well. Interestingly, although you can usually find that listing on the internet as well, the company that makes "Veggie Straws" doesn't list the ingredients on their website. (They are required to list ingredients in decending order on the packets.)

    By doing a bit of Googling, I did manage to find some nutritional information on them, but not the actual ingredients that go into making them. (They claim the red ones contain tomato and the green ones supposedly are made from spinach. But I was curious to find out how much tomato and spinach was actually in them, and whether or not they're mostly potato or some other starch.)

    Seems "Perfect Portions" (the name of the company that makes Veggie Straws) isn't saying.

    I did manage to find a bit of nutritional information about them.

    At least they appear to be a bit "healthier" than a lot of snack options, but I think it's pretty obvious that you'd be better off just eating some carrot sticks than processed "Veggie Straws."

  5. Good evening Martha,

    I have just watched the documentary on BBC News. As a teacher and social entrepreneur, I am so inspired by your blog and the commitment to the work in Malawi. You are fantastic.

    Whilst mixing the porridge, I heard that you were suffering from smoke in your eyes. I can only imagine this to be the same for the people cooking it on a daily basis. Research shows that almost two million people die prematurely from harmful smoke inhalation and my organisation has designed a product that diverts harmful fumes away from the cook through its chimney. The stove also sanitises water whilst cooking thus reducing the distance a child has to travel for clean water.

    Please click on the link below for more information. We would greatly appreciate your support.

    Keep up the good work.

  6. Happy Birthday for next week mo chara! (that's Irish, if you're wondering!)

    I've pre ordered your book, one for me and one for my daughter. I'm also talking to my daughter's school about using the book and website as a resource. And I've been sending messages out to everybody I know about your work.

    You are a true inspiration. Let's hope more young people follow your example. We love you. Keep up the good work.

  7. Happy early birthday, Veg! Perhaps you can show us your birthday cake. :)

  8. I am also in double figures and my birthday is just weeks away, although sadly my double figures are far more advanced than yours.

    Have a really great Birthday Martha, may 10 be awesome for your as it was for me - it was so long ago now I think mine was good ;)

    Happy Birthday also to Mary's Meals.

  9. Hi Veg,
    I'm still enjoying your blog. I was surprised to see reference to Veggie Straws, something I like to include in my own lunches during the work week. They have a non-greasy, baked potato chip/crisp taste. Here is the nutritional information on them (one bag is one serving, one ounce/28g):
    Calories: 130
    Calories from fat: 60
    Total fat: 7g (saturated fat: 1g; Trans fat: 0g)
    Cholesterol: 0mg
    Sodium: 250mg
    Total carbohydrate: 11g (dietary fiber: 1g, sugars: 1g)
    Vitamin A: 0%
    Vitamin c: 2%
    Calcium: 0%
    Iron: 2%

    Ingredients: Potato Straws (Potato flour, potato starch, corn starch, tomato paste, spinach powder, salt, sugar, beetroot powder , tumeric) canola oil and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil, sea salt

    The Hain Celestial Company, known for its healthier foods and teas, is the manufacturer. The package claims it has 30% less fat than potato chips, has all natural ingredients, uses sea salt, with no preservatives. The product is kosher certified.

    Keep up the good work!

  10. Happy tenth birthday Veg and Mary's Meals!

  11. Just saw the BBC doc about Martha and the help she was able to muster for the children of Malawi. Was the most hopeful thing we have ever seen on the telly. We set up a monthly direct debit to Mary's Meals that very day.
    For all that young Martha has done for so many others we at Duncan House on Skye would like to send her a small gift of thanks. Please send a mailing address to

  12. Happy Birthday Martha! Hope you had fun in Glasgow. Can't wait to hear what you thought about the movie and who the special guest was!

  13. Happy Birthday and congrats on having your documentary shown.

    I wanted to comment on Veggie Straws too. I'm a parent and I would put Veggie Straws in the same category with potato chips or crisps. The calories are ok (130 per serving) and the serving is large (38 straws), but the fat content is high (7 grams for 130 calories) and the fiber and protein contents are low (each is 1 gram per serving). The only other nutrients are 20 percent vitamin C and 2 percent iron. The main ingredient is potato flour, but there is some tomato puree and some spinach powder to justify the veggie in the name. I would prefer a baked potato chip (like Baked Lays) as they have less calories(120), less fat (2 grams), more protein and fiber (both at 2 grams) and more nutrients overall (vitamin C, iron, magnesium, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B6 and riboflavin). Don't take a product with "veggie" in the name at face value, be sure to check out the nutritional info! Of course, real vegetables are best, aren't they?

  14. Happy birthday Veg! As Jaylah said the US does require nutritional labels and ingredient lists as many packaged foods around the world do. Our labels probably look a bit different from yours. There is a shop in my home town that sells foods from the UK. I was a bit confused reading the label for the nutritionals at first but other than a few differences (as food are all in grams it seems, instead of oz or cups) they are very similar.

    The veggie straws are a bit healthier than eating potato chips (crisps to you). They are deep fried or covered in oil but they still are not as good for you as eating a baked potato and some veggie sticks like celery, carrots and broccoli. I think a lot of American children have a hard time knowing what is healthy because their parents aren't as educated about it as they could be. I know that even when I would watch my neice, her dad though lunchables were a healthy option for lunch - (not sure you have those, processed cheese, sliced deli meats - not freshly cooked) and then processed crackers and a dessert with a sugary drink. I would feed her fresh veggies, roasted turkey (that I roasted in the oven) and then some fresh fruits or fruit salad (I made the fruit salad). The cost is about the same for convenience as it is to buy a lot of food and make it yourself. So just make it yourself and have something healthier.

  15. Watched the BBC documentary yesterday, I was both humbled and inspired by your and your family's efforts in raising funds for Mary's Meals.

    What it must have been to see all those smiling faces in Malawi, we really don't realise how different other people's lives can be.

    Good luck in all you do!

  16. Happy Birthday to Veg, and Happy Birthday to Mary's Meals too!

  17. Happy first Decade to you and Mary's Meals, Veg!
    All the best to both for a long and happy future!

    Best regards,
    Santa Barbara, CA

  18. Martha,

    Did you enjoy watching Child 31? I did!!

    God bless,

  19. Happy Birthday Veg! Now you've only got 90 years to wait until you get to triple figures!