Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Profit versus Health, The School Dinner Crisis

Woo hoo - the sun is out again today. I have just trimmed some bushes and done some weeding in my front garden. No I know it's probably not quite the right time to prune but it was stopping me getting in and out of my front door!

Last night N and I watched the first in a second series of "Jamies School Dinners". For those of you who don't know Jamie Oliver is a British chef who is campaigning for kids to have decent food. It was rather depressing watching though none of his recomendations seem to have been implemented and although some of the schools he visited are now no longer selling crap, what he didn't seem to realise is that there are thousands more schools around the country that are still selling it.

Take N's school for instance - it is a massive high school of over 2000 kids and that number will increase next year when children go up a year earlier. They aren't too close to any shops so if the school didn't sell junk it wouldn't be that easy for the kids to get it. So have they cut out the junk - no way - they sell sweets, crisps, chocolate, the worst cheapest kind of fizzy drinks, chips, instant pizza. They do have a few healthy items on the menu but N says the queue is always to long. I get round this by giving him a pack lunch and usually he doesn't take money. Yes he still has some unhealthy stuff - crisps or a cake, but the main bit is good - this week it is a tortilla wrap with pinto bean pate (refried beans), grated cheese, cress and black olives - yummy!

It's shocking though that despite the publicity about poor diet and how it affects the children's behaviour and ability to work and concentrate that the schools are still selling this junk to their pupils. It just goes to show that for most schools profit means more than education.

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