Blog: ‘Junk food mums’

Catherine Sleep | 20 September 2006

You can’t have missed celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s campaign to improve school meals. A TV programme charting his initiative was back on our screens this week so we could see how much progress had been made since the campaign started. “Patchy” would be one word to describe the situation.

In one of those marvellous coincidences, this week parents of pupils attending a Yorkshire secondary school trying to implement healthy school lunches à la Jamie have been rebelling on their kids’ behalf. Several angry mums have been caught on video passing buns and chips through the railings to their clamouring offspring.

It’s been reported they’re not happy with the quality of food on offer – because chips and buns are soooo much healthier than vegetable curry or lasagne, aren’t they? But actually if you dig even just a tinier bit deeper, it appears the real reasons for the parents’ annoyance run deeper.

They don’t like the way the changes have been implemented, or the fact that their children are no longer allowed outside the school gate at lunchtime. Their children tell them the new system isn’t working, as they don’t have long enough to eat the food after they’ve stood in a long queue.

But these nuances just spoil a good headline for the redtops, of course, and the clips of mums passing junk food through school railings like day trippers feeding chimps at the zoo make such good telly that who cares about the truth of the matter?

Nice fry, ladies


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