Sandwiches Can Kill

January 13, 2010 at 1:46 pm 1 comment


Jamie Oliver tried to improve the standard of school lunches (or “dinners” as they were back in the day) and got abused by parents – at least the fat ones. Now it looks as if Gordon’s Nanny State might be poised to have a go at our kids’ packed lunches following research that declared 99% of packed lunches were unhealthy – read about it here.

Oh come on. Is it really all that bad?

I recognise that school lunches need to be cheap and healthy and provided free to those who need them to be. Often, in the more dysfunctional families, the school lunch is often the only proper meal a child may have in a day. It was always so.

But, do we really need sandwich police? Do we need to search kids as they enter school and to score their lunch boxes, removing deadly confectionery and sinful sugary sweets? Perhaps we could at least check them for booze, fags, drugs and weapons at the same time. At least it would be educational. It will prepare them for grown up life and the abuse of stop and search and anti-terror laws.

I am sure that kids today still do what they always have done – whatever they damn well want! Put an apple in their box and they’ll throw it away. Put a low-fat cheese spread on their focaccia and they’ll try and swap it or sell it or throw it away. The Mars Bar won’t kill them any quicker than the rays from their mobile phones and it will, at least, have the benefit of helping them concentrate by helping them get over their drug-related munchies. It will help to line their stomach somewhat before the two litres of strong cider they’ll be knocking back at first break with their Marlboroughs. We should really try to stop kids playing with matches by the way – they can be dangerous in the wrong hands!

If we want our kids to be healthier make them run around more. Bring back the cross-country run and competitive, full-contact sport!

Indeed, when I was a child (many moons ago) I used to be given dinner money to have a cooked lunch at school. Instead, I used to go to the local sweet shop and stock up on coconut ice, sherbert dips, and lemon bon bons – none of which counted towards my five a day I am sure. Occasionally, if I was hungry, I’d have a bag of chips – and this was the days when the oil was not polly-un-anything. At least newspaper had been phased out as the wrapping of choice – we weren’t uncivilised you know.

In my teens I did progress to taking sandwiches. It worked out cheaper than paying the dinner money I so abused. Mayonnaise had not been invented yet. At least not in the Midlands. My sandwiches consisted of margarine, meat spreads, strong cheddar and lashings (not sure if that is the same measure as for ginger beer) of piccalilli, Branston pickle, or mustard…..on sliced white bread – which as we know is more deadly than Saddam’s mythical WMD).

clubMy lunch box always included a biscuit with a “chocolate flavoured coating”, a packet of Walkers, again before they “improved” the fat and imposed their draconian salt laws. In our day a single packet of cheese and onion contained enough salt to clear a car park of snow and ice. And yet, I am told that my generation is still healthier than youngsters today….

Related Post:

Food Memories


Entry filed under: childhood memories, food memories, humour, middleman, rant, School. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Disillusioned Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kim  |  July 17, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Any good idea can be taken too far. I would never support a search-the-lunchbag policy or a hand-in-your-lunch-money-to-the teacher policy because our children should be learning how to use wisdom and self-control in their food choices. Inflicting a police state on them only helps in the short-term, if that. We all know that Black Markets exist to provide whatever is not allowed.

    I’m glad for your sake that you and your friends are healthy after a lifetime of eating snacks and sugary drinks. Apparently 80% of any given population can survive pretty well regardless of what they eat; those same folks may never attribute their stuffy noses, headaches, and rashes to the food they eat, though. The other 20% (which includes me) will pay a high price for eating that way but very few doctors are brave enough to suggest cutting out sugar, white flour, and additives to reduce chronic pain, weakness, and fatigue. If we improve the way we educate our children about nutrition, we may be able to have a much healthier population overall.

    I fully support attempts made in the US schools to educate children and parents about eating fresh food instead of relying on processed food-like substances that have been packed with vitamins concocted in a laboratory. Changing the federal guidelines for what is “healthy” in school menus is something that does not violate a child’s rights to choose. Offering them healthy choices is part of the educational process. If they bring things from home or from the corner store, then so be it. To borrow an old cliche, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”



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