City bans student from posting photos of school meals online

Nine year old’s battle with censorship puts school meals staff in negative light.

A few weeks back I read an article about a nine-year-old Scottish student who started a blog about the meals served in her school. She rated the meals based on overall taste, portions, health, courses and pieces of hair. The student, Martha Payne, also posted photos of the meals to her blog. 

What drew me to this article was it was yet another perfect example of why we at FSD selected students as one of our 20 Most Influential. Payne, who started the blog as a writing assignment to raise money for her school’s meal program, doesn’t criticize the meals like a normal nine year old would. She’s thoughtful about what she says, and says she wanted to find out things like where her chicken was raised. Payne was engaging with her meal program and wanted to learn more about the food she was eating. How could anyone find fault with that?

Well, someone did. According to Today, town officials in Lochgilphead, where Payne lives, were not amused by the blog and banned her from posting photos of her school lunches. The officials said in a statement that the photos were misleading and had caused distress to the cafeteria staff.

This really got me going. As a journalist, I deplore censorship. If you don’t like the way you’re being portrayed in the media, change that perception. I have no idea if the cafeteria workers in Payne’s school had anything to do with the photo ban, but shame on whomever instigated this ban. This was a perfect opportunity for the cafeteria staff to work with Payne, to find out what she liked and didn’t like and how they could work with her to improve all of the students’ meal enjoyment. Instead, the incident started a worldwide outcry that made the school’s meal program look bad, regardless of the role, if any, they played in the photo ban.

Following the public outcry, the ban was lifted and Payne is back to sharing photos of her school meals. You can check out her blog here.  

Keywords: 
social media

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
boston college acai bowl

From Dannon Foodservice.

Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

“Students don’t just want to eat dinner between 5 and 7 p.m.,” says Beth Emery, the school’s director of dining. “They may want to eat dinner at 9 o’clock. We’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions.”

Those creative solutions include everything from offering breakfast items throughout the day to providing healthier late-night choices to trolling social media for trendy new menu ideas...

Sponsored Content
savory yogurt parfait

From Dannon Foodservice.

What consumers eat and, most importantly, when they’re eating it has changed significantly in recent years, signaling opportunity for operators able to capitalize on this evolution.

For example, some 83% of consumers said they were daily snackers in 2016, according to Technomic’s Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report . That’s up from 76% just two years earlier. Snacking is growing across many channels from retail prepared foods to bakery and coffee cafes, fast-food locations and more.

Busy lifestyles, smaller households with greater meal...

Industry News & Opinion

Labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder has officially bowed out of consideration for the cabinet position, according to the Associated Press .

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants—the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.—was tired of being under fire for hiring an undocumented immigrant as a nanny and being accused 26 years ago of physically abusing his wife, an unnamed source told CBS News . The agency reported that Puzder was unlikely to show for the start of his confirmation hearings tomorrow.

Puzder has also been attacked by organized labor for comments suggesting that...

Industry News & Opinion

Risley Dining Room at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has just become 100 percent gluten-free, 14850.com reports.

For the past two years, the university has slowly phased out gluten in the dining hall’s menu by eliminating it in its stir fries, biscuits and brownies.

Instead of offering gluten-free versions of typical college fare, including pizza and pasta, the dining service team aimed for more sophisticated restaurant-style items.

Along with being gluten-free, Risley is also peanut free and tree-nut free.

The dining room is the second college eatery...

FSD Resources