Revolution in the canteen

29th September 2006 at 01:00
Prefer stewed devil's tongue or a foot-long hot dog for lunch? Both items have appeared on a school canteen menu this term, though probably not in an institution near you. The former is a delicacy in Japan, the latter in the United States. Yet both illuminate the campaign to improve school meals being waged by TV chef Jamie Oliver, whose battles against turkey twizzlers and chips are all too often being fought, not against profit-conscious catering giants, but against teenagers and their parents.

Food is part of a nation's culture, and school meals tend to reflect that fact. Many adult Britons have dreadful diets or rely on convenience foods (Smash - instant mashed potato - is being re-branded for a comeback this week). What Jamie Oliver is trying to do is start a cultural revolution... in the school canteen.

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