The past two weeks have been pretty exciting for the blog. Two weeks ago I was interviewed for AOL Health and that article was featured on Yahoo!’s homepage. Um, Hi new readers!
Then last week I was interviewed by Juju Chang and featured on Good Morning America (GMA). Juju Chang flew out to Chicago to interview little old me about the blog. She is a very competent journalist. You know, we talked for 40 minutes and the clip they selected was only 5 minutes! You can read the story and watch the video here. I was ambivalent about doing the interview, but I’m happy I did it. But part of why I agreed to do the interview is that I believe that this cause is most likely more important than me. And to keep my nerves in check, I kept myself anonymous.
AND the next day Jamie Oliver called me! His publicist had emailed me wanting my phone number the previous week. Wouldn’t you know it – he actually called me. We chatted for 20 minutes about his experience with school lunches and also what I have been up to. Jamie is a passionate advocate for children’s school food and their health. I’m not going to detail what we talked about because it wasn’t an interview, but instead a deep discussion about school lunches and what the US is up against. It was a high point for me and the blog.
Let me recap last week:
Tuesday – Juju Chang interviews me
Wednesday – Jamie Oliver calls me
Thursday – Interview airs on GMA
Wow. When Juju and I were talking, she called me “an accidental blogger” (I don’t think that comment made it on air). I think that’s an accurate description, but maybe it should be revised to “lucky blogger, accidental activist.” You know, the longer I eat the lunches, the more convinced I am that change needs to happen.
I thought that after the GMA interview the traffic to the blog would skyrocket and I’d never get any sleep because of all the email. Maybe a slight bump-up, but not like that Yahoo exposure. I’m relieved because I’m having a hard time managing all of this as it is!
The joke around my house is that I just got my 15 minutes of fame, but completely anonymously. And I’m fine with that. It’s the cause that needs the attention not me.
68 thoughts on “Surreal media blitz”
Hi! I am an American English teacher in Sweden; I found your blog after the Yahoo article. I read your blog several times a week and share it with my husband who also works in the school system here (and he, in turn, has shared it with the Home Ec department in his school.) I admire what you are doing to bring attention to this serious issue! You go girl!
*waves* I also found your blog thanks to the article on Yahoo. I love your project, especially the fact that you take pictures to show what these lunches look like. They look no more appetizing than when I ate school lunches, and that was five years ago. The pizza looks exactly the same – it's mind-boggling!
I was a little disheartened to read the article about how Jamie Oliver's experiment hasn't exactly been a big hit with the kids at Central City Elementary so far. (Poor guy…I'm sure his meals are delicious!) But I think the main reason is because kids are notoriously picky. I've known kids who wouldn't eat macaroni and cheese just because the pasta wasn't shell-shaped. Any other type of pasta, and it was automatically "yucky". Go figure. This may be part of what contributes to the problem of school food programs – it's possible they are too willing to give in to safe but unhealthy favorites that kids will be more likely to eat, like the typical pizza and hamburgers and chicken nuggets you see in every lunchroom across the country.
And you got a shout out in the New York Times yesterday (though no link to the blog). I feel very cool to have been reading Mrs. Q before the media caught on. 🙂
Congratulations Mrs. Q! I have recently started following your blog about 3 weeks ago. I love what you are doing. I think it is a great cause. It makes me very concerned about what my preschooler is going to be up against soon.
This is honestly something i didn't even consider until i started reading your blog and watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I think you two should join forces and try to fix the world.
The children of the future need everyones help.
Hey! Don't know if you remember me, but I'm the fourteen year old, Noel, who emailed you last week. Loved the interview video! Call me crazy, but I was laughing at how they disguised you. That must have been pretty awesome, getting an email from Jamie Oliver! Again, best of luck!
I've been following you since this blog started and it's great to hear where this is all heading for you and the change you have made to being conscious of this issue.
… and now the NY Times. Amazing. I think the Jamie Oliver call is huge and I am jealous of you! Yes, I admit it. He's such an inspiration and I'm sure your call was great motivation to continue "eating" school lunch for the remainder of the year.
I just found your blog a week or so ago I think from the Yahoo story. You are doing a great thing (though I am sure it doesn't feel like it some days after seeing what you have to eat). Glad this is one more way for this topic to get exposure!
I'm so proud of you for taking this chance in your life. My mother is a teacher and now has health issues due to a violent student at school. The district office has been harassing her for a couple years now because they don't want to pay her medical bills any more. She only has a couple more years until retirement. I hope you realize that by staying anonymous you are stopping some lying politico from snatching your cause out from underneath you and using it for their own purposes rather than serving a generation of children know nothing outside of fast food. i know how poorly i ate when i left home and had to fend for myself and my body is now paying the price. Please don't give up.
My goodness, Jamie Oliver called you! Can I give him my phone number (just kidding). I love what Jamie Oliver is doing it thrills me. Kids shouldn't been eating crap lunches! I'm a little ashamed to say it but I feel like I'm a product of that processed food system. Between the school lunches and coming home to either the same old same old or coming home to burgers or pizza. Now that I've graduated I'm no longer subjected to the crap they serve (thank goodness!), but there are still challenges for me mostly because I feel like I'm fighting my mom for room to breath. I want to cook. I want to cook good food. I'm making dinner tonight. I think it's only appropiate that I dedicate it to the "food revolution". It's time to change and it's time to change now.
I saw the mention on a commercial for GMA I was wondering if it was YOU! Congrats. How amazing you got to talk to Jamie Oliver. If you talk to him again, tell him there are some of us out here who completely support his food revolution and hope he shows more of what we can do on a local level on his new show! What a treat. Congrats on your fame!! Who knew you could make such a difference without your identity!!
For the anonymous poster who is upset by this project: obviously no one here is against alleviating world hunger and we are all grateful to have enough food for our own needs, but we have the right of freedom of speech, just like you have the right to freedom of speech (which you choose to use unwisely in this situation). If you think you will be changing anyone's mind by using a hostile tone and berating individuals for their opinions, you are mistaken. Sounds like you need a course or two on persuasive writing. Good luck recruiting anyone to join your cause, because you sure sound like a joy to be around.
Congrats! What you're doing is amazing and you deserve all of the positive recognition for bringing this important issue to the forefront.
I wish the shitty school in my town would read your blog. Their cafeterias SUCK.
Congrats on all the press! I am so jealous that you got to talk to Jamie Oliver. I love what he is doing and think it even cooler that you got a phone call from him.
Kudos to you for keeping your head screwed on the right way as the accolades, cameras — and phone calls from celebrity chefs — start pouring in.
Just think, next year you may actually WANT to eat the school lunch, if change really is coming.
I L-O-V-E love you and Jamie Oliver!!! Seriously, you two have inspired me to be even more aware of what I fed my family (and I was pretty darn good about food choices prior to all of this). When I went grocery shopping on Sunday I actually thought back to you and Jamie and really read labels and debated on what/what not to buy. As a teacher and a mom I applaud you and Jamie for all that you are doing to bring awareness in regards to food choices. Keep it up!!
I love your blog, but I wanted to point out that you mention exactly where JuJu Chang flew out to meet you. If you are trying to be anonymous, you may want to update this post to remove that reference. JMO.
You are an inspiration!
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