Word of Mouth: The parable of the slaughtered lamb

12th February 2010, Guardian Online

the slaughtered lamb parable

Lambs. Photo: Alamy

Should children be taught about where meat comes from, or is it better that they come to realise the realities of rearing and slaughter later in life?

Utterly mad and particularly British is this week’s story of a Kent head teacher forced from her job because she slaughtered the school farm’s lamb.

Andrea Charman had thought it a good way of teaching the children about the agricultural economy and the food cycle, and they agreed. But then some of their parents started social network campaigns to rescue the lamb. It took off. The lamb was duly slaughtered, the threats began and now she has quit. The lamb – Marcus – has had his revenge.

Word of Mouth: Baby steps towards better regulation

14th January 2010, Guardian Website

A rebuff for Heinz over an outrageous baby formula TV ad is bad news for food corps and their ever-more-sophisticated tweaks of parental guilt. But Heinz needs a proper spanking.

Heinz has received an embarrassing ticking-off from the Advertising Standards Authority for the nauseating TV advert for its baby milk, Nurture, above. The ASA said on Monday that the claim that the formula would support growth in the brain, body and immune system of a baby was “unsubstantiated” and “unacceptable”.

Campaigners for honest food are delighted. This is a boost in the next front in the long-running war over children’s food claims: promises that food supplements can aid mental development. (How long-running? In the 1890s John Harvey Kellogg said that his cornflakes would prevent masturbation in young men, while in 1903 Grape Nuts promised a cure for malaria and loose teeth.)

Read the rest of this post at the Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog.