Posts Tagged ‘NeverSeconds’

Child 31 – The Story of Mary’s Meals

November 18, 2013
Martha Payne and Jamie Oliver

Martha Payne and Jamie Oliver

I had never heard of Mary’s Meals, until Martha Payne wrote of Mary’s Meals on her excellent blog NeverSeconds, and through her blog, raised money for a school kitchen in Malawi.

Why a school kitchen is important, is that the children get fed one decent meal a day, and it encourages them to go to school.

Vandana Shiva: “Seed, Food, Guts”

September 30, 2013

We’ve created an agriculture system of untasty and unhealthy food, and we consider it smart. — Vandana Shiva

In her presentation at MAD3, author, seed activist, and eco feminist Vandana Shiva described how decades ago she got the gut feeling that she needed to leave the world of physics (she has a PhD in quantum theory) to fight against industrialized and commodified food systems. Although she had published work on seed freedom early in her career, she felt that wouldn’t be enough. “If you’re serious and honest,” she says, “you can’t just analyze something.”

At the symposium, Shiva provided a dizzying array of data to describe how monocultures result in food that is both unhealthy and not nearly as tasty as it could be. “They claim that they are feeding the world,” said Shiva of those who push the Green Revolution, “but it is actually small farmers who account for 72 per cent of the world’s food.” She condemned companies like Monsanto for having the gall to patent seeds (“Patents are for inventions, not for life”), and described how pesticides and genetically modified foods harm both the land and the people that consume the crops.

She also alluded to the nefarious efforts some of these corporations have made to maintain the status quo, like pushing out scientists whose data doesn’t support their agenda, and charging royalties for seeds that can push farmers to the brink. To support the latter point, Shiva referenced the staggering suicide rates among farmers in India.

Perhaps because she was addressing an audience made up primarily of chefs, Shiva emphasized how being guided by deliciousness can actually help the problem. According to her, instead of deluding ourselves with the promise of things like Golden Rice, we should support indigenous agriculture so we have a world of diverse, unpolluted, and tastier foods to draw from.

Shiva called on chefs to note on their menus that they don’t serve genetically modified crops. Referring to her 40 years in the seed freedom, she said that chefs were actually among the first people to speak out against GMOs and patented seeds. “There has to be food freedom,” she said. “How can it be manipulated, how can it be poisoned?”

Thanks to Martha and David Payne and NeverSeconds.

Why bookshops are failing

April 3, 2013
Manuscript Found in Accra No 28 in WHSmith

Manuscript Found in Accra No 28 in WHSmith

Within a space of five years we lost a quarter of all our indie bookshops. The chains are faring little better.

It is easy to see why they are failing, and it is not the internet or Amazon which are simply scapegoats for bad practices, bad businesses acumen, and failure to know anything about books.

Independent bookshops are being put out of business because we do not operate in a level playing field. The chains Waterstone’s and WHSmith are offered massive discounts which are not available to the little guys, which enable the chains to offer books at anything up to 75% off.

But even with these massive discounts the chains are failing.

A couple of years ago we saw the Aleph fiasco. Walk into Waterstone’s they did not have it on display, the staff did not have clue what it was. A book by a leading author, an international best seller, and the staff did not have a clue, the shops did not have on display.

The same happened last year with NeverSeconds, by Martha and David Payne. There can be few books that has as much publicity, it was a potential Christmas best seller, it was launched in Waterstone’s in Glasgow, and yet lucky to find a copy in Waterstone’s, the staff did not have a clue, it was not on display.

Last Thursday, the eagerly awaited Manuscript Found in Accra was published. Another international best seller from an internationally acclaimed author.

Thanks to the publisher failing to set an embargo (at least better than Aleph where they actually forgot the book was published), Waterstone’s and a few indie bookshops stole a march on Amazon and not only put it on sale, but put it on display. But why not on display in the window? No mention in e-mails from Waterstone’s, that has been published, is in their bookshops.

Last week WHSmith had Manuscript Found in Accra on display in store (if you looked hard enough) at half price. But why not on display in the window and why so few copies? In one store three copies, in another store two copies. The day before publication they did not have a clue when I asked.

Note: Manuscript Found in Accra, opened at No 2 in Barnes and Noble on day of publication. Maybe unlike WHSmith, they made it readily available.

Note: Manuscript Found in Accra, opened at No 2 on Amazon. Which only goes to show the demand and where it could be in WHSmith if they got their act together and actually sold books!

Not a single copy of NeverSeconds in Waterstone’s

January 8, 2013
Waterstones Lincoln High Street

Waterstones Lincoln High Street

Two Waterstone’s in Lincoln, one in the market area in the old Corn Exchange, the other in the High Street.

Waterstone’s in the High Street no NeverSeconds on the shelves.

I asked, girl no idea NeverSeconds. Checked on the system, the one and only NeverSeconds they had in stock had been sold some days ago. She may have said 27 December, but I cannot be sure.

As she was quite helpfully, I explained NeverSeconds, that what was only on display was in the main celebrity garbage, Waterstone’s was a disgrace as a bookshop, and soon the chain would go under.

She did not disagree, said she was ashamed at having to walk past the rubbish on display, more suited to shelves of a supermarket, it was dictated centrally. I guessed she was former Ottaker’s (the rival book chain Waterstone’s bought and destroyed) where they decided what to order.

NeverSeconds grabbed her interest, and she said she would check it out.

She also checked other Waterstone’s. It was the same picture in most shops with a few rare exceptions, a single copy of NeverSeconds.

This has been my experience too, not on display, not a clue.

There has to be something very seriously wrong with what masquerades as a chain of bookshops (in reality a chain that sells books) and fails to have on display a potential best seller.

At the end of last year, the food blog NeverSeconds passed nine million hits, it featured with Martha Payne on most end of year reviews, but Waterstone’s does not have a single copy in stock, let alone NeverSeconds on display!

Over Christmas, BBC broadcast an updated edition of Martha, Meals and Malawi.

During the year, Martha picked up numerous awards, including Campaigner of the Year on Freedom of Expression from Liberty.

Together with her father David, Martha co-authored NeverSeconds, which tells the story of her blog, standing firm against the bully-boys at her local council, the trip to Malawi. For each copy of NeverSeconds sold, 25 meals for Mary’s Meals.

Thanks to the generosity of Cargo Publishing it is possible to download NeverSeconds for 99p.

NeverSeconds is for 12 days available for download from Amazon at 99p. Double good news, it will still pay for 25 dinners in Africa.

NeverSeconds exceeds nine million hits

December 31, 2012
Martha's younger sister playing with the kids

Martha’s younger sister Polly playing with the kids

Martha relaxing after handing out backpacks

Martha relaxing after handing out backpacks

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead

Martha is such an inspiration to anyone who wants to make a difference. She’s a true hero. — Jamie Oliver

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. — Paulo Coelho

An amazing year for Martha Payne, who who eight months ago as a nine-year old Scottish schoolgirl set up a food blog to rate her school dinners. Little did she know what the year would bring.

Although she set up her blog NeverSeconds at the end of April, her first real post was early May. That first entry saw over 35,000 visits to her blog.

A blog that was well written, thoughtful. Something for everyone to be proud of. Not though Argyll and Bute Council. Instead of highlighting her as an example of the high standard of education in Scotland, they lied, they smeared the family and bully-boys at the council tried to shut her blog down.

They picked on the wrong person. Martha stood firm. She was honoured by Liberty for standing up for free speech.

Argyll and Bute Council have still to apologise for bullying a nine-year-old schoolgirl, for lying, for smearing a decent family.

Not content with writing about her school dinners she shared her blog with others. She invited schoolchildren from around the world to write guest blogs. When they did, they only served to emphasise how disgusting were the school dinners in Scotland. She inspired others to write blogs, to campaign for better conditions in their schools. She used her bog to raise money via Mary’s Meals for schoolchildren in Malawi.

Martha was invited to Malawi to inaugurate a school kitchen for which she had raised the money. She and her family travelled to Malawi.

With her father David, Martha has co-authored a book NeverSeconds which documents her eventful year. For each copy sold, 25 meals for Malawi.

Shame on Waterstone’s, a disgrace as a bookshop chain, better described as a chain that sells books, for failing to have NeverSeconds on display, whose staff have not a clue.

Martha is not the only person to be treated in a disgraceful manner by Waterstone’s. Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho got the same treatment last year when he released Aleph.

Martha has featured in most of the year end reviews for 2012.

As the year draws to a close, Cargo Publishing are to be praised for their generosity in making NeverSeconds available for download at 99p. In reality this is a donation of 25 meals to Malawi with a free copy of NeverSeconds.

As the minutes drain away from the final hours of 2012, what better way to thank Martha than to see her blog pass nine million visits.

Martha is the good news story of 2012. Please tell all your friends.

Well done Martha. We are all very proud of you. Every award you received during the year was well and truly deserved.

Never let it be said one person cannot achieve a lot. This is what Martha achieved in 2012. What are you going to achieve in 2013?

NeverSeconds: Argyll and Bute Council yet to apologise

December 31, 2012
Sally Loudon, the Chief Executive of Argyll and Bute Council not in talkative mood in Oban Times

Sally Loudon, the Chief Executive of Argyll and Bute Council not in talkative mood in Oban Times

Argyll and Bute Council tried to bully a nine-year-old schoolgirl. Luckily she was made of sterner stuff and stood her ground.

Sally Loudon, Chief Executive of Argyll and Bute Council, should resign for coordinating abuse of Martha and her family.

Questions Sally Loudon, Chief Executive of Argyll and Bute Council, has yet to answer:

Not only a bunch of liars, cowards too.

A Freedom of Information served on Argyll and Bute Council would be quite revealing.

There needs to be an in-depth independent investigation of Argyll and Bute Council, heads should roll.

It must be their idea of a sick joke, on the front of their website: Realising our potential together.

Martha and her family had high media profile, powerful backers, Martha was prepared to stand firm against the bully-boys and liars at Argyll and Bute Council. Pause and reflect how others less able to defend themselves are treated by this dishonest and rotten council.

NeverSeconds, co-authored by Martha and David Payne, provides a detailed account of how they were treated by Argyll and Bute Council. Thanks to the generosity of Cargo Publishing, it is currently available for download from Amazon at 99p. Each copy downloaded, 25 meals for schoolchildren in Africa, via Mary’s Meals.

You may wish to tell Argyll and Bute Council what you think of their appalling behavaviour, why they think it is ok to behave in this manner, pose a few questions …

You may also wish to contact Roddy McCuish, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, and ask him was it OK the behaviour of his council officials, blatantly lying, bullying a nine-year-old schoolgirl, smearing a decent family …

Download NeverSeconds for 99p

December 30, 2012

Technically, Cargo lose money on each sold today. We don’t care, not when 25 kids get a meal with each one. — Cargo Publishing

Thanks to the generosity of Cargo Publishing it is possible to download NeverSeconds for 99p.

NeverSeconds is for 12 days available for download from Amazon at 99p. Double good news, it will still pay for 25 dinners in Africa.

NeverSeconds co-authored by Martha and David Payne, is the story behind the food blog NeverSeconds.

For each copy of NeverSeconds sold, a donation of 25 meals to Mary’s Meals to feed 25 schoolchildren in Africa.

Pay Your Taxes by Asher Gowan is available for free download from Amazon until 1 January 2013.

Get downloading, pass to your friends, let’s get NeverSeconds and Pay Your Taxes into the Top Two places on Amazon.

Amazon e-book download is a propriety format. Download and install Calibre to manage e-books, which can also be used to convert format to ePub format which is an Open Source non-propriety format used by e-readers such as Kobo.

BBC Scotland: Martha and David Payne discuss NeverSeconds

December 30, 2012

Martha’s Story broadcast BBC Radio Scotland, BBC at its best, a pleasant change from the usual air-headed presenters.

The focus different to Martha, Meals and Malawi. This time not on Malawi, but on what was going on behind the scenes of NeverSeconds. In essence an overview of what you will find in the book NeverSeconds, co-written by Martha and David Payne.

Absolutely amazing, NeverSeconds achieved 35,000 hits on the first day.

Jaw dropping listening to the lying council official blatanly lie about Martha. What sort of low life life bullies a nine-year-old schoolgirl? What action has been taken against this dishonest jobsworth?

Appalling the way Argyll and Bute Council tried to paint Martha and her family as a bad family.

When there was a crude attempt to shut down the blog, Argyll and Bute Council once again blatantly lied, putting out a press release that was a pack of lies in a crude attempt attempt to discredit Martha and her blog. Then to reinforce their dishonesty they replaced overwrote the press release with a second press release. But not before the first press release was grabbed.

What made this disgraceful council think they could get away with it?

Martha was made of sterner stuff, and stood up to the bully-boys at Argyll and Bute Council, went on to raise money for a school kitchen in Malawi.

A Freedom of Information request served on Argyll and Bute Council would be quite revealing. Heads should roll, not only the lying official who tried to blacken the name of Martha.

Sally Loudon, Chief Executive of Argyll and Bute Council, has yet to issue an apology.

Martha’s Story broadcast BBC Radio Scotland 1030 Sunday 30 December 2012 and 0703 Tuesday 1 Jan 2013.

NeverSeconds co-authored by Martha and David Payne goes into more details the story behind Martha’s story.

Shame on Waterstone’s, the staff not a clue NeverSeconds, not on display either in store or in the window. How can you claim to a be a book chain and know absolutely nothing about a book that has had more media attention than anything this year?

NeverSeconds is for 12 days available for download from Amazon at 99p. Double good news, it will still pay for 25 dinners in Africa.

Amazon e-book download is a propriety format. Download and install Calibre to manage e-books, which can also be used to convert format to ePub format which is an Open Source non-propriety format used by e-readers such as Kobo.

Please do get get too carried away. The bargain download on NeverSeconds is thanks to Cargo Publishing. Lest we forget, Amazon is a tax dodger for which we all pay.

Pay Your Taxes by Asher Gowan is available for free download from Amazon until 1 January 2013.

Get downloading, pass to your friends, let’s get NeverSeconds and Pay Your Taxes into the Top Two places on Amazon.

BBC produce an excellent documentary and once again only held on-line for seven days!

Martha Payne and NeverSeconds top news story of 2012

December 29, 2012
msn heroes of 2012

msn heroes of 2012

Bad things can sometimes turn into good things. I am glad I didn’t give up. — Martha Payne

Just swapped present with my Mom. We both bought the book, we laughed we hugged we fed 50 in Malawi thank you veg. — Robert Hird

Martha Payne and her food blog NeverSeconds have featured up there with Pussy Riot, Malawa and tax dodging Starbucks as top news stories of 2012.

BBC recorded the crass stupidity of bully-boys at Argyle and Bute Council trying to shut down NeverSeconds as the second most requested news story on Scotland.

BBC also recorded Martha and NeverSeconds as one of the top viral news stories of 2012.

Daily Telegraph named Martha as one of the Top Ten Britons of 2012. Yesterday she was featured on the front page.

Nor was it only the UK media, the international media also featured Martha Payne and her food blog NeverSeconds in their reviews of 2012, up there with the man who fell to earth, Aung San Suu Ky, Pussy Riot, Malawa.

For msn, Heroes of 2012.

Huffington Post called 2012 a people powered year. People can and do make a difference, it does not have to be apathy rules ok.

Seven months ago, Martha Payne was an ordinary nine-year-old from a tiny Scottish village – Lochgilphead in Argyll and Bute – who started a blog about her unhealthy school meals. When the local council banned Martha from writing her blog, she made headlines around the world and gained millions of fans, including Jamie Oliver, who campaigned to get her blog back on-line. To date, it has recorded nearly nine million hits, raised over £127,000 for the charity Mary’s Meals. In October, Martha visited the school kitchen in Blantyre, Malawi, which was built with money donated by her fans.

Martha has now opened up her blog to guest blogs from around the world, has inspired others to follow her excellent example.

Over Christmas, BBC broadcast an updated edition of Martha, Meals and Malawi.

During the year, Martha has picked up numerous awards, including Campaigner of the Year on Freedom of Expression from Liberty.

Together with her father David, Martha has co-authored a book NeverSeconds, which tells the story of her blog, standing firm against the bully-boys at her local council, the trip to Malawi. For each copy of NeverSeconds sold, 25 meals for Mary’s Meals.

What is unbelievably perverse is that a chain like Waterstone’s, that masquerade as bookshops, the staff have not a clue NeverSeconds, have never heard of it, it is not on display either in store or in the window. They had on their hands what was a potential best seller for Christmas, a market they have now missed, a book that should have been on display, piled high. No surprise Watersone’s is one of the High Street chains predicted to go under in 2013

Merry Christmas from Taste Communications

December 20, 2012

Taste Communications, instead of sending out corporate Christmas cards this Christmas, decided instead to set up a stall and give away free food. They also made a donation to Mary’s Meals, which will go towards feeding school kids in Africa.

Through her blog NeverSeconds, Martha Payne has now raised over £125,000 for Mary’s Meals. Her book NeverSeconds co-written with her father David, for each copy sold, 25 meals for Mary’s Meals. A pity bookshops do not have NeverSeconds on prominent display as it would have been a run away Christmas best seller. An update of Martha, Meals and Malawi, will be show over Christmas.

In November, Covent Garden Soups had quite literally a soup kitchen. Where else other than Covent Garden!

I noticed the other day in a fairly run down area, where even a charity shop had pulled out the shop then sitting empty, the shop is to re-open as a food bank.

Banks are on the decline, the future may by peer-to-peer lending as the crooked corporate banks are no longer trusted.

Banks may be on the decline, banks that steal our money, food banks are on the rise due to the ConDem government waging war on the poor and disadvantaged.

If the ConDem government thought they had public support for their viscous attacks on the poor and disadvantaged, they made a big mistake. According to an Ipsos Mori poll, only 27% think benefit cuts were ok or should be deeper, while 69% think benefits should rise with or above inflation.

What people wish to see is a fairer society, the rich paying higher taxes and tax dodgers dealt with.

Taste Communications is a PR company promoting Scottish food.