In a ground-breaking piece of research that will rock the educational establishment, it has been decisively established that there are not, in fact, thousands of hungry children in Africa who would be grateful for the broccoli rejected during a school dinner by Tyler Adamson, 8.
Last week, the two stalks discarded by Tyler from his meal of roast pork with mixed vegetables on 15 July were flown out to Sierre Leone and proffered to a representative sample of famine-stricken people of all ages. Most simply stared at it in horror. ‘You give me this pigs’ garbage?’ said street trader Kingsley Ampadu, through a translator. ‘Let me tell you, malnutrition does many terrible things to you but it does not destroy your sense of taste. Get it away from me.’
Other victims waved the proffered broccoli away in disgust. One, mother of three, Blessing Gabunga, burst into tears and said that she would rather let her children starve than inflict such indignity on them. Over the course of his three-year career at St Josephs C of E Primary School in Mansfield, numerous teachers and dinner ladies have looked disapprovingly at Tyler as he put uneaten broccoli into the waste disposal and told him that plenty of starving children would have happily eaten it.
Tyler’s repeated protests that the starving children are welcome to the horrible muck have always been met with tutting and raised eyebrows. Now, he says, he feels entirely vindicated. ‘It tastes like dog sick and it’s got all flaky bits on it,’ he added.
Tyler’s sister has now taken to eating her brother’s broccoli, but nutritionists say they cannot imagine there is any scientific link between her starting to eat vegetables and her hair suddenly going curly.