GREEN MSP Mark Ruskell's call for all public sector kitchens to serve organic-only produce brings into sharp focus the issue of improving the quality of the food given to those in the care of the state - whether they be in hospital, prison or school. In broader terms, his campaign also raises questions about the issue of healthy living in Scotland in general.

High profile figures such as celebrity chefs Nick Nairn and Jamie Oliver, to name but a few, have sought to work with governments to improve the nutritional value of schools meals for example.

Nairn's claim in today's Sunday Herald that he was "spectacularly unsuccessful" in securing lasting change will chime with readers of all ages who well remember the standard of food served to them during their school days.

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Likewise, hospital food has long been the butt of jokes from many a stand-up comic and is viewed as simply something one has to put up with like bad weather - and while many of us have thankfully never tasted prison food, rest assured there is room for improvement.

Nairn hints at the root of the problem, with his suggestion that decision-makers see a shake-up in healthy eating as simply too expensive and something that it is far easier to pay lip service toward.

While the idea of organic-only food in every prison, school or hospital kitchen is too unrealistic and utopian, this newspaper does commend Mark Ruskell for drawing attention to the poor quality of public sector food.

So while there are huge questions marks over Ruskell's wider plan for organic food, what he has done is start a necessary and important conversation. If we want to promote healthy living in Scotland, then public sector kitchens are a good place to start. We may not need organic food in every prison, school and hospital kitchen, but we certainly need good, fresh and healthy food.