Monday, April 5, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

I am enjoying the new show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution", although parts of it make me feel very frustrated. The premise of the show is that celebrity chef Jamie Oliver goes to a town in Wes t Virginia (chosen because it is the "unhealthiest city in America"), and tries to educate the people there about eating real food.
One family had a week's worth of the food that they ate laid out in front of them. Not a green thing on that table. All brown fried, or beige. Their entire freezer was full of cheap frozen pizzas. After a trip to the Dr where the whole family learned that they were very unhealthy, they vowed to change their habits. When Jamie went back afew weeks later, they claimed that there were eating healthy, but there were an awful lot of fast food cups laying around the house.
The main focus is on healthier school lunches, which Jamie has done a lot of work with in the UK. It's sad how resistant some people are to the idea, and how some people seem to truly have no idea. The schools don't have the funding to server fresh food, because the government subsidizes processed junk. The cafeteria workers in the show don't want to do the extra work involved with fresh food. Much easier just to slice open the plastic bag of chicken nuggets and dump them on the tray to bake.
I only allow our kids to buy lunch at school once a week, because it's all processed and canned junk. They don't offer as many sugary desserts as they did when I was a child, but a typical fruit serving is canned peaches in heavy syrup. French fries are considered a vegetable, according to USDA guidelines.
Hopefully this show will stir up more interest in healthier school lunch fare, and educate people that fresh food is better for you than things that come out of a box from the freezer, with a mile long ingredient list containing items that one would need a chemistry degree to decipher.


Donna said...

I haven't watched this new one but I did watch a lot of the one he did in England. He seemed to spend a lot of time arguing with the lunch ladies, who of course aren't the ones who make decisions about what is served. I don't know the answer - my kids didn't buy much because the food was horrible. But they probably would have thought it was horrible-er if it had been Jamie's kind of food LOL.

jennifer c. said...

Most of the arguing about the food with the lunch ladies on this show is that they say it takes to much time and it's too much extra work to do fresh food.
It is hard to change people's palates, especially kids. That's been the saddest part. When kids only know frozen nuggets, that's what they want to eat. When Jamie asked a group of kids eating nuggets for lunch what they had for dinner at home the previous night. at least 1/4 of them had nuggets for dinner at home. When urged to try a salad (which looked really good) many of them were gagging and spitting it back out.
When my kids were in kindergarten, we did a kindergarten cookbook project. We asked all of the kids what their favorite meal was, and then asked them to give us the recipe. The results were really cute and funny, but it was obvious that a substantial amount of kids had never seen real cooking at home. They thought that everything came out of a box from the freezer, and popped into the microwave.

Anonymous said...

I was gonna mention this over *there* but you're not there anymore! :( My friend watched this and did a real soapbox over it. She couldn't get over that everything was finger foods that kids could just cram in their mouths without thought. She said she wanted to smack the lunch ladies, lol.

Hope things are good in your world!