Did anyone see Jamie Oliver's preview of his new show, "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" last night? I wasn't terribly hopeful going into it, but it was FANTASTIC! Jamie has challenged and improved the school lunches in his home country of England and he's come to America to try to do the same. He started with the town of Huntington, WV, as it was deemed by government statistics as the worst town for overall obesity and overall bad health. To say he was welcomed with opened arms would be a HUGE lie.
He is currently working with five "lunch ladies" in one of the area elementary schools. They took great offense at the term "lunch lady" and wanted to be known as cooks. But in my opinion, anyone, whether at school, restaurant, institution or home that only heats up food or reconstitutes food, isn't cooking. One lunch lady hung her attitude on the fact that in the LONG list of ingredients of everything Jamie was trying to point out as extremely processed, thus "not real" foods, the first ingredient was always the "real" food that the item was suppose to be. It wasn't pointed out that the one real food ingredient was followed by thirty other ingredients that the majority of us cannot pronounce or have a clue what is. Being a gluten and multiple other food-intolerant person, myself, I can attest that many, many things have wheat and milk added as fillers, so we are being hugely overdosed on some items we don't even realize would have those things in them. But I digress.
These ladies were nearly giddy when Jamie's first attempt at feeding the children baked chicken, roasted potatoes, salad and apples was a large failure. What few children chose this lunch, threw much of it out. Of course they did. They have had nothing but chicken nuggets and pizza their whole lives. And the school serves pizza for breakfast everyday. Jamie asked different children what they had for supper the night before and they unanimously said chicken nuggets, pizza, chicken tenders, etc. They are eating the same foods day in and day out, no matter where they are. Convenience items. Things we all throw at our kids when we have no time or energy to cook. By the time this preview show was over I likened feeding our children in this manner no better than opening a bag of feed and tossing on the ground for the chickens or slopping the pigs. Something that has to be done, but do it as quickly and easily as possible. I would hope we care more about our kids than the chickens and pigs.
"Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" actually premiers this Friday on ABC at 9pm ET. I challenge everyone to watch and be as grossed out as I was about the state of our diets and what we are feeding our children. We should be outraged and demand standards to change. If we don't not only are our children dying before we will, but their children, our grandchildren will die even younger. Our laziness and habits shouldn't be so self-important to kill future generations for no good reason.