Did anyone happen to watch the new show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution? There was a premier on Saturday and the rest of the program takes place on Fridays for 6 episodes. I believe this Friday is replaying episode one at 8pm on ABC. The remaining shows are scheduled for 9pm.
Jamie Oliver is a chef, TV personality and best-selling author from the U.K. He is “determined to take on the high statistics of obesity, heart disease and diabetes in this country, where our nation’s children are the first generation not expected to live as long as their parents.” In his home country he successful led a grass-roots effort to improve the school lunches in communities there. Now he has turned his attention to our country.
Jamie went to Huntington, West Virginia where I used to live and my husband grew up. He went there because it was deemed the unhealthiest city in America. His goal is to get Huntington off that list and start a chain reaction around the country.
“The time is right for people to rediscover the sense of pride, satisfaction and fun you can get from cooking for the people you love. There’s an incredible community in Huntington, and I want this experience to be a celebration of what we can achieve when people come together. I want to prove that turning around the epidemic of obesity and bad health doesn’t have to be boring or dull in the slightest. Wonderful stories will unfold in Huntington, and hopefully this will inspire the rest of the States.”
My son (16) and I watched the program and had lots to talk about. First off he was born there, so we know Huntington pretty well. Knowing that, I was not surprised at the reception and response Jamie received at first. I’m hoping that will change. We have family that lives in Huntington and know lots of families there. It’s a tight knit community that takes care of each other, but they do tend to dig their heels in when it comes to ideas different to what they believe or are just used to. As an outsider that moved there this drove me absolutely crazy and obviously still does.
There was one scene in this premier episode where Jamie made everything this one family ate for an entire week and piled it onto the kitchen table (see video below). It was full of pizza, corn dogs, hot dogs, french fries, deep fried foods, chips and chicken nuggets. I think the mother was really surprised. Seeing it all together really makes an impact. I cried as that mother cried.
I talked about this with my son and he agreed he used to eat that way, just not as much. Now that we have found foods we are intolerant of we’ve all changed the foods we eat including him. It’s not an easy process as many of you my dear readers know, but it can be done. We are living proof. I hope the people in this show can make the changes necessary for them.
As you are watching this show you realize government bureaucracy is not very helpful in this matter. When you see what they serve at the elementary schools and the guidelines that are mandated, you wonder how any of this will ever change. It’s really difficult if you are working hard at home to serve healthy tasty food and then the kids go off to school and get junk. For some reason junk is addicting and we crave it. In order for this to really work I believe it has to be changed at home and at the school at the same time (for those kids who buy school lunches).
So what can we do? What can you or I do? Here are 3 of my suggestions and I want to hear yours.
- Start cooking more foods from scratch, whole food ingredients, raw foods, real food or whatever you want to call it. The more you do this the more you find out what food is supposed to taste like.
- If you eat something that has a label, read it. Not just for the ingredients that you know make you sick like gluten, dairy, soy or whatever that you need to avoid. Read it to see how many chemicals and preservatives are in there. Things you can’t pronounce and have no idea what it is. If you were cooking this at home would you put the same ingredients into whatever it is you are thinking about buying? I challenge you to look up any ingredient you don’t know exactly what it is before you eat it.
- Join Jamie’s Food Revolution and sign the petition to make a change in school lunches for better food and keep cooking skills alive. His hope is to take this petition to the White House after the show airs and show it to the President and the First Lady so they can see people across this country care. If you look to the right side of this blog you will find a direct link that looks like this.
- Now I want to hear your thoughts, ideas, suggestions on how to create a Food Revolution at home, at school and across this country. Our lives depend on it!
Here is the trailer for the TV show in case you missed it.
By the way if you’ve not seen Jamie’s 20 minute meals iphone app, check it out. I have it and really like it.