Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution –Real or Hype?
Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution premiered on Friday, a show my family had been looking forward to for weeks. Usually, the promotions for these types of programs give away all the best stuff, but not in this case, not in the least.
Goal: Overhaul the school lunch program country (just as Oliver did in the UK),
Location: Huntington, West Virginia since it has been rated the unhealthiest city in the states, a title the residents are not proud of.
Shocker: Kids are unable to identify a TOMATO and POTATO. I am serious. The first grade classroom featured showed students drawing a complete blank when Oliver holds up various veggies for a guessing game. Sad, pathetic, and just totally unacceptable in my book.
Tear Jerker: Oliver’s innocent request that knives be provided for the children’s lunch reveals the kids have no idea how to use them because there is no need when all they are served is nuggets, pizza (for breakfast BTW!?) and other pop in your mouth junk. This was a rather profound moment, since I never really thought about this. Oliver goes on to explain that in the UK, teaching to eat with a knife and fork is simply another part of the teachers responsibility. Hmmm.
Total Gagger: When Oliver attempts an experiment that “never fails” –it fails, and fails big time with our kids. He shows the kids a chicken, cuts off the meat and the “good parts”, and is left with the slimy carkus and bloody guts. All the kids scream “Ewww!!” and claim they would never eat it in a million years. Yet, after Oliver grinds it up in a food processor, and forms patties out of the pink paste, you guessed it — the kids can’t wait to crunch them down. What does this say? Oliver concludes that our kids are brainwashed to eat anything that looks familiar — form the most disgusting ingredients into the right shape, and down it goes.
Fried Feasts: The family of focus is a morbidly obese clan chained to their deep fryer which is used to make donuts in the morning, and everything else for lunch and dinner. Their freezer is literally stuffed with frozen pizzas — just frozen pizzas. I couldn’t help but feel compassion for the mother, a lady who cried again and again throughout her segments, as if she had just grasped the gravity of the situation. Were the tears from not understanding how unhealthy the foods she was feeding her family are? Or was she crying because of the overwhelming challenge ahead of her which would require a complete and total overhaul of their lifestyle in an effort to raise “successful” children as she put it? Don’t know. All I know is watching the family made me feel conflicted — on one hand compassionate, on the other angry at what seemed so obvious — you can’t serve a pile of fried crap to your kids day in and day out and expect them not to be obese.
Disturbing: The volume of processed foods being fed to our kids, all for the sake of convenience and $. The program features seemingly healthy mashed potatoes revealed as being frozen “potato pearls,” that when stirred with water turns into a cement like, paste tasting blah. The camera turns on the ingredients label, which is about 3 inches long, yet is totally disregarded by the lunch ladies as being “fine.” Is this fine or is this cancer waiting to happen? Why do we consume products with a list of chemical ingredients, simply because it tastes good? I don’t know about the other moms out there, but I would gladly pay triple price for my kids lunch if it meant they could get REAL food.
Conclusion: Since watching this show, I have been gung ho about it, searching the site for ways to get involved, signing the petition, grabbing screenshots for this post — and then what do I see? A frickin’ Oreo sponsorship!!
Is this just another American reality show that is all hype and no bite?
Let’s wait and see.