Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Episode 2

I am slowly catching up on my Food Revolution episodes…Some of you may be thinking why am I placing so much emphasis on this show? Because obesity, mental illnesses, and cancer rates in the US are at their highest levels ever and the general public is just beginning to understand that a key cause of these diseases is what we are eating and not eating. Americans are in true need of being educated about food and revamping how we eat and what we view as “food.” Jamie Oliver’s show is symbolic of the changes, the true Food Revolution, occurring in America. This revolution is not only happening in local arenas like farmers’ markets or nationwide initiatives like Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program but also in everyday towns like Huntington, West Virginia.
Jamie Oliver spent many years in England changing the school food program because that is where he feels you start to or should start to mold people’s minds about food. However, he takes a multi-prong approach. In Huntington, he is not only cooking and teaching at schools but also offering free lessons at his kitchen in the town center, working with families, and collaborating with the pastor. There is a saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” We all need to work together to teach our children how to properly nourish themselves. Thirty-three percent of children are obese and this generation is predicted to live shorter lives than their parents. The issues in the US are widespread and deeper than his experiences in Britain. It was astonishing to watch this episode where children could not distinguish a potato from a tomato or a pear from an eggplant. The worse scene was when a small group of kids willingly and knowingly ate a chicken nugget made from a chicken carcass simply because they were hungry. Yes, this is prime time television, but I fully believe that this represents the sad state of American’s relationship with food.
Jamie Oliver is on a very powerful mission but he is only one man. It takes a village to raise a child, and it will take a whole lot more to change a nation. Join me in this revolution. Do one thing today in educating someone-whether it be your child, friend or neighbor-in how to eat better. Do it however you find effective. You can lead in silence and by example-pass on the creamy dressing during lunch or stay in the kitchen a little longer to make your salad. Or be proactive and verbal by cooking a meal with your son or daughter and teach them about different greens. Make a difference in their health and the health of whoever they touch.

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