Last night, John and I watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I applaud Oliver for trying so hard to wake up the citizens (especially the lunch ladies) of the unhealthiest town in America. While some have said it was heavily scripted (as many reality shows tend to be), I really don't care. It was the message that impressed me.
We were horrified by the fact that the 6 year olds could not identify the vegetables Oliver held up, but heartened by the fact that the teacher took it upon herself to teach the kids what they were. If the kids don't know what the vegetables are, it could mean one or more of the following:
1. All of their vegetables (if they eat any beyond potatoes) are processed.
2. Their parents no longer cook food, preferring instead to heat things.
3. Their parents do not have them participate in the purchasing and cooking of food.
John and I both remember being taught about food in school. What happened to this part of their education? Has it gone the way of music classes?
I hope that Oliver's work does not go unnoticed, especially by parents. The segment of the show that focused on the morbidly obese family was very interesting. I'm glad they finally got the point when the doctor explained the potential health problems facing their son. I'm also glad Oliver stayed and became part of the solution, despite the fact his family is back in the U.K. waiting for him.
The major issue I had with the program was food waste. I sincerely hope Oliver took all the meals that were not selected (in favor of pizza) to a local food bank. We have a big problem with folks going hungry right here in America, and watching all that food being wasted was painful, to say the least.
While we are not parents, we are concerned about the future of our country. In these times of phenomenally expensive health care, we really need to refocus on how to make healthy, fresh, organic foods less expensive so that it becomes cheaper to eat healthily than to eat poorly.
Remember when our mom's used to say "You are what you eat?" It's true. As the country's diet has gone downhill, so has our global competitiveness and innovation. The sooner we return to caring about our health and the health of our fellows, the better we will do.
Just my 50 cents (inflation, you know).