First came Fast Food Nation. Then, Super Size Me. The latest installment in the man-aren’t-we-Americans-disgusting-in-what-we-eat comes to us delivered with a British accent in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. After seeing several comments from other moms on Facebook, I sat down and watched the three episodes which have aired so far online. This is how the show is described:
“Jamie Oliver is here to start a revolution. The impassioned chef, TV personality and best-selling author 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. Oliver is inviting viewers to take a stand and change the way America eats, in our home kitchens, schools and workplaces, with this thought-provoking new series.”
Most of what I saw I expected: further confirmation that kids are becoming more removed from where their food comes from, further sadness that some children can’t recognize vegetables LIKE A TOMATO (c’mon kids, don’t you see the picture of the tomato on the ketchup bottle?) and increased angst about my son entering the public school system and being forever resigned to packing his lunch.
I think it’s great that the show highlights a growing number of advocates (like Kate Adamick) who have changed their career path to lobby for changes in the meals we serve our children and a switch back to made-from-scratch meals and away from processed fare. If school lunch reform is the basis for a reality show, you know a critical mass is concerned about the issue and more will be made aware of the obvious link between raising childhood obesity rates and what is being served in our lunchrooms.
On one hand, I do feel lucky to live here in Austin and be surrounded by people who care about locally grown food. On the other hand, I cringe when I remember mentoring a Fulmore middle schooler and seeing that her lunch consisted of hot Cheetos, Powerade and fries (I felt like I was seriously helping her by taking her to Pizza Hut!)
For those of you with school-aged children, how do you feel about what’s served in Austin’s schools? How do you feel it compares to what was being served in Huntington, West Virginia? What efforts are you aware about locally to improve what’s served to Central Texas students?
Written by: Nicole Basham