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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time For a Food Revolution?

Did any of you get to see the hour long sneak peak of the new television show called Food Revolution on Sunday evening? It had me engrossed and I can't wait to watch the two hour episode this Friday evening.

What it is about is that Jamie Oliver (a chef from Britain, I think) is coming to America to change the way we eat. He is starting in Huntington, WV which according to the USDA statistics is the unhealthiest town in America due to obesity and death rates. He is going into the school cafeteria to change the eating habits of the children and also helping families at home learn to cook healthy foods.

What he showed on Sunday night's episode was astounding. The school cafeteria was feeding almost all processed foods to the children. The freezers were full of food that wasn't even recognizable by glance...frozen logs of eggs to be made into scrambled eggs, "potato pearls" to be made into mashed potatoes, chicken breasts that looked like nuclear waste. What is appalling is that these foods are acceptable within the USDA food guidelines. I don't fault the cafeteria ladies, they are just following the rules and it seems to be much harder to feed the children the healthy food. When Jamie made chicken and rice for the children he was told that in order to meet the guidelines he was required to serve an extra bread product, though he found that to be outrageous as he says who needs bread and rice in the same meal? But the pizza that the cafeteria cooks were serving meet all the bread guidelines for the day? And when given the choice the majority of the children chose the unhealthy pizza instead of the chicken. He noticed that the few things that the cooks made from scratch, such as homemade rolls, were the one thing that kids weren't eating from their plates. The processed junk food was eaten and the fruit and other real foods were thrown in the trash by these children. I'm curious to see if he is able to change the way that the school cooks by the end of this series.

It was not just the school that had issues. He went to one family and asked to see what they cook for a week. It was ALL fried fatty foods...corn dogs, pizza, fried doughnuts, and more. I did not see a single vegetable or fruit. It was literally sickening. It isn't just families in Huntington, Wv that cook like this though. And it was truly eye opening to see how many families eat and what the USDA guidelines find acceptable.

I hope that each of you are able to watch this television show (it is on our regular television channels so no need for cable). I urge you to check out the Food Revolution site to learn about what channel it will air in your area and to look at all the resources listed there.

Did you watch the first episode Sunday? Your thoughts? What do you think of the USDA guidelines? Does America need a food revolution?


  1. I didn't watch the first episode but I am interested. Here in Minnesota we have a fairly new program that is catching on- Farm to School where schools are buying from local farmers. I think I also read about one of the area chefs doing lots of work in getting the menus back on track but I can't think of who it is or is it's just in Minneapolis or what. I hope by the time my boys are in school things have improved a bit.

  2. I just saw a commercial the other day for this show! I want to watch!

    Now, I could cook healthier, I am by no means perfect! But my kids eat fruit every day for a snack, they drink water, and I always serve a veggie with my meals!

    I'm always shocked when I hear that a family "doesn't do veggies". Really???

  3. It was heartbreaking and shocking! Why don't we( the gov't) value our children and education in this country?

  4. I am so glad he's doing this in the US now!! We are huge Jamie Oliver fans at our house, cook a lot with fresh veggies, eat fruit as snacks, don't use processed much of anything, etc. He did a similar program in England a while back -- going into the schools and changing the menus there. If he can do it there, I hope he can do it here!

    Looking forward to finding and watching this; hopefully we'll find a way (I live in Brazil...). My middle son would LOVE It!

  5. Thank you for posting about this. I hadn't heard of it and I am now definitely going to watch it. I can just hear the moans from my kids (insert evil laughter)

  6. No, I missed it and I really wanted to watch it too. I had injured my foot Sunday so it wasn't a good day. I hope they re-air the first episode. Definitly try to catch this coming Sunday.

  7. I found the episode at abc.com so anyone interested can watch it on their computer! The next episode is a two hour one which will be on this Friday night so check your local listings...or I'm sure you'll be able to find them online sometime.
    My husband watched the first episode on abc today and is now hooked as well. :)

  8. Oh no, I missed it! I'll have to catch up online. This is a show I really want to watch!



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