Sunday, April 18, 2010

Food Revolution

Last week I watched the series premiere of the show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Jamie Oliver was successful in changing the way kids eat in schools around England. He is now bringing his mission to the United States. He is starting in a town that is the most obese city in the whole U.S. The show starts with his attempt to change the food for the school lunches, but realizes in order to do that, he needs to target the community as a whole. He opens a kitchen in town that offers cooking and food classes, works directly with a family, and holds events for the parents to educate them on what they are putting into their bodies.

I found this show appalling and inspiring. In one segment, Jamie goes into a classroom to attempt to teach the kids the connection between the pizza they were served in the cafeteria for breakfast with real vegetables. When he starts holding up tomatoes, potatoes, etc….for the kids to identify, they don’t even know what they are!!!! It is preposterous! I was mostly shocked by how many of the adults and kids have not concept of where their food comes from and have no desires to pose that question. I am by no means a saint when it comes to food. I can get down with some Taco Bell, but at least when I eat it, I know that I am putting utter crap in my system. Americans are trained to eat things that look good, smell good, and most importantly are cheap and convenient. Convenience and ease of preparation has completely taken over the importance of fresh and homemade.

This show is a huge wake up call to how processed foods have taken over our lives to a point where we don’t even know how we could eat without them. Even as I sit here on the plane writing this, the flight attendant has brought me 3 different snacks, all of which have more ingredients that I don’t understand than words in this sentence! One of them are those Ritz crackers with the weird cheese stuff sandwiched between them. What is that stuff anyway? But we have become so immune to seeing “food” like that, that we just shove it in our mouth for lack of having anything else.

Jamie’s show is just another reminder for us to take a closer look at what foods we put in our face and where they came from. I truly hope that he can create a food revolution so that the cheap and easy becomes the fresh and homemade. I highly recommend checking out the show, and maybe you, too, can become part of the revolution.

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