Tuesday night I got the chance to view the premiere of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I'm not sure what I expected, but with the energy Jamie has brought to his past shows, I thought it was worth watching. I was intrigued by the title and I just wanted to let the story unfold.
I focused intently on how Jamie was going to handle his campaign on getting school children to eat real non-processed food and LIKE it! When trying to work with some adults in town, it was surprising to see how much resistance he would meet. Changing habits is hard I know, especially when time and money are involved. It is evident though that we have created a culture of chicken nugget and pizza eaters. They kids just weren't willing to try anything different and the school lunch staff complained profusely about how it wasn't going to work.
At the end of the second episode, thankfully Jamie had started to see change. The 1st graders who previously couldn't tell the difference between a tomato and a potato, had worked hard along with their teacher to learn it. Not only that, but stickers were given to kids in the lunch room who were willing to try some of the new food Jamie had prepared from scratch. There were even some that really liked the new foods. So now I am anxious to continue to follow this series to the end. Jamie will be spending 3-4 months in this community to encourage them to change a lifestyle that is killing them.
As you know, I am particularly interested in getting children interested in gardening. Gardening leads to good eating habits. It's a basic survival skill that happens to provide great exercise and amazing food. We live in a whole different generation where children think that their food only comes from the grocery store and that just is not acceptable in these uncertain times. People should be able to take care of themselves if needed. Our habits remind me a bit of the movie "Wall-E" when you see obese people being transported everywhere in chairs and eating meals out of a cup like a milkshake. We've gotten to a point where that is not too far off the truth.
This just gives me more encouragement to push school gardens because its so desperately needed in the most unhealthy obese countries in the world.
You can access the same data that Jamie Oliver used from USDA on population health by states and counties. Here's the link: USDA Food Environment Atlas
Don't forget to sign Jamie's food petition