Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jamie Oliver

Viva la Revolution!

So I am an episode behind.  But on the episode before last, entitled "Is it just me or have we just been pushed into the corner?", Jamie had his cooking class make lunch for the entire school.  Then the school put him the corner by the dumpster.  Crazy.  So Jamie decided to go into the classroom and find out what kinds know about their food.  He did a test with them, where he showed them pictures and asked them where food came from.  Most kids didn't know that a cow produces milk, or that cheese comes from milk.  It was sad.  It is a sad statement of our education system when seventeen year olds do not know the basics of food.

Then he went into science class.  And this is where I become most interested in the episode.  He taught the kids what is in their favorite ice cream sundaes.  For starters, he taught them, and me, that the thing that makes candy shiny is shellack.  That's right, the stuff that is used to seal floors is what makes candy shiny.  Shellack is the secretion of a female lac bug.  EWWW. The next thing he taught them made me soooo sad. Chocolate chip cookie dough is one of my favorite things ever.  The stuff they use to keep cookie dough soft in ice cream is FEATHERS and HUMAN HAIR.  I cannot believe that.  HUMAN HAIR.  I will never eat cookie dough ice cream again.  Not unless the ingredients are all whole foods.  If I don't know what the ingredient is or where it comes from, NOT EATING it.  It was so gross.

The other thing that got me the most was the fast food restaurant Jamie is working with.  He doesn't want to change to a better product, even though it is not any more expensive, and exceptionally better for his customers.  He met with one of Jamie's students and just kept telling that it was not his fault that America is overweight, that they have a choice, and they can choose to eat at his restaurant.  That's right, and they can also choose not to eat at your restaurant.  But when you are a single, working mom who is just trying to get by, no matter how sad or bad it is, sometimes it is just easier to go through the drive through.  And if the drive through, for the same price, could offer that mother something healthy, why don't they? Pointing the finger does nothing more than pass the blame.  At some point, someone has to stand up and accept responsibility.  Just imagine what this world would look like if EVERYONE took responsibility. 

So that was the week before last's episode.  This past week's episode was super upsetting.  At first it looked like Jamie was winning.  The school he is at got permission for him to teach a class that involved him cooking for the entire school.  "Experiential learning."  He also had a family that he taught how to cook so that they could avoid eating so much fast food.  The amount of fast food consumed by that family was upsetting.  But the dad, who was a single father, was doing his best and he just needed better tools to take care of his family with.  Hopefully he keeps the ones that Jamie gave him and uses them regularly.

The episode was so upsetting because right at the very end Jamie got the news that his permits had been revoked.  He went to speak to the school board and this is what they said to him. (Click the this in that last sentence to see it).  They say that "Excellence has nothing to fear from observation."  So why are you so afraid of observation?! I am glad that the school and Jamie are going to fight them.  Although, the very fact that the show got moved to Friday nights just goes to show you that even though the show is already taped, he is still fighting that battle.

So here is my plug.  Go to and click on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.  Then sign the petitions.  Educate yourself.  We deserve better as a county, and our children definitely deserve better.  We have no idea what the long term effects of the foods we feed them are going to be.  But if we do feed them all natural, good, wholesome food, then they will be healthier, and happier, for the rest of their lives.  They can also teach their children those habits.  And suddenly, you have generations of happy, healthy people.  So go, sign the petition, educate yourself, and take care of your future.

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