I raced home from the gym last night to catch Jamie Oliver's new show "Food Revolution." I missed the first thirty minutes or so, but overall, I was pretty disappointed.
Oliver had travelled to Huntington, West Virginia, a place with the unfortunate honor of being the "most unhealthy town in America." As I watched the show, I quickly realized that just about any town I've been to int he last couple of years could be up for consideration the next time around.
Anyway, my overall feeling is that the show places too much responsibility for poor nutrition on the school system. Kids don't know what a tomato looks like, blame the school. Kids don't know how to use a knife and fork, blame the lunch ladies. Kids choose pizza over chicken? On that one, I blame Jamie. If kids are unhealthy, the first place to look is home, and I wish that's where Jaime would have turned to first.
I really like Jaime's idea of having cooking classes in a downtown storefront that he's rented. Teach parents how to cook simple, good tasting, and inexpensive meals, and I think a lot of people will move away from our fast food culture. It's been my experience that many folks are just overwhelmed, and fall to the pressure of quick, easy, and cheap. We also fall to multi million dollar ad campaigns targeted at people just like the residents of Huntington.
As I was watching the show last night, I flipped through Oliver's newest book, also titled "Food Revolution." Great title, great concept. But poorly executed, and not really helping people out the their unhealthy lifestyles and encouraging them to eat healthier food. Eight of the twelve veggie recipes included butter or heavy cream. A lot of the recipes call for the frying of ingredients. Not much better than heading to Mc Donald's or Denny's.
I like Jaime Oliver, but if the remainder of the episodes are anything like the first, his revolution will fail to help us out of a desperate situation.