Daily Archives: April 2, 2010

Challanges in food – part 2

Last week, we watched the first two episodes of the Jamie Oliver show ‘Jamie’s Food Revolution‘.  Now, it’s a reality show and suffers from the staged drama and pop psychology these shows all incorporate into their stories but it still has some really interesting aspects to it.  I can’t tell how much of the show is creative editing (I hope a lot) or just how in the dark people are about food and nutrition principles.

Utterly shocking that kids don’t know what many vegetables are (hey, I’ll cut ’em some slack about cauliflower but not a potato?).  Parents and school officials that think pizza (for breakfast) and chicken nuggets (for lunch) constitute healthy meals  Thinking the only alternative to deep fried, high fat food is lettuce only meals.  It’s frightening…

And unfortunate that the show takes place in West Virginia.  I suspect that many, because of stereotypes of West Virginians, will be able to sit back and consider this a view into a freakshow.  But perhaps that would happen regardless of where the show was.

There’s some controversy about Oliver’s actual tactics and I’m not familiar enough with his program to say if his particular menu choices are good or not but I endorse anything which 1) helps people understand where their food comes from and 2) allows people to have food options healthier than fast/processed food.

Oliver’s experiment is over and results are coming out that kids overwhelmingly don’t like his food:

Children preferred pizza, chicken nuggets and the other school entrees they were used to by a margin of 4-to-1, with nearly eight in 10 “very unhappy” about Oliver’s alternatives. Many stopped buying the chef’s lunches, which the researchers said may be healthier than what children get at home.

Not to sound heartless but who cares?  As Marion Nestle writes:

Since when do kids get to decide what’s best for them to eat?  Isn’t that an adult responsibility?