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Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Did anyone watch the Food Revolution on Sunday night?  I've been looking forward to it for months and now that it has begun I'm appalled at the resistance Jamie faced on the first epidose.  I've never seen anybody defend processed food like that before.  The food served in the school cafeterias is not much worse than what I grew up on in the school system way back when in the 80's.  What do you think of the movement?  Can it be successful?

http://abc.go.com/shows/jamie-olivers-food-revolution

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 29
 I just watched the food revolution premiere which was on tonight in Chicago and I enjoyed it. It was SHOCKING when he brought out all those vegetables and none of the kids even knew what a potato was but they knew all of the fast food.

I really think he is a great chef and I appreciate what he is trying to do. On a side note the food network should of never gotten rid of him!
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Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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post #3 of 29
It is scary and the fact that the government condones it makes it worse. I remember that some of the food was made from scratch when I was in high school so there is no reason they shouldn't be able to do it now. The local charter school plants a garden and the produce gets used in the fall to supplement the garbage the USDA pushes on the schools. The school is K-12 but very small, under 300 students.
post #4 of 29
I saw it for the first time about an hour or so ago. It was certainly eye-opening, I'll tell you that. I can see that he means well, and I'm glad that he's making an effort for it. Hopefully things will get better for him, there are many roadblocks that he's had to get around so far, and it's only been the first couple episodes.
post #5 of 29
Ann Cooper has been doing something similar for a while now  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXvDLPu5vh0. If you go to Chow dot com they have a really good interview with her in the obsessives section take a look at it if you like the Jamie Oliver thing. 
"Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors." - W. Eugene Smith
 
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"Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors." - W. Eugene Smith
 
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post #6 of 29
Turkey twists anybody....yum yumm

What he is doing is great but I think it is probably doomed to failure.  Too much inground stubborness/pih-headedness from the catering section of the "education" industry.  I too was shocked when the kids didn't know celery from a potato (it's been on tv for a long while here).  And the stuff that kids bring in their lunch boxes with the junior school episodes - it's just fat, sugar and salt re-shaped.  Yuk.  How on earth can parents send their kids with that rubbish - or is it that *they don't know better?  Two generations of people who don't know what food should be - it's frightening.

Their parents will outlive their kids if it continues in this fashion.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 29
I can tell you that it is not necessary to give kids crap at lunch.  Italian public schools don't have money - you would be appalled to see the buildings my kids went to school in - they have run-down equipment or none at all, the buildings are falling apart, the classrooms shabbier than you can possibly imagine (at least here in Rome) but the food is decent and balanced.  There is always a pasta or soup, a main course of egg, cheese or meat, a side of fresh vegetables and fresh fruit and bread.  That means it can't be that expensive. 
But of course, there are no coca cola sponsors for education here.  And parents would raise heck if they fed them any differently.

Also kids bring their own mid-morning snacks to school - most of them bring a sandwich or a piece of pizza (which is healthy food - bread dough, tomato and mozzarella).  Some bring pre-packaged snacks, but if you look at them and taste them, they look like health food compared to a lot of the stuff kids bring FOR LUNCH in the states (cheese curls and twinkies).

What i'm saying is that it's possible. 

Many schools in the city now provide much of their food from organic sources (of course, this, too, is easier here where there are no gigantic industrial farms.)

I'm very critical of Italy for many things, but this is one area that works

What I can't help thinking the school lunch problem amounts to, as most of our ills today, is greed - big money interests, and having to keep feeding the gigantic greedy monster of CEOs earning more money than they can possibly know what to do with.  (Hard not to get on a soapbox for these things).  Just think of the coke- and pepsi-sponsored schools in the states!  When i was a kid it was illegal to provide any drink but milk in school!
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 29
I only saw the first hour of the show, but holy cow.  Anyone have a clue at what the reasoning is behind the 'two servings of bread' at every meal?  No offense to Jamie, but the head lunch lady has to take second place to the area manager for inspiring nightmares.  

I wonder at all the negative publicity right off the get-go.  I suppose it's a defensive, butt covering instinct; if the project fails, it's not because the area people can't or won't make healthier choices, it's because some arrogant foreigner came flouncing in with unrealistic expectations and sensationalist claims.
post #9 of 29
While I've not seen it, based on standard TV reality TV tricks, they're showing you what's sensational. The kids who knew the vegies got cut from the scene for example would be the standard TV trick.  There have been a number of articles about this series talking about what the city in question has worked on itself even before JO got involved. Oliver seems to have been late to the party in this case.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post

There have been a number of articles about this series talking about what the city in question has worked on itself even before JO got involved. Oliver seems to have been late to the party in this case.
 

Do you think Jamie's involvement, and the multi-national exposure it entails, are good and supportive of the city's initiatives, or detracting from them?
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post

While I've not seen it, based on standard TV reality TV tricks, they're showing you what's sensational. The kids who knew the vegies got cut from the scene for example would be the standard TV trick.  There have been a number of articles about this series talking about what the city in question has worked on itself even before JO got involved. Oliver seems to have been late to the party in this case.

While I am fully aware of reality tv tactics JO does not strike me as that type of person. There was some small stuff such as him dressing up in a pea costume but other than that I think the guy is really on a mission. I truly believe that not one of those kids knew what a potato was.

Could I be wrong? Sure but then it would undermine his whole mission.
Thanks,

Nicko 
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All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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post #12 of 29

The pea costum was funny. LOL.  I hope others are finding this school food service program as apalling as I am. Pizza for B'fast? 
If you have a DVR and you can re-watch last nights episode stop it on some of the shots they show of the kids in the lunch room. Several of those elementery children are well over 200 pounds!
I don't think there's any doubt there's some theatrics involved with editing. After all it is TV and they are doing the show to make $.
I still think JO's heart and spirit is in the right place. How sad is it that parents need a TV show for a wake up call.

The people that totally give me a brain freeze are the directors of the school program. I had to cringe every time the female program director said something like "IF Jamie wants this to work".
 I just can't help but wondering why she doesn't seem to care if this program works.  That's supposed to be her job but I expect just like some of the lunch ladies she realizes that she is running the risk of looking bad on TV and fixing the problem actually involves work instead of just having people open boxes of fast food.

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
What I find the most encouraging is that Jamie is not on a mission to make people health fanatics.  All he's really pushing for is that people start eating real food and cut out fast food and processed food. 

You don't have to eat only tofu, bean sprouts, and granola to have a healthy diet. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #14 of 29
Keep in mind the USDA sets the guide lines and supplies some of the food(tainted beef anyone?). The government is being influenced by large corporations so their product gets placed in the schools.
post #15 of 29
Oliver seems to have been late to the party in this case.

Not the first time, either. He seems to have made a career out of jumping on bandwagons after somebody else takes the risk of steering the horses first.

What about, for instance, Jamie At Home. You know, where he suddenly discovered the benefits of veggies fresh out of the garden, and, in each episode, would first harvest the stuff from "his" garden.

Turns out, of course, that it was somebody else's garden, and Oliver was just capitalizing on the concept.

Full disclosure statement: Jamie Oliver has never been one of my favorites. Frankly, I've never understood what the shouting is about. I have not seen this new show; indeed, until this thread I hadn't heard of it. But there have been many people working long and hard on the issue of our schools being nutritional wastelands. Now comes carpetbagger Oliver, as if he had discovered the problem and was going to fix it.

Yeah, right!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #16 of 29
The reality of this is, no matter WHAT you do at the school level, unless it's done at home, things will never change.
Kids that didn't know how to use a knife and fork... not the school's job; it's mom & dad's!!
We've EDUCATED our children on the junk to eat because mom & dad are too tired to cook a meal at home.   Heat a frozen lasagna.   Bake a frozen pizza.   Some chicken nuggets and fries in the oven or toaster oven.   Dinner's on!
There's no vegetables.  They're overloaded with salt and fat.   It's why these kids are huge!!   Look at the family he opted to help last night: they all looked like they were on the express train to diabetes!!
Unless we make the changes at home, ALL of this is for naught!   It is eye opening!
post #17 of 29
 If you want to change the food that our kids are eating, it will take a generation. Start with a 5 year old now , and in 10 years you will have changed nation. Along with the schools, you need to shorten up the chip isle, and processed frozen food section of the grocery store. I think all chefs will welcome  a healthy diet with open arms, I know I will. The problem most Chef have in entering a healthy choice on a menu is, most people don't want it. When the acceptance of healthy food are the norm, then the masses will accept the Chefs suggestions with a new vision, and life style .................Chef Bill
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by FL Italian View Post

The reality of this is, no matter WHAT you do at the school level, unless it's done at home, things will never change.
Kids that didn't know how to use a knife and fork... not the school's job; it's mom & dad's!!
We've EDUCATED our children on the junk to eat because mom & dad are too tired to cook a meal at home.   Heat a frozen lasagna.   Bake a frozen pizza.   Some chicken nuggets and fries in the oven or toaster oven.   Dinner's on!
There's no vegetables.  They're overloaded with salt and fat.   It's why these kids are huge!!   Look at the family he opted to help last night: they all looked like they were on the express train to diabetes!!
Unless we make the changes at home, ALL of this is for naught!   It is eye opening!
Well, I don't follow the shows, but if i understand correctly, the idea is to educate parents as well as the kids, who, after all, are future parents.  When i was in school, we studied nutrition, basic food groups, had to plan healthy meals, got graded on it.  I applied that knowledge when I became an adult and had to feed myself and my kids.  But the schools DO have responsibility, because if schools are supplying coke and corn curls to kids, what do you suppose the kids will eat?  I don't care HOW well the kids are being fed or taught at home, these crap "foods" are designed to appeal to kids, and if that's what the school offers, the kids will go for it. 

Make no mistake about it, we pay our governments to take care of us, defend us from invaders, protect us against thieves and killers, protect our kids against all kinds of dangers.  Why is it ok for governments to take care of us with a police force, but not with education or nutrition in schools?  And if our population is all sick, overweight, and undernourished, who is going to make the economy run?  we all lose!
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post

 If you want to change the food that our kids are eating, it will take a generation. Start with a 5 year old now , and in 10 years you will have changed nation. Along with the schools, you need to shorten up the chip isle, and processed frozen food section of the grocery store. I think all chefs will welcome  a healthy diet with open arms, I know I will. The problem most Chef have in entering a healthy choice on a menu is, most people don't want it. When the acceptance of healthy food are the norm, then the masses will accept the Chefs suggestions with a new vision, and life style .................Chef Bill.....................P.S I do know my friend FL Italian Love's to suck down good wine, Cioppino, and a good Italian bread, so we will have  to over look some of these changes.
post #20 of 29
All is not lost, there is hope for at least some kids.  Do a web search on the "Edible Schoolyard" project.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #21 of 29

Teamfat - thank you for that link.  It does give one hope - if that could be done 10,000 times over it would make a huge impact.  Who would be driving that vehicle- I don't know.

 

Where some might think the JO is a twat who latches onto the latest cause, he utilises his celebrity to a good extent.  You cannot think that he means harm - if anything, he is getting a good message out there and people will listen (hopefully) because of who he is.  If he changes just one life for the better, then its worth it.  Because that life will be passed onto their children and so on.  Maybe even to friends of theirs as well.  He is trying to make people *think - always a hard task.

 

Lack of knowledge of cooking and good nutrition is sadly lacking nowadays - if anyone makes an effort to help - good on them.  The way things are, there is going to be a major health care problem in that so many people just mainly do unhealthy take out and eat junk - do you want to work hard and then pay taxes to subsidise that?  Soapbox here is getting a good workout today...

Do what you can where you can to let people know how to eat well. And that applies to anybody.  Celebrity helps get it out to the masses.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #22 of 29
Celebrity helps get it out to the masses.

Until next season, when there's a new issue one can capitalize on.

If you think Oliver---or any celebrity chef---does these things for any reason other than money, well, I've got a nice bridge in Brooklyn I'll be glad to sell you.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Celebrity helps get it out to the masses.

Until next season, when there's a new issue one can capitalize on.

If you think Oliver---or any celebrity chef---does these things for any reason other than money, well, I've got a nice bridge in Brooklyn I'll be glad to sell you.

There's nothing wrong with doing it for money.  It is his occupation after all and he strives to be as successful as he can possibly be.  I know that I try to make the most money possible in my profession, don't you?

Jamie has tackled lots and lots of issues in the UK from the chicken and pork industries , to the Ministry of Food , to the school dinners program.  Last year he toured America and learned all about American cuisine though the show didn't air here.  He runs the Fifteen program in London and Amsterdam where he takes on apprentices that may have otherwise not gone to school or stayed out of trouble.  I'm sure he makes gobs of money, but at least he steers his career towards beneficial causes.

So what if someone else thought of bettering the school lunches program first?  Why is that important?  Why shouldn't he jump on causes that need support?

Sorry for the tooting, Jamie Oliver is the chef that inspired me the most when I started cooking.  His shows taught me that I don't have to have the perfect knife skills to cook, and I don't have to be afraid of ingredients.  He has a very organic natural way of cooking that is not pretentious.  I've never been disappointed by any of his recipes and his is the only method of risotto making that actually worked for me.  I'm slightly obsessed.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charron View Post
Do you think Jamie's involvement, and the multi-national exposure it entails, are good and supportive of the city's initiatives, or detracting from them?
What J.O.'s involvement has done the most is drive tourist dollars to the community. At least from the articles I've read.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #25 of 29
Koukou - I couldn't agree with you more.  Who gives a toss if he makes money from it - if some good comes out of it, kudos to him.

There's a Fifteen in Melbourne here too and I think it's a great project. Taking these troubled kids and helping getting them sorted, giving the at least a chance to learn a profession where no-one else would touch them with a ten foot pole. 

The Ministry of Food we've just seen lately here - I think he's going to pushin **it uphill to make that work, but other projects - using his celebrity - I believe have made some difference to at least some people.

KYH - I'll forego the bridge I reckon   Got a nice deal from some spam mail  instead........
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #26 of 29
As an aside, one of my all time favorite Iron Chef America episodes is Batali vs. Oliver in Battle Cobia.  Quite entertaining.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #27 of 29
2003 I was teaching inner city elementary kids cooking classes...
thread http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/10558/after-school-healthy-program#post_92651

Check out Brown and Neon Food thread I wrote in 2002.....
http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/8739/brown-and-neon-foods-or-school-lunches

Or the piece de'resistance  "industrialized pizza" from 2001
http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/163/industrialized-pizza-for-kids

2003 Wash U students not using garlic....http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/10840/garlic-a-red-flag-to-food


There are 10+ pages of threads I've posted on school food, teaching kids culinary classes etc....just  advance search under "school food", kids cooking classes, local food, 
under shroomgirl's posts since forever.

I lined up Ann Cooper to speak at Mizzou in June at a Farm to Table Conference.....I'm talking about building a better farmers' market & a forum on using whole animals.
I hope Jamie's work pays off.  You can watch the shows on Hulu.
Edited by shroomgirl - 3/29/10 at 10:25pm
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #28 of 29
Nicko, was so easy to access all those posts through Huddler.....even for me. 
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #29 of 29
Glad to hear that Shroom!
Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomgirl View Post

Nicko, was so easy to access all those posts through Huddler.....even for me. 
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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