Monday, March 22, 2010
ABC is starting a series about a food revolution. Jamie Oliver, a British foodie, goes to Huntington WVA. This town was designated as the most unhealthy place in the USA. The residents are the fattest and most unhealthy in the country. Jamie travels to the town and tries to start the food revolution. He decides to start in the schools first. Keep in mind, any one reading this blog, your kids right now are getting the same food as the kids in Huntington. All of this processed food is being made expressly for school cafeterias. They ALL buy it. They ALL serve it.
But the real kicker in this show is how it unintentionally highlights in bright neon lights all that is wrong with public education today. Once a rule book gets written and in this case it is the USA government food experts writing the food rule book, there is no one one in any school district who would dare challenge it.
The food served to today's kids is nothing but processed food. Even the mashed potatoes are artificial. The menu is pizza, chicken nuggets and fat and salt and colored milk. The kids throw most of it away. Tons of food gets made, tons gets thrown out.
Much of this food is provided by government subsidies, this is YOUR MONEY. These are your children and grandchildren eating this hydrogenated fatty food.
Jamie goes on to visit a mother and her four overweight children. The mother is also overweight. What shocked me was the startling contrast between this mom's reaction to Jamie and the school's reaction to Jamie.
Mom is all set to throw out her bad food, and the kids are more than willing to eat the good food. The whole family is happy and jumps at the chance to fix their food and cooking. The kids want to exercise and the kids want to eat better, nary a contrary word is uttered by this overweight family. They readily admit they need help
Flash back to sour puss Alice, the school head cook, a million tons of dynamite would not get that woman to change her mind about her food. She is right. She does not care that the food is terrible. She does her job, never questioning whether it is good food or not. The rule book says make this today, and god forbid, Alice makes it.
Many who read this blog are proponents of biking and walking. Many support safe routes to schools, bike trails and places for exercise. Walkable cities, livable communities. This is all fine and good but it is not the solution to the overweight unhealthy culture we now live in.
The problem and solution lies in the food industry and what it is doing to us. Someone decided at some point that there was going to be a market for artificial eggs, potatoes and meat. And that that there was gonna be big money in it. Folks are making a ton of money selling "fake" food.
Kids cannot even recognize real food. The kids in Huntington could not even recognize tomatoes.
Mothers have been brainwashed to buy the fake food, advertising has done its job. Jamie is correct to start in the schools but the cooks and administrators in Huntington WVA are firmly stuck in the congealing fake potatoes and yes, if not poured quickly, the fake potatoes turn to cement.
My advice Jamie, go back to the moms, they are willing to learn, willing to change and willing to save their kids. I have never met a mom that did not want the best for her children and moms are willing to take help.