Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Thread for the entire series. Airs Fridays at 8pm Eastern

I only got to see the second hour tonight. I was appalled at how much processed junk is served in schools. They still cooked a lot from scratch when I went in the early 1970’s.

Jamie Oliver has spent years trying to improve eating habits in England. I think he does care. It is true kids today are not as healthy. Serving better meals at school is only a start.

Threads open, let’s talk. :slight_smile:

I haven’t seen it yet, but I am wondering if he is as over the top as the ads for the show make him seem?

Could be a really good series.

Oliver has a lot of energy and he spends a lot of time with the kids. He seems to get along great with kids.

So far, I’m not getting the typical food Nazi vibe from him at all. I’ve seen other Eat Right or Die shows where the food looked horrible. Oliver is just trying to eliminate the processed foods. Serve fresh food and pack in the veggies wherever they can be hid. :wink: His approach seems realistic. I hope that continues in the next episodes.

I have not watched yet but I am recording it.

This show reminds me of a similar show that Shaquille O’Neal (NBA player) did a few years ago. He challenged some kids to get healthy, then he also worked with the school systems (I believe it was Orlando, FL area where he lives) to try to change school lunches and get Phys Ed back in the school. He brought in Tyler Florence to help with the healthy school lunch part of it, along with a nutritionist. It was a very interesting show and I often wonder how those kids are doing now and if any of the changes they implemented during the show at those schools are still in place. It’s awful the food choices kids have in public schools. Chicken nuggets, burgers, pizza, fries - ugh.

Will be really interested to see what kind of changes Jamie can bring about, it’s a long time coming.

I am a teacher in a public school and I agree. My district, being really very good, has investigated into healthy alternatives to the standard school lunch programs and has regularly found that it is a lot more expensive and a true impossibility for our district to afford.

By the way, we make $0 on lunch/breakfast in my district. We break even most years and have never turned even 1 cent profit. We used to profit off the “soda” machines(it was all Powerade crap), but removed them entirely for health reasons. This is in Michigan, which disallowed soda machines in public schools. Despite that, we went further and removed all snack and other unhealthy vending machines entirely. Actually, we have zero vending machines at all now, though I did see kids can get a bag of chips at lunch(which again, we do not profit from).

Having said that, we have repeatedly told parents that they should(get ready for a shocker)…make their kids lunch at least 4 times a week. Really. We flat tell them to do so.

Most don’t, though. I can’t imagine why not. Food made at home is so much healthier and isn’t mass produced, but many parents just insist on letting their kids eat what the school provides.

I have a daughter now and would not let her eat the school food more than once a week, at most. It isn’t all horrible, but none of it is great.

Why do parents force/let their kids eat the mass produced food every single weekday? What do they eat at home?

I saw that show, too. It’s on the parents, again. Who would allow their kids to eat and live like that?

If you didn’t see it, the kids in the show were nearly all morbidly obese, or borderline. Most never exercised and played video games and watched TV like crazy.

I would love to see a follow up on those kids and see if they have slimmed down.

I doubt it, though. :frowning:

I am from Huntington, and was shocked at how resistant the adults were. I mean, brown rice is one bread, but he doesn’t have two. The cooks have two because there is two in pizza? So many of our people were just shown as trying to make Oliver look bad, no matter what. On the other hand, keep in mind that we don’t have a lot of choice here about eating school foods. I don’t know the specific percentages for that particular elementary school, but I do know that area of town is very low income, and you are dealing with an extremely high free/reduced lunch rate there. It’s sad and I’d love to see a change around here!

Probably stuff at least as unhealthy as what the school serves, if not more. Yeah, really.

I really hate blaming the parents, because it is tough–pick two of cheap, fast, and healthy, and that’s the kind of food you can get. Throw in coming home exhausted from working a double shift in a job that doesn’t pay near enough, and things look near impossible.

But in the end, it is the parents’ responsibility. If you’re going to bring a child into the world, it’s your job to ensure s/he eats well. And that doesn’t mean grabbing some Mickey Dees on the way home from work.

I was stunned by the family that had nothing but frozen pizzas and corn dogs, pretty much. They could buy a family size pack of chicken drumsticks, season them, and have some seasoned veggies or creative salads on the side, along with some whole wheat bread and a piece of fruit, for just one idea. It doesn’t take that long to cook something decent.
They could get whole wheat pita pockets and stuff them with black beans, feta cheese, hummus, assorted salad greens, and a bit of balsamic vinaigrette. (If you haven’t tried this, do. It’s delicious.) Sure, it might take a bit of getting used to, but it seems to me that people are cutting themselves off from all the great, fresher foods that are out there when they opt for processed, frozen crap with a shelf life of more than a year. Yechh!

I was amazed first at what was being served in that cafeteria. First, they seemed to get pizza, chicken nuggets and burgers all the time. (When I was in grade school, pizza was a rare treat. Mind you, they were really awful rectangular frozen pizzas, so I can’t imagine why we liked them.)

What was interesting was the institutional roadblocks being put up at any suggestion he made. He tried to serve freshly cooked chicken and brown rice but was told that a second carb was required. And the principal and the lunch ladies were taken aback by his request that the children be provided with knives as well as forks to eat the beef fajitas he had prepared. Meanwhile there was a classroom of younger grade school kids who could not identify a tomato, potato or eggplant.

I admit that I don’t always eat healthfully, but the amount of processed food that most of us eat is frightening.

I hope he’s able to make some headway with revamping the school lunches. It’s appalling what they’re feeding their children, and I’m really shocked by how much resistance he’s encountered in trying to do things differently. A good number of those kids, besides being overweight, look so incredibly unhealthy - acne, greyish skin, etc. - I can’t believe that their parents can’t just look at them and see they’re feeding them into early graves.

On the plus side, I’m feeling a bit less guilty about our monthly lunches at McDonalds. :slight_smile:

I was one of those kids that ate nachos everyday at lunch, because I couldn’t stand any of the “real” food they had - soggy sauce covered doormats that passed for pizza, burgers that tasted like shredded tires, burritos that looked like someone literally took a dump in them and smothered in freakishly yellow glop. Bleechh.

It was weird that none of the kids were eating the rolls! School rolls used to be about the only thing worth eating some days. Those lunch ladies had a bad attitude, especially when he called them “lunch ladies”!

Yeah, the poor 12-year old kid was just huge. But he seems to have really taken a liking to Jamie and they sort of bonded.

It’s got to be tough for a Brit to plop himself down in WV and get taken seriously.

The cafeteria ladies are pretty funny. The “two breads” thing just cracked me up. But in their defense, they’re really just a product of the system.

He was in trouble as soon as he tried to get cafeteria workers to do anything above and beyond. People who end up in such a position aren’t going to have that.

That lady’s house was crazy. I was flabbergasted at their groceries and I had jelly beans and vodka for dinner. At least I also own celery, rice, and apples. Oh, and baby spinach apparently. Om nom nom.

Just as an example that not all of this happened recently with the school cafeterias, when I was in middle school back in the mid 80s my standard lunch was a marshmallow milkshake from the snack counter and a fishburger that made a McDonald’s filet-o-fish look like an Alice Waters product and french fries. There was a rotating entree item every day but these were available every single day. I believe the whole lunch cost me about $1.50 a day.

The breakfast I ate most days (qualifying for free meals, which I took advantage for breakfast) was Rice Krispies using chocolate milk (much better tasting than the chocolate Rice Krispies that were available.

On the other hand, I would have been able to identify a potato.

I feel bad saying it, but I don’t hate blaming parents at all. Taking care of your kids includes providing quality nourishment three times a day. Lunch is included in that and happens at school 5 times a week.

We really have explored better options, but we can’t hemorrhage money on more expensive options. We lose money already on a lot of years.

By the way, that Morgan Spurlock documentary Supersize Me stated that healthy lunches at schools were not more expensive than the crap we have.

He was wrong or knows something we can’t find.

So you ate nachos instead???

I found myself wondering what happened to the sack lunch with a sandwich and some fruit. My mom usually had grapes or orange slices in a zip lock bag. Bananas were another option. Even a peanut butter & jelly sandwich has to be better than the crap those kids were eating in the lunchroom.

Isn’t Morgan Spurlock from Huntingdon, WV?

Jamie is a delightful bloke. But he might be overmatched in that venue. People seemed determined to make him look bad. Even if he had said those exact comments that the paper quoted him as saying directly, what’s the issue? He’s right. But because he’s this upstart British guy… didn’t we beat them in a war or something? U-S-A! U-S-A! That’s the vibe I got from the DJ.

Chicken nuggets and potato pearls? Ick. I got the sense that the head lunch lady was lazy as shit. Peeling potatoes is work, sure, but it’s a real preservative free potato.

The family was sort of weird. As Jamie pointed out, they didn’t seem to be following his recipes. Those kids were ridiculously huge for their age and the preponderance of large soda tankards was horrifying. As the mom said, parents are willing to put their kids in an early grave just so they’ll be in their kid’s good books because they let them eat whatever, instead of putting their foot down and telling kids they will eat their greens or else. (I know this is painful. I’m trying to do this with a two-year old at the moment!)

Loved his demonstration of how chicken nuggets are made (gross!) or his observation that the kids’ diet was completely beige.