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Thread: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

  1. #51
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;3864043;
    What an uphill battle Jamie's facing. The people in charge - including the lunch ladies - are all SO resistant.
    Well, you almost get the sense that maybe Jamie and crew went in wanting to tell the Gordon Ramseyesque story of how stubborn people were turned around by the Magic Englishman, and then found something they didn't expect--that these workers were more beat down and constrained by ridiculous federal regulations, and HORRIFIC budgets in terms of ingredients and staffing. If you read between the lines, the tone of the show starts to take a sharp turn about half way into the first episode. Sure, they still throw in a LOT of bones about how terribly food ignorant the people there are (they are ALL Fat, they're kids know nothing because they've taught them nothing, etc.), but the SPECIFIC problem of what's being served in the schools is shaking out to be a murky stew of ingredients, where laziness or ignorance is only a tiny portion of it. A lot of the "ignorance" seems like after-the-fact justification for them to feel better about having to serve crap to meet ridiculous budgets and rules. If French Fries are one of the cheapest, easiest to make, and popular (with the kids) things they can serve to meet a bizarre regulation about "vegetable servings", then when they hardly have enough time or money anyway, they're going to make Fries. All the damn time. And then lie to themselves about it not being so bad to cover up any lingering guilt.

    The government has put these people in an impossible position when Free Lunch rules have the requirements they do. Where staffing levels are ridiculously slim, because its assumed that it can all be mass produced pre-frozen pre-portioned shoveled microwaved garbage, and that takes less people and thus saves the school money they hardly have anyway. When French Fries and Steamed Broccoli count the same on a nutrition table. Where there are NO limits on HFCS--its just counted as another foodstuff the same as anything else. Its wild. Its tragic. Its only in the smallest part the fault of these locals--even if their town supports that mistake in a million other ways in how they raise their families and feed them at home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;3863847;
    If those people looked at the school lunches and thought that was a healthy lunch, then that IS ignorance!
    Not when you look deeper. A lot of it is denial. When people are forced to operate a certain way eventually they grow defensive about it and can lie to themselves quite convincingly.

    The government did this. The way the regulations and existing programs are structured--how totally outdated they are and out of tune with reality. How beaten down things are due to a combination of austere budgets, "convenience", red tape, etc. Its a total cluster-you-know-what.
    Last edited by Krom; 04-02-2010 at 05:51 PM.

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  2. #52
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    I think that's an excellent summary of what's going on. The budget for ingredients and staff and government regs plus local eating habits (aka, what the kids are used to eating and will accept without pressure) plus a short lunch hour...and the workers either have to feel they are evil killers of children or that what they are doing is "right" on some level.
    At the end of this last episode, when the one boy (the one who had been in trouble with the law and wished he'd been taught to cook then) was meeting the local politician who said that maybe some changes would be made, said (the boy), basically, we'll see if you are just all talk, I thought Jamie missed the boat---Jamie seemed to think the politician was on their side--the kid recognized what the politician was saying as likely political b.s., and was skeptical. Wow, what a horrible run on sentence, hope you could follow it.

  3. #53
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    I was so proud of those kids last night! It just proves that cooking good food isn't hard. Those kids had just a few days of instruction and were able to cook a pretty complicated meal for 80 people. I love how they all bonded and worked well as a team.

    Alice - the lunch lady at the grammar school - needs an attitude adjustment. I agree, Krom, that it's not all ignorance and probably IS denial, but it still needs to change. I think a lot of Alice and some of the other lunch ladies are irritated that their routine has been interrupted and they don't want to have to do the extra work. Jamie can work out the budgetary issues and it looks like he's working on getting them more money as well. Unless there are some changes in attitude though, it's not going to work. I couldn't believe how negative some of them were.

    The fact that a hamburger and fries was deemed appropriate and healthy and the meal Jamie fixed was not because it didn't have enough vegetables is ludicrous. He had at least 6 different veggies in that stir fry, but it wasn't enough. The big pile of French fries was appropriate as a vegetable serving though At least the head of the cafeteria at the high school was happy to see Jamie and seemed like she was on board for the changes he wanted to make.

    Obviously, some changes need to be made higher up, because the fact that the lunches that are being served fall within the governmental guidelines for a healthy, well-rounded meal is just horrifying. They didn't seem concerned that the kids may have been taking the healthy stuff - the apples, salads, etc. and then not eating them.

    Right now, it seems like the biggest obstacle Jamie is facing is that jerk of a DJ.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  4. #54
    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    I have a feeling that the DJ is set up as the "dramatic conflict" that the show feels they need.
    I think he's just playing a role here.

    Does anybody know why Jamie seemed to disappear from the Food Network years ago?
    I thought he was one of the few decent "chefs" they actually had on that channel who doesn't just open a box, add a few ingredients to it and call it a gourmet meal!!
    I think FN relies way too heavily on "personalities" rather than people who can make good, real food.
    To Thine Own Self Be True

  5. #55
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    Jamie has always been on food network in Canada, as far as I can remember. Maybe I didn't realize he was gone. He was The Naked Chef, Jamie's Kitchen, he did a special where he lived in Italy for a couple of months, that was fabulous. Cooking with locals, fresh fruits and homegrown vegtables, using rustic cookware. (Basically whatever was available, stone pits, outdoor brick ovens, etc) I watched the British series he did in the schools a few years ago, dealing with the same government challenges, as well as the children not knowing the different between a tomatoe or a cucumber. I also remember watching a few epi's of his "Fifteen" restaurants which give disadvatage kids the opportunity to learn culinary skills. He has since opened a couple more.

    I know he comes across very harsh at times, however I think his cause is very much needed in many parts of North America. I still can't get over the lunches that are provided in the school at the elementary level, that just isn't available in my area. Pizza day is usually a day that is for fundraising. Children bring their own lunches.

    I've always enjoyed his shows and his style of cooking.
    Last edited by GuardianAngel; 04-03-2010 at 09:14 PM.

  6. #56
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;3869093;
    I was so proud of those kids last night! It just proves that cooking good food isn't hard. Those kids had just a few days of instruction and were able to cook a pretty complicated meal for 80 people. I love how they all bonded and worked well as a team.
    The entire production of the meal by those kids made me think that either they had help we did not see or the people on Hell's Kitchen are extraordinarily inept.

    I still cannot believe that a serving of fries constitutes a serving of vegetables. That is truly absurd, but even if that is really how the rule is written, is anyone forcing the schools to cook fries as the veg? Even canned vegetables would be better than fries every day.

  7. #57
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoneGrrrl;3869177;
    The entire production of the meal by those kids made me think that either they had help we did not see or the people on Hell's Kitchen are extraordinarily inept.

    I still cannot believe that a serving of fries constitutes a serving of vegetables. That is truly absurd, but even if that is really how the rule is written, is anyone forcing the schools to cook fries as the veg? Even canned vegetables would be better than fries every day.
    Because I think there may also be some regulation (tied to the reimbursement, I bet) that a certain amount of the food presented has to actually be eaten. And kids (anyone really) will always eat Fries, whereas 3 out of 4 of them might ditch a plate full of green beans.

    Yes, it sucks. Because the regs are propping up the ludicrous idea "better they eat something which is bad for them rather than nothing at all".

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  8. #58
    Leaning Forward cantstopwatchin's Avatar
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    I finally had a chance to watch the first 2 episodes Friday and the newest 1 yesterday. W.O.W. My 7-yr-old had the day off Friday so I had her watch the segment with the young kids in the kitchen (where Jamie chops up the carcass) and the rest of the shows from there. I'm so thankful I was able to talk with her and make points as we went along and she "got" them.

    HOW could parents not take their kids for their yearly checkups? I was so glad Jamie took them to the hospital so they could have their "aha" moment. That boy is the same age as my nephew and more than twice his size. My DD said, "That doesn't look like our Justin." I had to agree. And their 4-yr-old daughter -- she prob. weighed more than my DD. Shame on those parents for letting it get so bad. The food the mother laid out on the counter and the kitchen table brought tears to my eyes. And then they went back and ate McD's -- nice.

    The segment with the high school students was powerful. French fries fulfill the vegetable count yet the multi-vegetable sauce did not?? I hope this show brings lots of "aha" moments to people (mainly school administrators!) And Alice -- there were so many times I wanted to shake her and say get over yourself! Rrrr!! I'm glad the high school ladies were at least open to change and willing to learn from Jamie.

    It's a HUGE pet peeve of mine that people wonder why kids are so obese nowadays yet then they turn around and feed them so much junk. When my DD first played soccer, after her very first practice, her coach gave the kids a rick krispy treat and skittles as their snack. WHAT?!? I let it slide b/c I figured it was the 1st practice...only, then parents started bringing things like that for the games. I was disgusted. And I turned around and started bringing healthy snacks to the games and would switch them for the junk my daughter was given. She wasn't happy about it but I put them in a basket and told her she'd get them as treats; just not after soccer practice/games. I got a few looks from other parents but whatever. My "aha" moment had been at the Y when we were leaving after a workout and my DD saw Skittles in the vending machine and wanted them. I said no and she replied, that's okay, I'll get them after my game. We as adults wouldn't go work out at the gym and then run and eat a candy bar, would we? So why would we teach our kids to do that?!?

    Then my DD entered Elementary School and now there's a new beast to slay -- they reward kids with candy when they listen. Gone are the days when a sticker or a star was good enough. Now, they give them starbursts or sweet tarts or tootsie rolls to say 'good job.' Unbelievable!! I sent an email to the teacher, asking her to give DD something else but there aren't many options. And since my DD is given them during the school day, I now don't have the option of taking them away and trading them out for something healthier. I really wish Jamie could address this topic as well in his show.

    I'm by no means the end-all, no-all when it comes to healthy foods (I leave that to my sister-LOL!) but I try to keep the house filled with healthy, non-fructose corn syrup free foods. I've switched our meals to almost all organic. The kids have been drinking organic milk for the last 3.5 years (the thought of my DD having to wear a bra at age 8 scares me!) and I've recently made the switch to organic meat and chicken. We don't have sodas or junk food in the house and the refrigerator is stocked with fruits. (Am still working on getting them to eat their veggies!) Now, the thing I really need to work on is ordering out when I don't feel like cooking.

    I sincerely hope Jamie's Food Revolution makes an impression here in the US. I wish we could make all of our school administrators watch it. (DH asked if there's any way the heads of the Nat'l School's Nutrition Board could be forced to watch it!) It's so, so important for our kids to learn how to eat healthy foods.
    Last edited by cantstopwatchin; 04-04-2010 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Spelling
    "We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre." - Uta Hagen

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  9. #59
    Leaning Forward cantstopwatchin's Avatar
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    Quote Originally Posted by causingchaos;3864532;
    It's very idealistic to think that all school districts can afford these options every day.

    I garden and do freeze my food but I know many many extremely poor people that literally go to the store with $10 a week and eat one meal a day and bag of carrots and a bag of apples seems quite wasteful compared to the beige foods which will preserve and last much longer.
    IA, it might be idealistic to think that the school districts could afford these changes, but I'd hate to write it off as such before trying. I'm sure if parents were to organize some sort of fundraiser, they might be able to move in the right direction towards that option.

    RE: the bolded -- I do medical transcription and have transcribed focus groups where the group discussed this very topic. The parents, while often extremely well intentioned, couldn't justify the fact that when they bought fruits or veggies, their kids would eat them in a couple of days and then wouldn't get any more until the following month. The group tried to come up with solutions but, oftentimes, left without them. They know and want to help their kids, but couldn't justify buying fruits instead of other foods that would last longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuardianAngel;3864597;
    I can't imagine my 5 yr old great nephew, getting up, brushing his teeth, getting ready for school, getting on a bus, travelling 30 min's, getting to school, play in the school yard, bell rings, everyone inside, prayers, national anthem whatever, then eat breakfast?
    I know in our school, the breakfast is served before the morning bell ever rings. The kids get dropped off or get off the bus and walk to the cafeteria before they go to their classroom. The elementary school day starts at 7:40 so the kids would be eating b'fast around 7:15 and then they have a midmorning snack (that parents send in with their kids) at 8:30. DD eats b'fast at home around 6:45 so I know by 8:30, she's ready for that snack!
    "We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre." - Uta Hagen

    “I don’t want my pain erased! As wretched as it is, I need my pain… It makes me who I am. It makes me Grumpy.” - Grumpy, Once Upon a Time

  10. #60
    PWS
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    Re: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

    Wow... cantstopwatchin....at our soccer games the snack was ALWAYS cut up oranges and water..... kids got that at halftime and every parent took turns bringing it. I never asked, because who can object, but I assumed it was some kind of rule of the league. This was grade school level soccer. Maybe you could get involved with the admin of the league?
    And candy instead of stars???? Wow... things are really going down hill fast...my kids aren't all that old!

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