Well, call me a sucker for a cute dad with a British accent who knows his way around a chef’s knife, but Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has singlehandedly changed my Friday nights. And much much more.
Oliver is best known for his previous TV series, The Naked Chef, where his energetic presentation and simple approach to cooking won over legions of home cooks. But now he’s parlayed his passion for food into a desire to change in the way people eat in America.
If you haven’t yet caught the reality show, it chronicles the chef’s adventures in Huntington, West Virginia, a small town with a community full of health issues related to food. Jamie fights to shake the town up, evolving the elementary school’s lunch from the daily intake of chocolate milk and chicken nuggets, working with a family who cooks almost every meal in a deep fryer, even embracing a group of teens who want to help make a difference in their town and making them his ambassadors.
Of course, there are the fairly predictable roadblocks, which seem obviously set up for “reality” television — the mean lunch lady, the skeptical radio DJ, the ticking clock as Jamie attempts to teach 1000 people to cook by the end of a week. Will he or won’t he make it? Well, duh. So yes, some of the show’s appeal gets lost when the producers highlight contrived tension that we all know very well will be resolved by the end of the hour.
What is not contrived, however, is Jamie’s zeal for change and his ability to rally the masses and make a difference in the town without ever once shaming anyone. Instead, he shows them — and us — that homemade, unprocessed food can be easy to prepare, healthier than McAnything, and it doesn’t all have to be natural or organic either. This is clearly a guy who really cares.
So, cheers to Jamie Oliver for starting a movement. And inspiring more than just that little town. -Kristen
Watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Friday nights 9am/8pm central on ABC. And for more information about his food revolution campaign in the US, visit JamieOliver.com where you can also sign a petition to save cooking skills and improve school food across America. (Get on it, Dakota readers! You’re falling behind.)
I LOVE this show.
homemade, unprocessed food can be easy to prepare, healthier than McAnything, and it doesn’t all have to be natural or organic either. – bravo – well said Kristen 🙂
Will be keeping an eye out if this series comes to television in Australia.
I’ve recorded this show but still haven’t watched it. Thanks for the reminder – I’m going to check it out!
Unfortunately, I read (I think on Slate) that more Huntington kids were now packing their lunch or refusing to eat the school lunches and they had to put chocolate and strawberry milk back on the menu as the kids didn’t want white milk. But on the up side, a lot of kids tried new foods that they would have never tried and found that they liked some of them.
I love Jamie Oliver too! I live in Essex, England, just like Jamie and have followed him since his first UK show in 2000. He has already changed our school dinners for the better and glad to hear he has started work on the US.
On my blog have some pics of our local beach which Jamie would have visited as a child and on an early TV show he chose it for a picnic.