Remember your favorite hot school lunch? For me, it was a toss up. Mashed potatoes and hamburger gravy, as the main entrée (with a side of salty, buttered dinner roll), and Hamburger Day! I admit, I don’t recall much in the way of vegetables or fruit, but I’m sure they were represented – somewhere. Of course, J.E.L.L.O!
It’s not news that many are pointing at school lunch programs as part of the obesity problem which plagues America’s youth. Some estimates suggest the number of obese children in this country has more than tripled in the past 25 years. But are school lunches to blame and are they really any more ridiculous than they ever were?
I think we can agree there are many factors which drive such shocking obesity statistics. But should schools take the blame? Or should they be more diligent and effective in providing nutritious meals and snacks to children while they’re under their control?
Well, one man believes they should, and can. Jamie Oliver, the young, rough and tumble British TV chef who loves to cook ‘fresh’ and makes delectable dishes right out of his garden (that’s backyard for all you Yanks). If you can get past his chauvinistic endearments (love, honey, sweetheart), he uses when speaking to women twice his age and often in authority, you will find that he possesses an earnest desire to change the healthy eating landscape, beginning with your kids.
His new show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution , has been airing for a few weeks. I caught the first episode last night. Jamie’s quest to introduce healthy eating to schools across America is commendable no matter how you look at it.
Last night’s episode took Jamie into the school kitchens of West Virginia where he met with naysayer’s, bureaucracy and kids who don’t want to give up their fries. I’m not a Pollyanna, but it was a bit shocking.
Not his first adventure into good works, Jamie Oliver has been working with youth and healthy living for several years.
If you have time check out an episode and if you’re further moved, sign his petition then tell us what you think. Can and should schools do more? Are government mandates working, or should we hand over the job to a British TV chef?