Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Can Jamie Save Us?

M and I are big fans of the TV chef, Jamie Oliver, and we were very excited to hear that he would have a new show on American channels. Years ago, I used to watch him on BBC America when he was just "The Naked Chef" with a half hour program. Back then he was a silly single guy who cooked food for his friends and band-mates, and then ended each show with a party scene in his hip London loft. Years later, he's a married father of four, and the tone and focus of his programming have changed quite a bit.

While he is no stranger to butter and red meat, Jamie's food has always been on the healthier (and fresher) end of the culinary spectrum. A few years ago, this interest in health led him look into the food and cooking practices in British school lunches. What he found was quite horrifying, and a campaign was born to overhaul the school lunch system. The four-hour TV series that documented this mission resulted in millions of viewers, and more importantly, billions of dollars in increased funding for school kitchens.

Flush with this success, Jamie Oliver has decided to take his show abroad, and the United States was his obvious choice. West Virginia boasts the fattest city in the nation, according to the CDC, so it was to this town that the show headed. I don't know if you could say that he met with more resistance since things were pretty awful at first in the U.K., but it is safe to say that not everyone was happy with the idea of change. The show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" is on now, and it makes for some very interesting television. This article documents some of the struggle. We're all left to wonder how much of an impact this might have in the long term, but I for one, really hope this helps.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Thanks for the reminder! I really want to watch this but keep forgetting to set my TIVO!