Kids have been complaining about school lunches forever, and it turns out, somebody is finally listening. The Healthier US Schools Challenge Program among others, have concluded that American children receive approximately half of their daily food intact while at school. The food they are receiving is over processed food high in sugar, fat and salt. This poor quality school lunch food is contributing to the high rates of obesity in the U.S. school children and for the first time ever, today’s children are expected to live a shorter life span than their parents because of their poor diet. These frightening statistics have inspired chef Jamie Oliver to start a Food Revolution.
Jamie Oliver, a chef and activist for better nutrition, gave an impassioned speech on Ted.com detailing his mission to improve school lunches. Jamie Oliver went into an elementary school with a handful of vegetables. Jamie Oliver held up the tomatoes and asked if anyone knew what he was holding in his hand. “Potatoes”, said a little boy. “So, you think these are potatoes”, Jamie Oliver asked. The boy said, “Yes”.
When Jamie Oliver held up an actual potato, no one could identify it. Jamie Oliver did the same with a variety of other vegetables. The children thought a beet was an onion, an eggplant was celery etc. Jamie Oliver found out that we as a nation have become so detached from where our food comes from, this is not at all uncommon in American schools.
Jamie Oliver has started up campaigns such as Jamie’s School Dinner, Ministry of Food and Food Revolution USA to battle obesity and change how Americans eat. Jamie Oliver wants to reintroduce people to food and get them cooking again by demonstrating how to cook healthy meals quickly.
Jamie Oliver has started circulating a petition advocating the need for a food revolution in the American school lunch program and has published a daring food charter for schools to adopt. Jamie Oliver’s food charter dares school lunch program administrators to take away the option for children to choose for themselves what they will eat.
If you let children chose to just eat their favorite foods they won’t get a balanced meal, Jamie Oliver says. Give school children a variety of healthy foods in a school lunch menu and be persistant. Be prepared, because the children likely will not accept the menu changes at first, says Jamie Oliver’s charter, it takes time and patience to get children to eat something new.
Wow! That is some revolutionary stuff that Jamie Oliver is proposing for the school lunch program. Children aren’t stupid, they know they aren’t supposed to be eating pizza, hamburgers and chips everyday but that’s exactly what we’ve provided for them to eat and that’s why they are battling obesity.
Jamie Oliver is taking his school lunch reform to Huntington, West Virginia in the six-part series Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution at 9pm on ABC starting March 26, 2010. Huntington was found to be the unhealthiest city in the country, where obesity claims half the population. Jamie Oliver fights the resistant population with his controversial message and tries to start a Food Revolution chain reaction in America.
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. http://www.jamieoliver.com/campaigns/jamies-food-revolution/