I am a big fan of British chef Jamie Oliver, who carved out a niche for himself as the man calling for a “Food Revolution” in the UK and US. Jamie’s goal is to change the way we think about what we eat, as we continue to rely more and more on processed foods or takeout meals. He is especially concerned with how many children today are growing up far less healthy than their parents, with higher obesity rates and early onset diabetes than ever before. His efforts have included shining a light on some of the unplesant truths of school lunch programs across the UK and the US (can you believe the US government classifies french fries as a vegetable?), but he has also shown that packed lunches from home can be just as bad (if not worse) nutritionally.
In the first season of his show “Food Revolution” set in Huntington, WV, he walked around an elementary school cafeteria so the kids could show him their home packed lunches. Only one girl in the room had apples…and she was ignoring them to eat a neon-colored gelatin snack! In another episode a class of six-year olds couldn’t correctly identify common fruits and vegetables. That is just not right!
Learning about nutrition and getting comfortable with cooking tasty, healthy, affordable meals using fresh produce, meats, grains, and spices is the first step for all children, adults, and families in leading a much healthier lifestyle. With dessert and cheese in moderation, of course.