This past Friday night I watched Jamie Oliver (formerly the Naked Chef) in the two-hour premier of his new prime-time TV show, called Food Revolution. It was a shocking show to watch—and a good look into the problems we face as a country…or better yet, as humanity.
The show is based around the fattest town in the world, Henderson, West Virginia, and Jamie’s attempt to help the townspeople learn how to eat right, one school at a time. What’s shocking isn’t just the awfulness of the food that people eat, and serve to children, but their smugness that they don’t need to change (and that there’s nothing wrong with what they are doing), as well as the crazy USDA bureaucracy that makes it hard for people to change their diets.
Our whole family watched the show together. One daughter wondered why Jamie wasn’t starting with simply better, organic versions of the food that people love. Another felt lucky that her private school’s food was much better (but we pay for it). My future son-in-law, who is British, confirmed that school food and the smug, belligerent attitudes, are the same in the UK (although, according to him, the Brits are still superior in every way). I kept thinking about the well-endowed public school kitchens that aren’t used for cooking, but just for heating up crappy chemical food for our kids.
Jamie Oliver didn’t mention organic at all, which is fine, since he’s got a bigger barrier to get through—just getting these people to eat real food in the first place. But I think the two things are connected: Somehow, out of laziness and the desire for convenience, we’ve allowed all the real food to be substituted with fake food made from cheap, factory-grown by-products. And yet, we have been conditioned to want, want, want that deep-fried, coated, crispy, salty, crunchy, fatty whatever that only feeds a primordial desire implanted in our brains, but in fact destroys our bodies and, obviously, our ability to think clearly.
It will be interesting to see what happens as the show progresses. I know my family will keep watching it. I hope it works. Because what we really, really need most of all is an Organic Food Revolution. Not just for our bodies. Not just for our planet. But for our minds and souls, too.
Jamie, we are rooting for you!