Jamie’s Food Revolution A Bust?

Have you been watching Jamie’s Food Revolution? It’s nearing the end of the special series and the reviews aren’t glowing.

Even Jamie Oliver himself admits, “Ultimately there’s never going to be a happy ending — it’s just going to be a hopeful question mark.”

One news station complains that after the first two months of the new meals, children were overwhelmingly unhappy with the food, milk consumption plummeted and many students dropped out of the school lunch program, which one school official called “staggering.” On top of that food costs were way over budget, the school district was saddled with other unmanageable expenses, and Jamie’s failure to meet nutritional guidelines had school officials worried they would lose federal funding and the state department of education would intervene.

Newsweek slammed it, saying, “Food Revolution highlights how much of the war on obesity is rooted in classism. One scene shows Oliver reacting to a newspaper article that suggests he thinks the people of Huntington are cola-swilling rubes who think an apple is just a character in the Bible. So most of his time isn’t spent cooking, it’s spent convincing residents he doesn’t look down on them. It’ll be an uphill battle. Advice on better eating isn’t evaluated on the quality of the advice as much as on its source. The lower-middle class doesn’t want to be lectured by a more well-off person about how easy and worthwhile upgrading one’s diet is, because the immediate thought is, sure, easy for you, perhaps.”

It’s interesting to consider how complicated our food is. Issues of class, money, attitudes, habits and more all cloud the issue for all of us, and not just the kids in Huntington, W VA.

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