Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Defending Jamie Oliver

I happened to catch the debut episodes of Jamie Oliver’s new show “Food Revolution” purely by accident, and (ironically enough) while eating a mint Oreo Blast from Dairy Queen (I excel at contradiction). I confess that I watched his “Naked Chef” program a handful of times and never really cottoned to it, and when I heard that he had been awarded a TED prize I thought it must have been a spoof from The Onion. I was exceedingly skeptical about this new program, particularly when I saw Ryan Seacrest’s name attached to it.

But after watching it, I found myself smack in the middle of the pro-Jamie camp. I was shocked to see how much resistance he was met with, both in the actual community as well as the vitriol spewed online after the program aired. I really can’t understand how anyone in their right mind could be opposed to anyone trying to improve people’s health. It baffles the mind that anyone could legitimately think that eating pizza for two or three meals per day is perfectly fine and normal behavior for anyone, let alone a bunch of six-year olds. I mean, there have been occasions where I have eaten Ben and Jerry’s for breakfast – but come on, even I know that’s not a good decision. Certainly not an every day thing!

It’s so contradictory. Something like 2/3 of our population is overweight (myself included). Type II diabetes rates are skyrocketing for children, a population that historically did not develop it (as opposed to Type I diabetes). Culturally, we vilify overweight people, even when they aren’t technically overweight (I’m thinking of those size-10 women who are considered “plus sized” -- give me a break). We say that people are fat because they are lazy and make bad choices. We demand that they pay for two seats on an airplane. Most of us think that it is ok for overweight people to pay more for health insurance.

But, damn, don’t take our pizza away!

If Jamie Oliver teaching kids the difference between a tomato and an onion, or that French fries are actually made from potatoes, is such a radical act – I mean, what does that SAY about us??? I don’t know about you, but it sort of terrifies me.

1 comment:

Anniebead said...

I totally agree with what you are saying. Jamie Oliver launched a campaign in the UK a couple of years ago to make school meals healthier. After some initial resistance by both kids and some parents it is now compulsory for all schools here to provide healthy, nutritionally balanced meals. I don't always agree with everything he says but you have to admire his committment.