I was absolutely captivated by ABC's new show Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution tonight. If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth watching (the premiere is available on the website).
A little background: Oliver is a well-known British chef who's branched out into spreading healthy food and eating habits into the schools. An early study of his efforts indicates that his program may have had impressive effects on student attendance and achievement. He's decided to bring his efforts across the pond, and chosen Huntington, WV b/c it has America's highest obesity rates. His efforts in both places have earned him a TED prize.
I'm not going to go into the issue in-depth right now, but the evidence both that America's children are eating horribly and that better nutrition could meaningfully impact their school performance (among other things) is quickly mounting.
Here are the two things I found most surprising:
1.) I fully expected the "lunch ladies" with whom he worked to be wary of the extra effort that would accompany the preparation of fresh foods every day, but I was blown away that they seemed to have absolutely no health concerns about the menu they were serving (e.g. pizza for breakfast, chicken nuggets for lunch). Watch the video below for more.
2.) I don't expect the average first grader to know the names of every obscure vegetable, but I'd certainly expect that they could identify a tomato or potato. Apparently I was wrong. Watch the video below for more.
Agreed, the show was captivating and a bit horrifying. I was most amazed that people (everyone in that town!) don't seem to know that the way they are eating is bad for them. How can that be?
I don't know. I've always been skeptical of the potential power of educational programs and information campaigns b/c I figured people more or less knew what was healthy and what wasn't. Maybe I was wrong.
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