Sunday, April 4, 2010

America's Food Revolution

For the last decade, an Englishman by the name of Jamie Oliver has given his time, his money, and most endearingly, his heart, to changing people's lives for the better.

Jamie grew up in the kitchen of his father's pub-restaurant, the Cricketers, in Essex. At the age of seven he was helping, by 11 he was prepping. At 16, he knew he would be a chef, so he left school and went to Westminster Catering College, then trained in France before returning to England. After working at a couple of area restaurants, he was approached by production companies for a possible cooking show. The Naked Chef series was born.

In 2002, Jamie invested his life's savings into a charity venture to help young people not in school or employed have a career in the catering industry. The program at Fifteen London restaurant is an ongoing success and three others were added in Amsterdam, Cornwall and Melbourne. A TV series called Jamie's Kitchen followed Jamie on this journey. The Fifteen Foundation charity is now funded by proceeds from his bestselling cookbook Cook with Jamie.

This was only the beginning of Jamie's burgeoning mission.

In 2004, he launched the School Dinners program to bring healthy food to Britain's school system. In 2008, after realizing the kids weren't eating any better at home than at school, he started the Ministry of Food program. Last year in 2009, he brought his fight for healthy food for children across the pond. And Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution was born.

This is Jamie's message, straight from his website: "I believe that every child in America has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and that every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food. Too many people are being affected by what they eat. It's time for a national revolution. America needs to stand up for better food!..."

"Okay," you say. "What's so whackadoodle about that?"

Not a thing. I applaud Jamie and embrace his mission with open arms.

What IS whackadoodle, though, is this. Following are two short clips. One was filmed in England and one in America. In both, Jamie shows school kids (of about the same age) how chicken nuggets, a common, even prevalent 'food' are made. In England, the kids are disgusted and refuse to eat the proferred nuggets, after their secret is revealed. The American kids dive right in. Even after admitting that the processed 'nuggets' were disgusting, they still chose to eat them.

Now that, my friend, defies common sense! Definitely and completely. And qualifies for my current Whackadoodle Dandy.

Here are those clips:

The American kids actually wanted to eat this crap. I mean...come on already! I, for one, have never liked these critters. Now I know why.

For some reason, the embedding is disabled for the second video, where the English school kids reject the icky stuff. Here, however, is the link to watch it over there.

Happy watching. And, hey, click on over to Jamie's Food Revolution website and sign the petition.

Maybe together we can wrest our food out of corporate American's clutches and get healthy food back on our collective tables.

Picture entitled The Spirit of '76 (aka Yankee Doodle) is an oil painting by Archibald MacNeal Willard that hangs at the U.S. Department of State.


  1. The giblets and carcass are what we all use in making chicken stock, so that part doesn't bother me (even if we do pull the "parts" out of the stock after it's made). However, I am sure that what is used in commercially made chicken nuggets is worse than what he showed on his video.

  2. But we don't grind up the carcass and eat it. Yeck! :)