I have been absolutely captivated by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution show.
Jamie Oliver is working to revamp the school lunch program here in the US. He states on his website “that every child in America has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and that every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food.”
I was surprised at the way he was treated by some of the community members in this town where he is trying to make a difference. It sounded like maybe they had an impression that Jamie was just there to earn a buck and that his intentions were not genuine. He eventually wins the town over but not without a lot of hard work.
I think the thing that appalls me the most is the attitude of the Director of Food Services for this county in WV. She only gave Jamie one week to prove he can serve fresh food for breakfast and lunch and that kids will eat it. These are elementary school children that are currently being served pizza for breakfast and chicken nuggets for lunch. Every Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian know that it takes more than one serving of a new food for kids to accept it. Luckily, this Director is allowing Jamie stay a couple more weeks to “prove himself.”
Jamie’s work here is not new, he fought for new nutritional standards in the UK and he won. Now, interestingly enough, with these new standards for school meals a recent study showed that packed lunches were unhealthier than the school lunches! Which proposes a problem: getting parents on board. Parents do the grocery shopping, parents prepare and serve the meals at home, and parents need the nutritional education just as much as the children do!
I was thinking about this in the shower this morning. …… Why is it that the school lunch program, that is designed by people with college degrees in Nutrition …are so unhealthy? The best answer I could come up with is money. Our government does not give enough money to the schools to feed them anything else. Schools even have to subsidize their food programs by offering vending machines where the schools make money off the sales. Unfortunately, these vending machines are loaded with junk food! I feel like the solution is easy and it frustrates me that school officials have not already implemented this: keep the machines; just sell snacks that are healthy to maintain that incoming income (granola bars, baked chips, pretzels, trail mix, milk not soda). Now Jamie says he can feed the kids fresh healthy food and meet the current USDA budget restrictions. Michelle Obama is fighting to increase this budget as well with her Let’s Move initiative. Hopefully this turns into a real Revolution and changes are made.
Having a child that will be starting kindergarten this fall, I can’t help but have a little anxiety about it. If you are appalled by the current school lunch nutritional standards, sign Jamie Oliver’s petition. Sign up for updates on Let’s Move. It will help show the Obama administration how many people are behind Jamie and his initiatives to remove the junk food from kids schools.
Good luck to us all!