I've always been a fan of the British "Naked Chef," so I watched 4 episodes of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution this weekend on ABC's website. Apparently he had started a campaign in Britain, convincing schools to improve their quality of food. After succeeding, he decided to try to do the same in the US, starting with the town of Huntington, West Virgina (statistically the unhealthiest place in the US). Kids are served pizza for breakfast, or are eating cereal with chocolate or strawberry milk. Jamie showed a class a bunch of tomatoes and no one knew what they were. When asked what they ate at home, the kids said chicken nuggets and chicken fingers. Meanwhile the school health board considers french fries a perfectly acceptable vegetable option.
What keeps me watching the show is the frustration I feel at the people of the town. Almost everyone is resistant to the idea of eating healthy. The local radio host and newspaper bash Jamie, the lunch ladies begrudgingly try his suggestions and the health board keep finding reasons why his menu doesn't meet their standards. All his tactics seem to fail him. It isn't until he gets a group of high school students with stories of deaths in their families or obesity problems of their own that people start to listen. He tries to show people that cooking isn't that difficult and that it isn't necessary to eat processed foods.
If anyone's interested you can sign his petition asking for healthier food in schools.