Monday, April 4, 2011

Bloody Brilliant

So I LOVE it when this happens. I love it when I am tryly inspired.

And before I start, I would like to explain that I don't want this post to sound like it's all about me, me, me, because this post is certainly not about me. It's about someone and something else, but it really is about me because of it's effect on me.

So let's talk about me for a second. Saturday afternoon, just after a long morning and right in between that morning and a long evening, I found myself with an hour to put my feet up on the sofa. The TV was already on and as I sat to rest for a quiet moment, my attention was captured by the sound of a British accent. I am nothing if not a sucker for a cute British accent so I began watching this show about a British chef named Jamie Oliver who has come to Huntington, Virginia to start a Food Revolution. What? Is? This? I am intrigued. Seems this charming and cheeky chef, Jamie Oliver has come to the USA to help Americans eat healthier and this is his story.

Now I'm hooked. I'm hooked because his story is about two things that really matter to me; food and kids. Jamie, who has been credited with changing the school lunch system for the better in his native Great Brittan, was sent to the fattest community in America to try and make revolutionary change. His whole grass roots movement; one person, family at a time is about changing things in a community and starting a revolution about something essential: food.

And they don't like him. Nobody likes him. But I love him and Jamie is undeterred.

Armed with his ABC show and budget, adorable, charming, passionate and smart is how Jamie navigates through all the negativity, because he knows he's right, and the people know he's right, but no one really wants to make change because they believe that once Mr. Oliver leaves Huntington, things will just go back to the way they were. But what they soon find out is that Mr. Oliver isn't going any where for a while and that he really does care. He's here to educate and advocate and legislate and fund raise and work in the schools and work in the community and make change a reality.And not just in Huntington, but all across America. A huge undertaking.

God bless him, this guy finds opposition at every turn yet he forges on. He starts out with our youth, and really talks to the kids about the foods that they eat. He visits with a local family to find out what they are eating on weekly basis and the results were disturbing. The food in the schools aren't any better. These poeple are dying young deaths and the obesity rate is at a critical point. Change has got to happen.

The most powerful moment for me was when Jamie took a handful of elementary school kids, aged 8-10, to his kitchen and he intended to show them, really show them what they were eating. He had a raw chicken and a knife. He carved the chicken in front of the children and showed them the prime cuts of meat; the breast, wings, etc. When he was done, he had only the carcass remaining. He then cut the carcass in half along with the rib cage and all remaining bone fragments. He used the pieces to scare the children, to which they "eww"-ed an squealed in all the right places. When he asked if they would ever eat "that" a unanimous "no" was the response.

Then he put those pieces in a food processer and ground them up into little pieces to which he added flour and seasonings. A disgusting paste was the result and Jamie then asked the kids which they would prefer. Again, a unanimous decision to eat the better cuts of chicken, the breast, the wings etc.

Then he did something amazing. He formed the disgusting paste into a ball and rolled it in flour and cornmeal and made it look exactly like a chicken nugget. He then asked the kids how many of them would, "eat this now?" and like Pavlov's dogs, the salivating kids all raised their hands, yes. Why? After they saw exactly what it was made of? Some said, "Cuz they were hungry." It was clear Mr. Oliver had his work cut out for him.

I will continue to watch the rest of his Food Revolution which aired last year, and you can bet I will be front and center on April 12 When Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution will begin a new season in Los Angeles. I am only 4 episodes deep into last season, but the seeds of change are already starting to sprout and I'm looking forward to finishing Huntington's story and transformation.

And of course you know that his story had to come back to me as I am the Jamie Oliver of my own house hold where we have begun our own Food Revolution. Wholesome, healthy foods with basic ingredients is where it's at for my family. Gone are Bagel Bites of yesterday and here to stay are the carrots and Ranch dressing of today. I'll start grassroots at home too, as last night we had steamed green beans with dinner. Frick, who was coming down with a cold was encouraged to eat more of them because they contain a whole serving of vitamin C. And she did! So we take baby steps as we start a slow, revolutionary change.

I just think that alone is bloody brilliant.


Jim said...

That was WEST Virginia, wasn't it? Just clarifying . . . :-)

I think I saw that episode. The look of doubt and disdain on the 300-lb. lunch ladies' faces was pretty priceless.

"Kids eat this fewd 'cawz it tasteses goood, and fills 'em up . . . Kechup's a vegtuble, ain't it?"

Years of brown bag Lebanon balogna sandwiches, Macintosh apples, and the occasional cookie have made me the amateur Top Chef and other-people's-food critic that I am to this day.

I have a pact with my family that on Easter, when Lent ends, we're all going to DC Cupcakes to celebrate. Place your order now :-)


sybil law said...

I saw part of that show yesterday, too!Definitely like the whole idea of it, and we've started eating healthier here, too (although that was long before the show).

Scope said...

I watched a few episodes of this when it was on last year. I loved how things evolved with the DJ guy.

the walking man said...

I think you need to go to Travis Erwin's blog and have a talk with him. On FB he is "Lettuce is the Devil"