Jamie Oliver’s “The American Food Revolution”

I was first introduced to Jamie Oliver when I was living in London in 2003. He was a fairly unknown chef, the son of a pub owner, and considered to be a local kid who was making it big with his focus on fresh food and natural ingredients. I continued to follow him over the years and have watched as he’s worked to transform the school lunch system (really the mentality around food)  in the UK, started a cooking / chef certification school for kids who doesn’t have many opportunities and become an internationally recognized chef that is passionate about actually understanding where your food comes from (what a concept!).  The thing about Jamie that always comes through is he’s genuine interest in helping others – he has a unique gift of being able to share his passion without being condescending.

As you guys know from reading my blog, I share Jamie’s passion around fresh food, natural ingredients and understanding how the food ends up on your plate. This weekend, Tim and I decided to watch the first two episodes of Jamie’s new show, The American Food Revolution, and it blew us away.  For me, it was two hours of many emotions – excitement that this subject is being raised in the mainstream, confusion around the active dislike (and in some cases extreme hatred) for a subject that had everything to do with kids and health, extreme sadness as the show shared the story of a 12-year-old who didn’t have the tools to be who he wanted, amazement that there are people who don’t question where their food comes from, what it does to their body and why being 40-60 lbs overweight isn’t ‘okay,’ and last but not least, heartbreak that we as one of the greatest nations in the world aren’t taking better care of ourselves and those around us.  Even with all of that swirling around me, I came away from watching the show full of hope – we’ve brought change through grassroots efforts so many times in this country – perhaps this is the tipping point we need to do it again.

I found this petition on Jamie’s website, he’s planning to share the results with our government in the hopes that the regulations he’s coming up against (if you’ve watched the show this is an example of having to server rice and bread at one meal) can start to be addressed. I’m excited to part of this food revolution and how we can impact our food system.

I wonder how we could get this started at a local level in MA. Anyone have any suggestions?

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