A Modern-day Leader: Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

April 12, 2010

I know that I have a tendency to over-hype things, but I tell you, this one merits the hype.  You see, in the last few weeks, Nick and I have become totally and completely addicted to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, a new U.S. show on ABC.  What makes it so great is a combination of two things: The insurmountable passion Jamie Oliver has for preventing obesity-related deaths AND the fact that this is a very real problem for a large percentage of the U.S. population.  It’s inspiring and relevant and should be a must-watch in your home.

Let’s start with a brief overview of the show.  Jamie has come in to Huntington, Virginia with the audacious goal of teaching all 50,000 people in that town to make simple, healthy meals from raw ingredients.  You might easily assume that it’s a cooking show, but it’s actually much more than that, it’s about saving lives.  You see, Huntington was chosen for the Food Revolution after being identified in a study as the most obese city in American in 2006 with 45.3% of its population being obese.  They are losing years of their life and Jamie is committed to reversing that trend.

Obviously this is an extremity, but the reality is that many US cities will continue to move rapidly toward this number without a major shift in thinking.  Take the picture above for example, in which Jamie cooked up everything that a family of 5 had in the previous week and dumped it all out on their kitchen table.  It was absolutely disgusting to look at…. but the thing is though, most of us eat many of these same things each week and that can become very frightening when we aggregate it over a week, month or a year.

What Jamie has helped me realize is that this is a VERY REAL problem and it will take a very conscious effort on all our parts to rewrite our old beliefs and habits.  I see now how critical it is to understand what’s in the food we eat and learn basic cooking skills that support healthier habits.  I am humbled by Jamie’s dedication to this cause and hope that I may display as much courage in my life’s work to create radical change.  He is truly a modern-day leader from which I am drawing great inspiration.

Get caught up on the first 4 episodes at: http://abc.go.com/shows/jamie-olivers-food-revolution/.  The show is on Fridays at 9/8 central on ABC.  Still undecided as to whether it’s worth your time?  Take 2 minutes and check out this short video:

Oh, and do let me know how this show is inspiring your life!  Is your family making any changes as a result of it?

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  1. Alison says:

    I’ve been a Jamie fan for years. I’ve been inspired by his passion for food and using good ingredients. Last year we watched the British version of this show – Jamie’s Ministry of Food (as well as Jamie’s School Dinners). Both were excellent and shocking. I’ve just started watching Food Revolution and I love what he is trying to do. At the same time it horrifies me that he gets so much negativity. When he was asking the children in the classroom to identify vegetables and they had no clue, it almost brought tears to my eyes. How can we expect children to be healthy and succeed if we don’t point them in the right direction? I sincerely hope this program wakes people up to the damage we are doing to ourselves and the future generation.

  2. minnesotagal says:

    Oh, it’s so true Alison. I was right there with you. It’s like watching a train wreck! How could we have gotten so far removed from the basics of food? It’s like that knowledge just stopped getting handed down at some point. It is painful to see but I hope it serves as a wake-up call for people around the world!

  3. NutritionMom says:

    I am so glad to blogging on this in Minnesota!
    I have been trying to work with school lunchrooms for over 5 years now and I have to tell you first hand, the mindset is hard to overcome.
    The USDA sets mandates on what schools can serve, like how many servings of whole grains, fruits, veggies, milk etc. And schools HAVE to follow it. Then the USDA offers all this free commodity food that as Jamie shows in his last program the freezers are stuffed with processed foods! And it is cheap and in some cases free.
    It is this we all have to force change in. The foods schools use generally speaking only ‘meet’ the bare requirements of the nutrition standards.
    If they could fill their freezers with fresh frozen items instead that would be a big step. Also the monies the USDA gives and states give should be used for local produced foods from local farms etc.
    Schools spend about $2.50 per meal per kid. So there is room for good stuff.
    My company NutritionMom created a 76% whole grain baking mix NO PRESERVATIVES that makes pancakes, muffins, cakes and more but still the lunchrooms pick mixes that are void of true nutrition.
    As a mom of five with kids in schools it is a nightmare to see what they serve!
    keep blogging about this! this is good!

  4. minnesotagal says:

    Awesome, thanks for your insights! I was really blown away by this show…

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