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Old 03-28-2010, 10:41 PM   #1  
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Smile Hot Lunch ....YUMMY! Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Anyone else watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution?

Angie and I watched it the other night, we missed the first one...sad story for our youth of America on the issue of HOT LUNCH!

I grew up in a time when, I believe, cafeteria food was reasonably healthy. I know the word we all here about hot lunch for our nations children is...budget ....or lack of...

Not so sure about that but I will say that my wife, son and daughter in law all teach in the public school system and they say the kids will almost ALWAYS skip the good and healthy choices and go right for the crap...

what are we gonna do folks?....

the world is care is changing like it or not...or so it seems...

we need to start caring for ourselves and children...

no one else will...

check out Jamie's's an eye opener!
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:49 PM   #2  
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I watched it earlier this week, both episodes and was appalled. Not sure what anyone will actually DO about the problem. The parents should demand changes...but they are just as guilty as the schools, I'm sure. So many things they should teach their kids and the kids don't oearn at home and the schools are expected to basically parent the kids, not just teach them the academic stuff. My kids, now 26 and almost 30 knew how to use utenssils when they were still in high chairs. Including table knives to try and cut food even if it wasn't graceful. My son is now a chef and my daughter a vegan and both of them now love to cook, though my daughter was slow to make food from scratch.

I hope by Jamie illuminating this problem in the medai, something will click and even a few people will get educated. Many adults don't know what a lot of raw veggies look like. And one of our guests was telling us a story about a woman who was in his grocery store and said if people didn't have enough food and the farmers couldn't grow enough that we should build more grocery stores. Pitiful!

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Old 03-29-2010, 05:33 PM   #3  
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My SO and I have watched both episodes. I'm really encouraged by what he is trying to do. I hope he succeeds! I don't have any children but the second episode had me in tears. I'm so worried about the future of the kids they showed!

I know that the statistics show Americans getting heavier and I definitely am seeing it in young people. I work on a college campus and just from observation there is a much, much larger percentage of young overweight people in my area than there was 15 years ago.

One of my relatives is a recently retired Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher (Home Economics, for those older) and she used to talk about the trends she saw in the years she taught. 30 years ago her classes were predominated by females that had a decent handle already on cooking. When she retired her classes were filled with a generally equal percentage of males and females (this aspect she loved) and both hardly any of them knew anything about cooking let alone cooking from scratch. It was evident to her that hardly anyone was cooking at home any more.

I have been more encouraged lately with the availability of healthier foods though. The concept of eating more healthy seems to be getting more popular as evidence by the availability of goods and lowering prices. But this doesn't really seem to be making an impact on the waistline of America!

I really do wonder where we are heading if we don't start making some dramatic changes as a whole.
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:41 PM   #4  
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When the kids weren't able to identify a tomato or potato, my heart just broke. If I hadn't seen the show, I would not have believed that was even possible. An eggplant is somewhat unusual, but a tomato or a potato?

We are in a very sad state. Things really have to change--as a nation, we can't keep going like this.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:52 PM   #5  
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I'm tivo'ing it and haven't started watching- because I've been watching his brittish version first- Jaime Oliver's Ministry of Food. And it's amazing, just blows me away... I love him and apprecaite what he is trying to do.

Thinking back on school lunch - it wasn't all that great at least in elementary school. In junior high we got the choice of a salad bar which was nice and I usually picked- but I don't remember there being any healthy dressings available.

I just do not understand why things like nutrition, personal finance, etc aren't taught in school. These are not things that kids are learning at home- obviously! (that's a general statement, i know there are good parents out there that work on these things) I work with a lot of young kids that haven't got a clue about how to pay bills, how credit works, etc.

When I was young my mom was a teacher in a really bad part of town and a lot of her time she spent teaching 5 & 6 year old kids how to make safe foods for themselves- like peanut butter sandwiches, etc. how to clean themselves, etc because their parents were on meth or not home & they would come to school filthy and starving. This wasn't a part of the curriculum just something she decided was necessary. This is so sad to me.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:28 PM   #6  
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Default has this article:

Apparently the kids in that town just aren't eating Jamie's recipes and they're abandoning the shepherd's pie and beans-and-sausage. (What! I like shepherd's pie and beans-n-sausage!) We really have to start getting our kids to realize that there's more food out there than just pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets!
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:53 PM   #7  
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Wow. This is painful to read... I haven't seen the show myself (going to YouTube that as soon as I'm done writing this), but sadly I'm not surprised that this is happening. I have lunch in a mall every day, and every day I see parents feeding their TODDLERS bits and pieces of french fries, onion rings, corn-dogs and KFC, and making them drink Pepsi! And nothing else! I'm not talking a bit of fried chicken with the rest of a child-appropriate meal, I'm talking full-on feeding them a mini-version of their double bigmac combos!! It's appalling!

I'm only 24, but when I was in jr/high school, we had great healthy cafeteria food! There was fast food on Fridays only, the rest of the week we'd be served things like Shepherds' Pie, lasagna, roast chicken, or stir-fry. We also a salad bar at my school, that was awesome. I also had MANDATORY 75-MINUTE P.E. CLASS EVERY WEEK. This was not optional. I had gym class from kindergarden all the way into college, I do not know school otherwise. I've heard it's now an optional class in school districts, and you don't even have to take it every year! This is BEYOND RIDICULOUS.
I was also taught nutrition (through home ec class), and had a mandatory finance class in my senior year.
These are all things that made me so much more self-sufficient, and so much more confident to go out in the world by myself! What are you going to do out there in the world, if you cant tell the difference between a tomato and a potato ???
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:21 AM   #8  
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The first two episodes are on Hulu at

My first reaction was horror at the school system for their reaction to the very idea of serving vegetables and healthy foods. I just wanted to reach out and strangle them But they aren't the only ones doing something wrong here. Those kids prefer pizza and nuggets and snub vegetables for a reason. It's learned behavior and it starts at home, not just in the schools. Kids are not born with Happy Meals in their hands. I cringe every time I hear a parent say "all he'll eat is pizza and nuggets".

I started school in '68 and I remember the school lunches well. We did have pizza but it was once every two weeks. It was a 4 inch round thin cheese pizza, always served with applesauce and green beans. And we ate it all, down to the last green bean. My favorite meal was the homemade vegetable soup, served with a half of a chicken salad sandwich. I can still smell it. We had real lunch ladies that cooked almost everything from scratch. The USDA provided the recipes instead of shipping them frozen bits of brown things. We didn't have chocolate milk, either. The menu changed daily, and Mom would clip it from the Sunday paper so we would know if we wanted to buy or pack that day.

By the time I reached high school, the menu had begun to change. Burgers, fries, pizza. Cheap quality, and it really stunk. Coke machine outside the door. I didn't eat lunch once in high school.

I really, really hope this mini-series will cause our school systems and parents to wake up and do something about it.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:27 AM   #9  
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Schools today are all about the money. The local cafeteria here serves cheap, fast stuff they can prepare with a minimum of staff to pay, and it's stuff the kids WANT to buy, regardless of what's good for them. If they want to buy it, the money comes in and the cafeteria makes money rather than losing it. It's all about the numbers.

I was a picky kid. My mom worked two jobs and had time to throw a frozen pizza in the oven or boil some hot dogs before leaving for job #2. She also worked in the cafeteria at the school during the day, so we ate a lot of leftovers she brought home (We were a little broke - and she'd have been fired if they'd seen her take it to the car instead of the dumpster). Pizza day and chicken nugget day were by FAR my favorites.

My tastes revolved around junk for years, and if at any point at school someone had said "No more pizza!" and started serving me shepherd's pie and skim milk rather than chocolate - I'd have brought a lunch too.

I think there's a rebellion going on there - parents and kids.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:29 AM   #10  
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I'm not terribly surprised at how bad the food is (disgusted, not surprised) because my own experience of school food is pretty bad. I remember Mountain Dew and double cheeseburgers in second grade. Fries, awful pizzas, that kind of thing. And this was private school. We did spend about four years in a very small school that had good food but the lunches were a little pricey and like I said, it was a very SMALL school and I guess that's much more manageable.

What does surprise me is that parents know what their kids are eating and more of them don't opt out of the school food and send a lunch. If you're getting free or reduced lunch, I understand, but otherwise - it just does not take that long to put together a lunch. The idea of my child eating ANY kind of chicken nugget makes me want to hurl. The first time someone handed her a chicken nugget (without asking me) she was a little over a year old. She held it up and said, "Wassdis?" As soon as the person turned around, I confiscated the nugget and tossed it. It's not food! It's trash! It's actually trash that they've figured out how to fry and sell.

Maybe we've all just gotten immune and we've forgotten to be disgusted by eating things that aren't food. You can't wait for the school to "fix" what they're feeding your kid. Pack a lunch!

Ranting aside, I do like this show, I do like Jamie Oliver, I have gotten his cookbook and there are some really good looking and not at all intimidating things in it.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:49 AM   #11  
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My mom has worked in a school cafeteria and you wouldn't believe the stories...

She was telling me that they had an instance where they opened a large container of something and it was filled with worms. The head of the cafeteria staff wanted to pick out the worms and serve it.

Beyond that, recently I was in a school lunch room (high school? middle school? not sure) and they had signs about 'eating your veggies' and what not but then you looked at the menu and everything was hamburger, pizza, etc. Crazy.
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:08 PM   #12  
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Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
As soon as the person turned around, I confiscated the nugget and tossed it. It's not food! It's trash! It's actually trash that they've figured out how to fry and sell.

Maybe we've all just gotten immune and we've forgotten to be disgusted by eating things that aren't food.
I watched the second episode on Hulu last night and I'm still gagging. Jamie did a demo for the kids where he cut up a fresh chicken so the kids could see where the breast, wings, etc came from. Then he took the carcass and chopped it up with a meat cleaver, put it in a food processor with a bunch of chicken skin, then pressed the mixture through a sieve to remove any leftover hard bits. What was left was blended with stabilizers and flavorings, then formed into nuggets and fried. The kids were grossed out until it looked like chicken nuggets and they wanted to eat them.

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Old 03-31-2010, 12:14 PM   #13  
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Originally Posted by nelie View Post
My mom has worked in a school cafeteria and you wouldn't believe the stories...

She was telling me that they had an instance where they opened a large container of something and it was filled with worms. The head of the cafeteria staff wanted to pick out the worms and serve it.
Sadly thats everywhere. When my son was a teenager, he worked at Chucky Cheese. He came home disgusted one night because they opened a tub of shredded cheese and it had maggots in it. The manager said to use it anyway.
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:32 PM   #14  
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I like the premise of the show, I am just not a huge fan of how Jamie comes across.

One of the things is that he tried this same exact tactic in the UK schools. And the thing was that he was making food for kids that they 1) did not like and 2) were not affordable for the school.

I do think that there should be a happy medium---we should definitely cut out the processed food as much as possible, and give our children healthy, lower fat, lower sodium, higher protein and fiber foods.

I will watch the show of course.
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:58 PM   #15  
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The kids may not have initially liked the food...tastes can be hard to change. But Jamie DID get documented results in England in the schools his program was used in...less sick days and better test scores in some groups.

I'd rather see efforts to get the kids to like the food (gardening on-site, for example, integrated with science and math lessons, as Alice Waters enacted in the Edible Schoolyard program), and even resource shifting away from programs in place to raise test scores that maybe don't work as well. Obviously resources are limited, and budgets do need to be taken into account, but I think spending the money on healthier food (which may reduce sick days and improve children's health in addition to improving test scores) may be a better use of those funds than other test-score focused initiatives. And if the buying power of a LOT of schools resulted in a large, guaranteed market for fresh foods (as that buying power does today for convenience/processed foods), the contract costs for those foods could be negotiated to lower levels. So I think the money issues can be solved.

Here is a quote on results from another edible schoolyard school:

A small alternative school in Appleton, Wisconsin changed their menu to emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, entrees free of chemicals and additives and energy drinks. The results were dramatic. For the next five years this school had no expulsions, no dropouts, no drugs on campus, no weapons, and no suicides. It was the only school in Appleton that had a perfect record. Although the food costs were higher, the school saved money because it no longer had to pay for a full-time police officer, and with better discipline, it was able to increase class size from eight to fifteen students. The entire Appleton school district in now phasing in a healthier lunch program for its fifteen thousand students.

Here is a summary from CA on results related to "environment-based learning", like edible schoolyards:

So while it's true the kids may not like the food AT FIRST, and budget issues might require some work to overcome, I do think both of those problems can be solved.
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