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The Revolution

by Alaina on March 16, 2012 · 5 comments

Warning: Long worded, opinionated post!

It is possible that I am really late on the whole Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, but I just watched the season when he was in Los Angeles and it really got me thinking. I rarely write any real thought provoking posts, but this was a topic that I really felt like getting down on paper the blog.

Throughout the 6-episode season, Jamie touched on a lot of different topics throughout Los Angeles since he couldn’t get into the schools right away. I won’t go into every detail of the show, but instead discuss the points that really stood out to me, as well as engaged a lot of dialogue between David and I.

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Patra’s: When Jamie realized that he wasn’t going to be let into any of the LA area schools, he found ways to educate the public by going to the one place that has defined the American culture: fast food joints. Obviously, the big chains wouldn’t let his cameras in, so he found a local restaurant: Patra’s. The initial meeting was met with skepticism from the owner that Jamie would be able to make the restaurant money while still using higher quality ingredients. The owner (Deno) first made his argument that the public was used to the greasy, fatty, who-knows-where-my-beef-comes-from burgers and if he changed the menu it would make him lose customers. The part that really got me was when he admitted that he would never feed his children what he feeds his customers. Or that he felt his customers were more interested in the cost of the meal and the flavor of the meal, not the quality. I swear, he bit his lip after he said that. Jamie then went in and introduced his Revolution burgers. 

When Deno met one of Jamie’s students, Sophia, I definitely understood why Jamie wanted them to meet, since Sophia’s family all suffer from diabetes. I couldn’t help but kind of side with Deno though, when he said that it was the families responsibility to eat healthy and to know what foods are healthy. But on the other hand, some families just aren’t educated when it comes to nutrition and the only thing they can afford is the dollar menu. By the end of that segment, Deno opened up his menu to Jamie’s plan for all natural, grass fed beef, and was even touched by a passing RN who praised Deno for what he was doing to help the public.

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The Barrett Family: Jamie was approached by a single dad with two sons who relied heavily on feeding them fast food and junk food. They knew they had a problem and the kids really wanted to break away from that habit since it made them feel sluggish. But the father didn’t even know where to start. He grew up eating dinner around the table with his family, but he just didn’t have that with his kids. I was actually a bit disappointed in the way that Jamie approached this and even felt bad for the dad at some point. They knew they had a problem with fast food, but Jamie brought them through a drive through and had a month’s worth of food put into the car. Then, on top of that, he had a year’s worth of food waiting for them back at home. To me, that just seemed excessive. I actually felt bad for the family. I know that it helps to “shock” them, but I think they already knew what the problem was and therefore asked for Jamie’s help. I was happy to see that weeks after he had left their home, he returned to find a garden in front and the dad and son cooking together.

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The LAUSD: They obviously had things in those cafeteria’s that they wanted to hide. We saw the plastic wrapped, mono-colored food that was presented in the first episode by the parents of the students. They didn’t want anything to get out in public. BUT it seemed as if they would have let Jamie in, without the cameras. To me, if he really wanted to help the kids, couldn’t he just do it on his own, without the cameras? I know that making it public is what the TV show was all about, but I liked everything else he was doing in the area to raise awareness, too. I loved seeing what he did at West Adams school. You could tell that he cared for those students, and they cared for him right back. I was happy to see a new superintendent inducted near the end of the season, too. Yeah for no more sugared milk! That bus segment made my teeth hurt.

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While thinking up of ways to write this post, I had so many thoughts going through my head. Every episode was so thought provoking; it made me angry, sad, inspired, touched. I could actually go on and on and touch on every single segment of every episode. But that would make for a pretty long, picture-less post. But I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Did you watch this season of Food Revolution last year? Did you watch the season in West Virginia? I actually jumped right to LA because the previews intrigued me so much.

Do you think the school’s should have the responsibility to feed students healthy food? Educate them on healthy habits? I actually think back to what was served at my school: French bread pizza, bacon burgers (not bacon cheeseburgers, but patties made from “bacon”), buttered macaroni, Snickers ice cream bars, chocolate milk. For breakfast, I would have a plain bagel with loads of cream cheese. I honestly don’t remember any color on my lunch plate. I didn’t even become interested in truly healthy eating until a few years ago. Wow…