Have you heard of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution?
If you have not, you should go read about it. In a nutshell (see, I am trying to stop using “basically” in my sentences), Jamie goes to Huntington, West Virginia, to try to change the relationship that these Americans had with food. He picked that city because it has the highest rate of obesity, heart problems and diabetes in the US.
When we first started watching the show, we were HORRIFIED. The elementary school that Jamie was working on was feeding little children unhealthy food like pizza and chicken nuggets. And that was just for breakfast! It was just AWFUL seeing the wee ones scoff down the processed food so happily and heartily. And in another episode, none of the children knew their vegetables. They had all the names of veggies like potato, tomato and cauliflower mixed up, and they had never even laid eyes on them before. The lady in charge of food services in schools even acknowledged that fries counted as a serving of vegetable.
It was UNBELIEVABLE. And it made me realise just how blessed we are.
The government, despite all its badassness, has done a marvellous job in promoting healthy eating.Our mothers are used to working with fresh produce and meat. When I was young, I hardly ate out or had fast food because my mother believed firmly that no food is better than home-cooked food. We seldom bought frozen food products because she knew that they were probably full of chemicals and preservatives that aren’t good for us.
As a young adult, I am conscious of how much my mother’s beliefs are influencing me. Sure, I had chicken rice today. But I removed all the skin and the fat, I didn’t finish the rice, and I ordered an additional serving of vegetables. I am human, I have cravings for sinful foods too but I believe firmly in moderation.
Unfortunately, this is something that is not shared by my food-loving, weighty husband. He is lucky to have a mother who loves to cook for her children and is a great cook. The problem is, she can be undiscerning with the way she prepares her meals. Most of the time, the meals are meat heavy and can be deep-fried. I was also very concerned when she bought us a packet of MSG when we first moved into east end.
My in-laws adore their son, obviously, and they are very fond of feeding him with lots of food. It’s their way of showing their love. They make jokes about his weight – he’s roughly the size of a barn. NOT. YET. – but deep down they don’t really care because they love him.
But I do. It’s something that I am working on, and it’s because I love him too. I think our relationship with food needs to change.
Anyway, if you could catch Food Revolution, please do. It’s hard hitting, mind-boggling and very, very inspiring. And it’s wonderful that a chef like Jamie Oliver is trying to change the world, one step at a time.