If you missed the sneak preview of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, hopefully you were able to catch up during the first hour of the two-hour season premiere last Friday. Like most of today’s reality television programs, Food Revolution does a good job of catching you up; however, not in an irritatingly repetitive way.
One of the educational highlights of this episode was the chicken nugget experiment Jamie conducted with a handful of elementary school children. Jamie took a whole chicken, identified the prime cuts, and then showed the children how the “bits you don’t like” are used to create “processed food” like chicken nuggets. Despite the shrieks and “eewwws” during the process, the children were more than willing to eat the finished product to Jamie’s dismay and shock, since in England he received the opposite response from children when he conducted the same experiment.
We start to see change in the school with some of the children being able to identify vegetables and the principal taking Jamie’s lead to work with the children one on one, teaching them to use cutlery. Another moment of culture shock for Jamie was learning that the school does not allow the children to use forks or knives. After a demonstration to help get the parents on board, during which Jamie told them that the chocolate milk has more sugar than soda, only white milk was available at lunch. The children were also only given the option of eating Jamie’s fresh food menu at lunch.
Jamie’s positive approach is clear in his attempts to work with the cooks, having the children write them thank you notes; handing out “I’ve tried something new” stickers to the children; dancing in a pea pod costume to get the children excited; and teaching confidence, in addition to cooking to Justin Edwards. One of the climactic moments of this episode was when Jamie took the Edwards’ family to the doctor and they had to test to determine if Justin has diabetes or not. The other big question is whether or not the school will allow Jamie to return for a second week.
Although change seems to be coming slowly to Huntington, West Virginia, there are signs of hope. Viewers seem to be getting the message. Saturday, Jamie tweeted (@Jamie_Oliver) that there were nearly 80,000 signatures on his Food Revolution petition “to save cooking skills and improve school food.”
If you missed the Season Premiere, watch this clip or you can catch up at ABC.com or Hulu.
Let us know what you think, and don’t miss more of Food Revolution Fridays at 9pm or Saturdays at 3pm EST.
Check-out Jamie’s Essential Grocery List
March 29th, 2010