In episode two of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Jamie made another attempt to build a bridge with the LAUSD school board by visiting another school board meeting to give an update and express his hope that they could work together.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have made an impact, and the school board does not seem open to working with Jamie. Jamie was forced to take to the streets dressed as a tomato with a group of volunteers in fruit and vegetable costumes to create grassroots momentum for the food revolution. Jamie and his volunteers handed out healthy lunches, flyers with suggestions on how to get involved, and T-shirts with messages like “Let Jamie Oliver In” and “Feed Me Better” to parents and their children. Back in Jamie’s Kitchen, we got to see that Jamie was copied on at least 745 emails to the school board after this venture. Jamie was hopeful there were more than a thousand more on which he had not been copied and that these emails would make a difference to the LAUSD school board.
Jamie was (sort of) given access to West Adams Preparatory School, a LAUSD school run under a contract with a company called MLA. It was clear that the statements that their jobs could be on the line were not just made for television drama when LAUSD stepped in to terminate the filming contract suddenly and MLA staff had to fight to keep Jamie involved. Although Jamie was allowed into the school, he was banned from the kitchen, the cafeteria, and asking about school lunches. Instead, Jamie was asked to focus his efforts as a Culinary Arts teacher to a class of ten students. Unfortunately, on the first day of class Jamie had to take what looked like a McDonalds bag away from one of his students. However, Jamie did seem to be growing positive, caring relationships with his students.
Jamie also checked back with Patra’s fast food owner Dino. In an effort to convince Dino to try healthier options, Jamie offered to double the earnings of the restaurant if given control for two weeks. Although they eventually settled that Jamie could offer additional menu items as an experiment, the negotiation could have been more congenial; at one point, Dino seemed to suggest that Jamie simply could not understand fast food as someone who was not born in America. Yet, people in the street seemed to disagree when Jamie taste-tested his four new burger recipes; each was at least 370 calories less than a burger by Dino and no more expensive than Dino’s most expensive burger. In fact, some people were willing to pay much more for one of Jamie’s burgers.
Dino had stated that he does not believe his customers are concerned with quality, but I hope that his customers prove him wrong.
April 20th, 2011