If you are like me, you didn’t realize that ABC had snuck Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution back into the line up on a new day and time. Luckily, I was able to catch up on Hulu.com. Hopefully, the rest of the season will continue on Fridays at 9p EST.
In the third episode of the second season, Jamie finally made some progress with Deno at Patra’s who we saw last episode. Jamie offered to renovate the entire diner and join him live on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show if Deno would agree to upgrade the meat in his burgers from the patties he knows nothing about. Deno said that his concern was more about if his customers would like it rather than the extra 13 cents per patty, but he also spoke about the “bottom line” a lot in this episode. Jamie introduced Deno to Sophia, one of the students from West Adams High, who shared her story and her concern that fast food is the primary contributor to diabetes in her entire family.
I was appalled that Deno would argue to a crying teenager that fast food is a choice, just like alcohol or cigarettes. When a child is given fast food, whose choice was it to purchase it? When lower quality ingredients are used to make foods, whose choice was that? Yes, I choose not to eat fast food, and my coworkers have said they hide their “bad” lunch choices from my sight. Yet, I am disturbed by the lack of compassion and the choice to blame rather than to take responsibility for one’s own choices.
Eventually, Deno did take Jamie up on his offer after his chef urged him to do it. Eventually, when his restaurant was overrun with customers during the grand re-opening, a customer from the neighborhood seemed to finally convince him. I hope that this truly is the end of the mystery meat at Patra’s.
Back at West Adams High, Jamie and his ten students easily prepared a meal of healthy macaroni and cheese, roast chicken, salad, and fruit salad for 150 students. Jamie’s students were eager and willing to take on the challenge of cooking for the entire school next. As they prepared to serve their meal, they found they had been demoted to serving in the furthest corner of the school. The administrator explained to Jamie that they had been told they were not allowed to compete with the cafeteria food served by union workers. When Jamie spoke to the parent volunteers meeting, he was clearly frustrated, tired, and emotional.
Jamie was shocked to discover that the teenagers of West Adams High did not know the basics of the origins of foods like butter, honey, sausage, and cheese. Although not allowed to serve food, Jamie was allowed to teach, so he created a demonstration and object lesson about where some “food” items come from. Seeing bugs, duck feathers, and human hair added to ice cream certainly grossed out most of the kids. It was educational for me as well. These object lessons may be the best thing Jamie does, besides cooking. The kids and I both took away from that class that we all need to know what we are eating, and if you don’t understand the crazy ingredients, don’t buy it.