Dietitian Allison J. Stowell and chef Erin Dow offered a webinar to those who were interested in Guiding Stars changing school lunches. Allison and Erin noted the rising obesity rates among children and how a change is needed as soon as possible. The issue at hand is childhood obesity and how changing school lunches can help lower obesity. The webinar basically described steps that Allison and Erin took to change a school district’s meal plan. The team offered advise to those who would like to implement healthy meals at schools in their home towns.
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 will take effect July 2012. Congress passed the act to help children grow into healthy adults. Guiding Star wants to educate children, parents, staff, and administrators about the importance of healthy eating, and they want people from the community to gather credible research about children eating healthy at schools and summarize it to the school board or community members. With that support and information, they can get everyone on board for the cause. The next step is to find a chef who is willing to work with the school and help create healthy recipes for the kids. Finally, schools need to enlist the help of staff and teachers to encourage and educate kids on the importance of eating healthy. (more…)
Jamie Olivermay not be a fitness guru, but he has revolutionized the food and health industry. Born May 27, 1975 in Clavering, Essex, England, Jamie had a normal childhood until the age of 8 when he started working at his parents’ pub The Cricketers in Calvering. He would help around the kitchen and run errands for his parents. Jamie was around the kitchen so much that he found a passion for food. He completed training at Westminster Catering College at 16 years old and then France was calling Jaime’s name. He spent some time there working for a variety of restaurants. Upon his return to London he worked at Neal Street and then at the infamous River Cafe for three-and-a-half years with Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers. This is where his passion for Italian food was ignited.
His formal career started in 1997 after being featured in a documentary about the River Cafe. Jamie was offered his own show; thus The Naked Chef was born. Jamie kept himself busy with his projects, but gave back to the community. In 2001, he opened “Jamie’s Kitchen,” a training restaurant for English citizens who weren’t in school or employed. His open heart and love for cooking benefited people in need. The next project to catch Jamie’s attention was the poor state of school lunches in United Kingdom schools. In 2004, Jamie launched a national campaign called “Feed Me Better,” then went into schools and educated kids on the importance of eating healthy. “Feed Me Better” shed light on the obesity problem eradicating the UK. (more…)
As part of our weekly cooking series, we’re doing a special feature today on how to cook with real food, in celebration of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day.
The idea is simple: Put away the fake ingredients and pre-made mixes and sauces and cook with real food for better health.
This idea is being brought to American dinner tables and school cafeterias by one seriously-determined British chef – Jamie Oliver. Oliver has started a movement both stateside and in Britain called the Food Revolution, which aims to get back to real, quality food, and move away from the high-fat, sugar-laden processed foods most Americans are eating today.
For a better sense of how Oliver views healthy eating, here is his food philosophy as stated on his website. (more…)
Yesterday morning, like most American women, I was checking my favorite blogs. It’s part of my a.m. routine just as much as coffee and showering. Daily and habitual.
So when I stopped by my friend Katie’s blog, Yes I Want Cake, I was thrilled to see she’d partnered with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which works to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.
This is a movement I’m totally on board with. Exposing kids and their families to real, nutritious food and spreading the buzz on health? Sign me up. In fact, I just did.
Jamie launched his Food Revolution back in 2010, and his latest project is a small but mighty extension of that: The Giving Assistant. It’s an app you can download for free onto your web browser with just a few clicks, and it acts as a virtual fundraiser, giving money to the cause every time you make a purchase with one of their online partners – like gap.com, hotels.com, bestbuy.com. When you check out, a portion of the proceeds is automatically donated to the Jamie Oliver Foundation. It’s that simple. (more…)
The last episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution ended with a teaser about the appointment of a new superintendent for the LAUSD. This final episode of the season began with Jamie meeting with Mike of MLS at Patra’s restaurant.
Deno, Patra’s owner, reported that business had continued to be good with his new healthier menu. Mike informed Jamie (and us) that the new LAUSD school superintendent was willing to grant autonomy to schools that can show results. I also learned that schools are not eligible for reimbursement for the free lunch program if they do not serve flavored milk. Later, when we get to meet the new superintendent, he says that he wants to get rid of flavored milk in LAUSD schools, which we now know that he has accomplished. Jamie predicted that with Los Angeles taking such a proactive move, that soon we may see flavored milk eliminated from schools around the country.
With the new superintendent, Jamie was allowed to go back into West Adams High, even into the school kitchen, where he and his culinary arts students got to try out the new healthier school menu items.
My favorite part of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution this Father’s Day week was Jamie’s visit back to the Barrett family to see if they have stayed away from fast food since his last visit. As Jamie strode up the sidewalk, he noticed that they were growing herbs and vegetables. The father and the teenage son answered the door in aprons, in the midst of preparing dinner for themselves and Jamie. They had even filled the living room with all kinds of produce in jest of Jamie filling their home with fast food on his last visit. The father stated that he had lost 16 pounds already and, most importantly, feels good about himself as a father now that he cooks and has dinner at the family table with his sons.
The episode started with Jamie visiting a convention for school lunch cooks. He let us know that it is not just the LAUSD, but he has also been denied access to 75 other school districts. The comments by the cooks and administrators made it clear that people are afraid of bad press.
I find it sad when we try to pretend that we are perfect and/or do not open ourselves up to improvement through real awareness. I work with people frequently who confess less than functional habits. Just because Jillian Michaels already works out daily, does not mean she is better than the person asking for help to start exercising more often. In fact, I often find that the person trying to make a change has more courage and is working harder than the person who has already developed a healthier habit. My favorite part of the school lunch cook convention was Jamie commenting on the fact that during airing of the Food Revolution, commercials for fast food or convenience food are also being aired.
After the disappointment in the last episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, it was a wonderful surprise to see that the administrator of West Adams High had hopefully found a loophole, so that Jamie and his kids could indeed cook for the entire school, at least as an assembly. The administrator said that the school was based on experiential teaching and preparing kids for college, so healthy eating fit right into their principles. In the mean time, Jamie continued his role of instructor, trying out different subjects beyond culinary arts.
In math class, Jamie taught about calories and consequences by allowing students to choose a snack between soda, chocolate bars, pizza, or oranges. He then allowed them to experience weight gain using weight backpacks. Jamie then took his math students out to the track having the students walk around the track enough times to burn the calories of what they had just eaten.
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.
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.
While I was typing up my review of the season premiere of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, my brother requested a milk shake as a snack, so of course I tested out what we had just seen Jamie demonstrate, trying to convince the fast food owner to serve healthier options. Jamie and the restauranteur faced off on whether a milkshake requires ice cream to really be a milkshake. Jamie made a version with yogurt that passed the taste-test of a child, but the restaurant owner was not convinced that it could qualify as a milkshake without ice cream.
For my milkshake, I grabbed two bananas out of the freezer, added pourable vanilla yogurt from local Trader’s Point Creamery, organic milk, and blended it well. I’m not a fan of yogurt, but it even passed my taste test.
The premier of season two of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution was better than I had hoped. It had everyone in my house shocked and engaged. I couldn’t keep up with the discussion on twitter because #foodrevolution was a trending topic with hundreds of tweets every minute. If you missed it this week, I will catch you up. Hopefully you can join the conversation tweeting live with us next week.
This season Jamie is in Los Angeles, but he has been banned from the LAUSD school system. Even after going before the school board, not like a celebrity but like any other citizen in a three minute slot, Jamie was dismissed unceremoniously. At one point, Jamie stated that his welcome in Huntington, WV, reportedly the unhealthiest city in the U.S., was warm compared to the cold shoulder he was receiving in L.A. Because he was not allowed in the schools, he asked school children and their parents to bring him food items from the school. Jamie stated that it was the worst school menu he had seen anywhere (and twitter seemed to agree). It was revealed that to save money, food is only prepared in one kitchen for all the schools in L.A. – the meals were only warmed in house.