Salisbury, MD. What is "The Jamie Oliver Food Revolution" philosophy?
The answer is simple: if we love our kids, we've got to raise them to be healthier adults. There are several components to raising a child to become a healthy adult and Jamie Oliver primarily addresses the quality nutrition part of the equation.
So, why should we get behind the "Jamie Oliver Food Revolution"? Two reasons come to mind: 1) partly because it's the right thing to do and 2) partly because it's our fault.
"What?????", you are no doubt screaming. You heard me, "partly because it's our fault"! Yes, let's stop and think for a moment about how we got where we are:
* In the 1940's and 1950's, when the Gardening Grannies were growing up, some of them lived on farms and some of them lived in towns. All of them had parents who had lived through The Great Depression and had carried over their parents' tradition of a Victory Garden. The Gardening Grannies, despite the fact that most of them grew up poor by today's standards, ate "fresh" most of the time.
* When the Gardening Grannies went to school, those who could afford to purchase school lunches, ate some pretty unidentifiable "stuff". There was "mystery meat", mushy canned vegetables, lettuce with brown edges that passed for salad and tapioca pudding that stuck to your spoon like glue. Ketchup was the primary seasoning. It was awful and everybody hated it, but they ate enough to get by because they knew what would happen if word got to their parents that they had used good money for a lunch they didn't eat.
* In the late 1950's the first "drive in" appeared and the Gardening Grannies, now high schoolers, gravitated to it like flies to….uh….fertilizer. Hamburgers, french fries and milk shakes became frequent fare.
* Then came McDonald's and other chain fast foods. They were everywhere! The Grannies, by now, were married and juggling families and children of their own. And then, later, grandchildren. Some of the Grannies didn't live near to their parents and didn't have the family support that their parents had experienced. Most of them still had small gardens, but the pace of life never slowed and neither did the growth of the fast food chains. Fast food was so convenient and "inexpensive".
* Now, however, when the kids hated the school lunches, the parents brought pressure on the schools to "do better". The schools followed suit by mimicking what the kids got at home, adding pizzas, subs, french fries and chocolate milk to satisfy the changing taste of kids….regardless as to whether it was or was not good for them. And the kids ate their lunches.
* Beginning the day with pop tarts or sugared cereals, progressing to sugar/fat/salt-laden lunches at school and wrapping it up the day with something a parent figure picked up at a fast food place on the way home from work our kids rarely see a vegetable now days. With ketchup being the most (and sometimes only) consumed "vegetable", is it any wonder our kids suffer from mal nutrition and extra poundage (and all the ills that come with it) they simply won't grow out of?
So what do we do now? How do we reverse this fatal trend? The Gardening Grannies will have some specific suggestions tomorrow.
The Gardening Grannies, a group of avid and Master Gardeners, live, love and garden on Delmarva. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.