Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jamie's Food Revolution

As promised, here I am to plug my main man Jamie and his efforts on this side of the pond to help improve the diets in this country. He has already changed the foods served to the children in schools in his country of England. It was a tremendous feat, but through hard work he did it. The English also suffer from essentially the "Western Diet". Our diet. Our lovely diet of fast foods and processed foods has spread around the globe. Countries that never used to have issues with heart disease and diabetes are now reporting them in record numbers. Thanks to the spread of fast food chains and prepackaged processed foods.

The schools in England were serving processed foods full of chemicals, additives, sugar, fats and questionable meats. Jamie came in and changed the food being served to whole foods. He taught them how to cook the foods while at the same time proving that you can eat healthy and remain on budget. He removed the sodas and candy machines and brought in water, fruit and vegetables.

He's also opened several restaurants in his home country where the chefs are actually troubled teens. These restaurants have been very successful in not only funding his cause but in helping these teens find purpose, fulfilling careers and happiness.

Let's get back to us. Jamie is currently working on this project over here in Huntington, West Virginia. This state currently has the highest obesity rate in the country. He's reaching out to the schools and community to teach them about cooking. In the schools, he has had some struggle in regards to the food provided. Currently foods are primarily processed and frozen. All the lunch ladies require is to reheat. He was appalled to see them serving pizza for breakfast then chicken nuggets for lunch. It was also interesting to see all the children drinking strawberry and chocolate milk. Whoa? I don't agree with the need of milk at that age anyway, but if they are still going to enforce its need, can't we have it plain instead of filled with dyes and sugar?

His battle here is economics, politics and the ancient food guide pyramid. The schools can't go over budget, so they purchase and serve cheap and processed foods. They also still go by the old food pyramid where there is more bread than vegetables and fruits.

I'm so happy he's here I can't stand it. I only wish I were closer so I could help out and learn. Jamie opened up a kitchen in that town where people can come in freely to learn to cook.

I asked Bella about the food at her school. She told me something very interesting. I asked her if she liked the pizza at school. She replied: "No, I don't eat it because it's way too big and oily."

It's a wonderful program and I hope he is successful. We need all the help we can get. Thanks Jamie.

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