People have been encouraging me for a while now to watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I’ll say this up front, and I hope I don’t sound like I’m preaching- I don’t watch tv. Or I should specify. I don’t typically watch current tv. I watch a lot of tv on dvd, I watch Battlestar Gallactica, endless reiterations of Firefly, Gilmore Girls, Mad Men- and I’ll watch the Daily Show on the internet on my lunch breaks. That sort of thing. If I’m ever at home sick or something I’ll put in the Food Network or flip around until I find a good movie.
Point is, I don’t tend to hear about shows until someone explicitly points them out to me. If something happens to be on hulu, sometimes I’ll check it out. And it turns out Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is on hulu! Go figure. So I watched a couple episodes. I had never seen it or heard of it before, but apparently this is the second season, when he’s in LA.
It’s heartbreaking. I mean, they shoot it that way, obviously, lots of sad music and kids crying and so on. But they’re not putting anything out there that isn’t happening. People are DYING. Children are constantly SICK. They’re all on medication, they have diabetes, they have obesity, etc etc etc. You could go on forever. No one knows what’s in their food. No one knows why they feel awful all the time. I mean, I think about this stuff, I think about my own relatives who have died from diet related diseases, and the fact that all of this is PREVENTABLE. I’m prone to bursting into tears, but this stuff really gets me.
I’m not a parent yet, but when I get into conversations about how I’m going to raise my future kids, I admit I get a little psychotic about it and start ranting about how they will never have fast food in my house and there will never be soda in the fridge and all the rest of it. I realize this is mental. I do. But someone I love very very much suffered for a very long time from a disease that could have been prevented by good food. And with that knowledge in my heart, it is hard for me not to go a little mental at the thought of raising kids who think it’s ok to eat fast food all the time.
So the show so far is fascinating, even if it is depressing. There are still kids in the world who believe in things, and want to change them. There are kids who care. There are parents who care. And the unfortunate thing is that all of those people have been completely disenfranchised. Fight the school board? Fight the people who by law you have to entrust your children to for hours a day? Fight the people who have now declared in many cities that your kids HAVE to eat school foods? Sure, you can home school (in most states, but not all), but you aren’t even allowed to home school in many other countries (those European countries who are supposed to be all progressive and free? Yeah, no home schooling in Germany). And not everyone can home school. Not everyone can afford to stay home with their kids. Not everyone wants to.
God the show is cheesy and trumped up like all reality tv but skies only know we NEED these changes. We NEED someone to go into schools and change the food they serve to kids, to teach kids how to eat healthy, affordable food. And apparently in this god-awful money driven country we live in, you need to have the money of a major network tv show to make that happen. Watching the show I just kept thinking, god, it must have been expensive. Skies above, what did that cost? You need to be a celebrity with a tv show to be able to afford this.
And that unfortunately is a reality. We have passionate people here, we have kids who care, and mothers who care, but they’re faced with these baffling contradictions, regulations, and obstacles- administrators and rule makers who insist they know better, that mothers don’t know best, that “science” and “studies” show everything is fine. And if you’re to contradict them, you’re supposed to have million dollar studies at your side- how are you supposed to do that? And what’s to prevent them from dismissing your information out of hand when you have it? How do you convince these people when your voice as a parent, as an individual, as a child, is simply dismissed?
I’d say going in there with your metaphorical guns blaring, but I don’t know. Apparently a big budget is what you need. I’m hoping that as this show progresses they have some ideas for regular old people with no money.
This is all so frustrating.