Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution

While I have always liked the Tracy Chapman song Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution…it’s not the reason for this particular post. Instead, I’m inspired by what superstar chef Jamie Oliver (of Naked Chef fame) is up to with his new show “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.” Airing on ABC on Friday nights at 9PM EDT, I caught up on the first episode via DVR last night. And I have to say that I was simultaneously impressed with his incredible chutzpah and appalled by the reception he got from the very people he was trying to help. His philosophy is so sane and so balanced that it’s hard to imagine anyone ARGUING with him…but argue they did. It reminded me that food is personal and when someone threatens established habits of an entire city as he does in his show (set in Huntington, WV – deemed the unhealthiest city in America by the Center for Disease Control) it can get a little ugly!

In the show, Jamie focuses on improving school food and on teaching people to cook from fresh, whole ingredients. He doesn’t completely eschew sweets or treats, but views them as occasional indulgences, not as everyday fare. There’s an incredible scene where he dumps out all the food one family eats in a week on the kitchen table and everything…I mean everything…is “golden brown”. Not a color to be seen. This is how America eats??

Here is the philosophy Jamie outlines on his website…see what you think.

“My philosophy to food and healthy eating has always been about enjoying everything in a balanced, and sane way. Food is one of life’s greatest joys yet we’ve reached this really sad point where we’re turning food into the enemy, and something to be afraid of. I believe that when you use good ingredients to make pasta dishes, salads, stews, burgers, grilled vegetables, fruit salads, and even outrageous cakes, they all have a place in our diets. We just need to rediscover our common sense: if you want to curl up and eat macaroni and cheese every once in a while – that’s alright! Just have a sensible portion next to a fresh salad, and don’t eat a big old helping of chocolate cake afterwards.

Knowing how to cook means you’ll be able to turn all sorts of fresh ingredients into meals when they’re in season, at their best, and cheapest! Cooking this way will always be cheaper than buying processed food, not to mention better for you. And because you’ll be cooking a variety of lovely things, you’ll naturally start to find a sensible balance. Some days you’ll feel like making something light, and fresh, other days you’ll want something warming and hearty. If you’ve got to snack between meals, try to go for something healthy rather than loading up on chocolate or potato crisps. Basically, as long as we all recognize that treats should be treats, not a daily occurrence, we’ll be in a good place. So when I talk about having a ‘healthy’ approach to food, and eating better I’m talking about achieving that sense of balance: lots of the good stuff, loads of variety, and the odd indulgence every now and then.”

I suppose it’s easy for me to view his philosophy as balanced when it lines up so well with my own! I’d love to hear other points of view on his philosophy, the Food Revolution he is trying to start, or the show in general….check out his siteor the show…and tell me what you think by commenting here.

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