Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Food flash mob

I'm now caught up on all four episodes of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Since the first episode, Jamie is continuing his program at the elementary school with a bit more success. He's still meeting resistance from the lunch cooks (who don't like to be called lunch ladies. Adam Sandler would be disappointed.) who say cooking from scratch is too much work, even if the food is fresh and tastes good.

Jamie also started a program at one of the local high schools. Not only is he cooking lunch meals, where students are given multiple lunch options, as opposed to the elementary school that only gets one, but he also gathered a few students who were interested in spreading the word and helping him with his project. Each of the kids involved has a personal connection to obesity or just really wants to help see their community make a change.

The best part of the fourth episode came when Jamie made a bet with the local deejay Rod Willis who is very opposed to the project. Rod told Jamie that he doesn't think people will want to come to the kitchen Jamie set up for free cooking lessons. As a response, Jamie said if he could get 1,000 people to come through the kitchen in 5 days time, the deejay would finally have to start backing Jamie's project (and buy him a beer, of course).

A thousand people in 5 days is a lot. So, along with going on a variety of TV and radio programs to help promote Jamie's Kitchen, Jamie set up a flash mob at local Marshall University. A flash mob is where a group of people collaboratively do something out of the ordinary in an ordinary setting. In this case, in the middle of campus among unsuspecting people gathering and walking around the center of campus, the flash mob busted out a choreographed dance making stir-fry. It was awesome.

During the week Jamie then set up a cook-a-thon where he had people out in the streets cooking stir-fry. He visited local factories where he taught workers how to cook in the middle of work.

"One person cannot change 50,000 people in the town of Huntington." - Rod Willis.

When Jamie came about 200 people shy of his goal, he turned to Rod Willis to help him reach his goal. To try to convince Rod to help, Jamie took him to a local funeral parlor. It was crazy. You never really think about what happens to obese people when they die. This segment was a real eye opener. With the increase in obesity, casket makers have had to expand their business to create, essentially, double-wide caskets. The morticians at the funeral home said because of their size, morbidly obese people cannot be cremated and to carry the casket, it has to go on a flatbed truck. That's for sure not the way I want to exit this world. "It ain't about cooking lettuce, the Food Revolution is about saving lives." Jamie said to Rod after leaving.

Jamie's plan worked. During the last day, Rod showed up to Jamie's Kitchen to help reach 1,000 people cooking. Rod finally broke down and said, "I've come to realize that it's not about Jamie Oliver any more, it's about us as a community."

If you haven't checked out the show, you can catch up with old episodes on Hulu.com or tune in at 9pm on Fridays on ABC.


Michelle said...

I love this show. Sooo great. Speaking of healthly...next time you're in Vancouver, there is a cupcake place that sells "Oh Canada" cupcakes. The frosting is maple with BACON BITS on top. LOL!!

Jessica said...

If you feel inspired by Jamie's campaign, he has created an online petition, promoting healthy food for children, that he will present to the White House. You can find the petition here:
http://www.jamiesfoodrevolution.com/petition. Pass it along!

Edward said...

This is my new fave show on tv right now. I was telling some of my students about the show too because this week our school launched a new hot lunch program which offers meals that are unprocessed, natural,and freshly cooked. So far, the kids love it!