From reading this blog, you have probably already realized that I love food and thinking I have a great deal of witty humor. But one thing you should know about me is that I'm a huge TV junkie. It's a bit sad, actually, but you'll forgive me, right?
So, I was really excited when Joe told me about a new series called Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. It has had two episodes so far, and both have been really great. Basically, the premise is that British chef Jamie Oliver travels to the United States to begin a "food revolution" on the way that we eat. He starts in Huntington, West Virgina, which was recently declared the unhealthiest city in America. Over the course of a few months, Jamie aims to educate the residents of Huntington about healthy eating on many different levels... and he fights skepticism the whole way.
From what I've seen so far, Jamie is definitely lighting a fire under the residents of Huntington, and I'm interested to see where it goes as the series progresses. But to start, I just want to talk about some of the background of the show get your initial take on it.
Who is Jamie Oliver?
Jamie Oliver is a British chef who is most well-known for his TV show The Naked Chef. He believes in cooking with simple, natural ingredients, from which the show derives its name. Jamie recently embarked on a campaign to change eating habits in the United Kingdom, including reforming school lunches and improving eating and cooking habits. He often sparks controversy, and his work in Food Revolution is no exception.
Another fun fact about Jamie? He has three daughters, and their names are Poppy, Petal, and Daisy. Goodness gracious.
About Huntington, West Virginia
By this point, it is evident that we have an obesity problem in America. But Huntington, West Virginia's population of nearly 50,000 has an obesity rate of almost 50%. It also has high rates of diabetes, heart disease, and those who do not exercise. In Huntington, it is more common to see 30-year-old's having heart attacks than 50-year-old's, and the local pastor constantly has to perform funerals for those who die of weight-related problems. The statistics are shocking- on paper, and in person.
But the most shocking thing about Huntington is that many or most of its residents don't see a problem with their dietary system. For them, it is normal- it is all they have ever known. In fact, a CBS News article from November 2008 quotes the mayor as saying, "[The health issue] doesn't come up." It is this attitude that Jamie enters a world of, and needless to say, it is not easy to combat.
Clip Preview from Episode 1
Here's a link to a short clip of what Jamie encounters when he first goes to Huntington for his food revolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcprJs7euRQ
Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution airs Friday nights at 9/8c on ABC. Or anytime you want on Hulu! Watch it and let's chat next week about it!