The past few years I've been quite interested in food politics. I've read a lot of books on the matter. Books by Eric Schlosser, Michael Pollan, blogs by Marion Nestle and movies like Food Inc have permanently changed the way I eat. In my quest for overcoming my life-long food addiction I've tried to embrace food and learn more about the beast you could say. I'm very aware of where my food comes from, whats on my plate and I love the connection that brings. James and I eat mostly a vegetarian diet. Recently I decided to try to push that after reading Alicia Silverstones 'Kind Diet' to about 80% vegan. I'm not 100% fantastic with food ....I still am trying to overcome sugar addiction but one step at a time.
Anyway, the U.K. has been pushing healthy eating for the past few years. Kick ass Chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have all done television shows on meat, school lunches and changing the way we eat for the better.
So, I was quite thrilled to hear that Jamie Oliver was taking his school lunch campaign he did here (in Greenwich actually) to the US. Its been interesting to hear that the same problems he had (budgets, resistance to change) he had in the US too. I also know that they recently did a study on the school that Jamie worked with here and they not only had improved behavior, less illness but test scores improved. To me this sounds like something worthwhile to keep pushing despite the initial heartache. What I would have given to have had the knowledge about food growing up that I do now. Maybe my life would have been completely different if I hadnt have struggled with obesity my entire life?
I wonder if the food industry is too big to tackle in the US sometimes though. Corporate interests seem to be pushed ahead of the well being of the population sometimes. Its hard to say but, I do know that Jamie Oliver has made a huge impression (winning the TED prize helped) across the pond. Whether his efforts are successful though long term depends on us, not Jamie. You have to be the change you wish to see and in this case change happens one plate at a time.
***US People.....Food Revolution is on Friday nights on ABC. Be sure to sign Jamie's online petition here. He needs 1 million signatures asap.