Have you seen Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution yet on tv? If you haven’t, I encourage you to take the time and sit down and watch it. The three episodes that have already aired are available on Hulu or ABC and the program runs on Friday nights. Here is the premise: Jamie Oliver has gone to Huntington, WV to change the way people eat. His main focus is to introduce healthier options to schools, something he did with great success in Great Britain.
I was living in London when the British version of this program aired back in 2005 and the American version is just as powerful. I seriously can’t go one episode without crying (which actually isn’t that out of the ordinary…a story for another time).
This weekend is Easter, any sort of holiday means that family from Connecticut descends on the farmhouse and special items need to be stocked up. My youngest cousin has always had the worst eating habits, something that has upset me for years. As the main grocer this week I was tasked with getting her the all important Oscar Meyer Chicken, Pork and Beef bologna she chain eats. No other version will do, by the way, only the full on full fat, full junk variety.
I’m not here to say ‘eat like me’ or I’m so wonderful. I’ve struggled with eating disorders all of my life. I was the fat kid throughout school. I was teased for it and tormented by it. I’ve been huge, binging on anything that I could get my hands on, believing that I wasn’t worth love or attention and I’ve been thin, starving myself because bone is beautiful and that was the only way someone would love me. My relationship with food has been long, twisted and, often times, unhealthy but today I realize what is best and what isn’t. I focus on eating fresh, healthy and homemade and my body and soul have thanked me for it.
If you don’t love food then you know no joy…but why do we have to fill ourselves with junk? Why do we provide it for our families? Because it’s cheaper? Easier?
Jamie Oliver is getting to Americans the only way we listen, through the television. The show is a magnifying glass, a question mark on all the things we think good or normal. The truth is that we don’t eat the way the rest of the world eats. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many times more: We are disconnected from our food, from our meals.But how do we change things?
I feel the change needs to come by connecting people back not just with the fresh produce and meat that make the meals, but with the farmers that produce them. If you can, start going to your local farmers’ market and begin to build a relationship with the farmers there. Your perspective on food will change drastically just by leaving the florescent isles of a grocery store behind. Your relationship with food will change as well.