It was shocking. If you happened to catch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on Friday night, you’ll know what I mean. If you did watch it, I can guarantee you’ll never eat chicken nuggets again, let alone feed them to your kids. If you did watch it, and you have small children, I hope it made you angry, and that you’re ready to march down to your local school district and start demanding changes to what’s being fed to your children in school.
Follow the link to watch clips from the first two episodes at http://abc.go.com/shows/jamie-olivers-food-revolution and then follow the link to sign Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Petition. It’s going to take a revolution and a massive culture shift to change America’s eating habits, and it all starts with you!
Over the years, my family has eaten fast food now and then. But as a rule, you won’t find processed food in my house. We’re as busy as the next family, and we eat out once or twice a week, but most nights you’ll find us at home, preparing delicious meals together, made from fresh ingredients. I never expressly forbade my kids to eat processed food and when they were little, they got an occasional fast food meal.
My two adult children (27 and 24) didn’t see Jamie Oliver’s show, but we talked about it at breakfast yesterday, and they shared a few observations:
My boys admit to eating lots of junk over the years. They reminisced about school lunches, and those little pre-formed “mystery meat” chunks and the mashed potato glop made from “potato pearls” served in the school cafeteria. (At the time, we never gave it a thought!) I do know some of the foods are made from scratch at our local schools, but they also use too much of the commercial processed stuff that’s filled with an alphabet soup of ingredients.
Then they talked about how much junk food they saw and ate at their friends’ houses, contrasted with the meals they’ve always been served at home. They said they take it for granted that the meals here are almost always prepared from whole, fresh, unadulterated ingredients. It wouldn’t occur to them to go to the freezer section to buy their vegetables. Cooking from scratch is part of their culture. What about your family? Does it really take that much more time to cut up and steam a head of broccoli, than to shake a few frozen florets from a freezer pack? To me, it’s always about the taste and texture.
At Mehaffey’s it’s also always been about gathering the family around the table to share a good meal, talk about the day, and laugh together. Does your family do this at least once or twice a week? I hope so. If not, maybe it’s time to start. If you do, you know that you’re providing something essential, as essential I think, as needing air to breathe.