A School Lunch Reformer Critiques Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

April 5, 2010

Who better to review Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution than someone working full-time for reform in that sector? The Atlantic Food Channel has asked Kate Adamick to weigh in on the show, and critique each episode. Her first blog entry offers a great analysis of Oliver’s initial experiences:

Where to begin? Lunch ladies who dress like the love children of fast-food workers and nurses’ aides? A high-school cafeteria that serves nothing but pizza, fries, spaghetti, and iceberg lettuce in the salad bar? A kitchen manager who drinks soda in the kitchen and seemingly spends more time complaining than working? Adults who think students won’t eat lunch if the meal doesn’t come with fries? A food service director with a permanent smirk on her face who appears to hope the whole experiment fails?

Of course, there’s more. Lots, lots more. I’ll cut to the chase: yes. These scenes are tragically ubiquitous in our nation’s public school system.

But they’re not universal. Thankfully, there is an increasing number of courageous American lunch ladies who recognize that USDA guidelines are the insidious result of corporate lobbying and not just a standard to be met for federal funding.

I think that Adamick might so far be underestimating the shot in the arm that Oliver’s efforts will give to the national effort to reform school lunches. Money can’t buy this sort of exposure, and in the future it’s going to be increasingly difficult for anyone to defend “breakfast pizza” and other culinary atrocities. Link

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