Loving The Revolution

Did you watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last night?  If you haven’t and you plan on it, stop reading right now.  RIGHT NOW!  Close the window and watch it.

I am not surprised at all that Alice is still fighting the change at Central City Elementary.  I had to wonder if they really needed extra help at all and if it was just the need for better planning and organization.  I hope that she will eventually come around.  If she doesn’t, I hope that the school lets her go.  What we’ve seen so far, the new program is really taking off there.  I was extremely pleased to see the adults walking around the lunch room helping the kids and encouraging them to try the food.  I think that is one piece that is missing from schools.  Well, any work with kids really.  The best way to keep them engaged and to prevent behaviors you don’t want to see, is to be actively involved with what they are doing and do it with them.  The last time I remember a teacher being around me during lunch was third grade.  She was actually my teacher and she sat in the cafeteria and ate with us.  I don’t remember any other teacher doing that.  I think recess would be a lot better if the teachers were paying more attention.  I remember many recesses where the teachers congregated in one area while the rest of us played.  But, we were pretty good and didn’t need constant intervention from teachers because we couldn’t get along.

I love that Jamie talked to the teenagers to help them understand that they have a voice in this change he is trying to bring to Huntington.  I also love that the cooks at the high school are welcoming change.  I love that he had his team taking samples out to the students in the cafeteria.  What a great way to get them to try something new.  I love that all the teens on his team have a purpose for wanting to work with him.  What I didn’t love was Rhonda picking on him about the vegetable serving in his stir fry even after admitting that the french fries count as a vegetable, but salad was optional, which shorted all those teens of the full servings.  I understand that it needed to be on the line as an option, but when you already have kids choosing a fully golden brown lunch over a colorful and nutrient dense lunch that is the bigger problem.  Not the servings.  And how about that stoppage Jamie put on the french fries.  I’m surprised there weren’t fights breaking out.

I think it’s amazing, too, that Jamie formed that team of high schoolers.  He’s not only giving them a voice, but helping them become agents of change themselves.  The two that struck me the most were Brittney and Ryan.  The former is a bit obvious.  She has the most to gain from this revolution.  She said herself that the doctor’s found spots on her liver and gave her 7 years.  This is literally do or die for her.  I wish her all the best.  I think it will be amazing if she can get her health under control and by doing that, get her weight under control.  She will be a voice to be reckoned with.  How can you argue with someone who made healthy changes and beat the odds?  She’ll be living proof.  I really do hope she is able to make the changes and reverse the damage to her health and not become one more of Huntington’s statistics.

Ryan.  My goodness.  I found myself in awe of the way he presented himself.  If his story wasn’t told, I never would have guessed.  Ryan is an example of the kinds of kids I worked with for 10 1/2 years.  He was right, too.  When you give kids an opportunity like this, they will thrive.  The key is presenting them with the right opportunity at the right time.  Not always easy to do, but it is do-able.  He floored me with his speech to the Senator and the local big wigs.  It’s not often I’ve worked with a teenager that has been through the same things and they are able to express themselves like that.  They do, but it takes a long time sometimes for them to get to that point.  I think he will be another voice to be reckoned with.  He has a bright future ahead of him and I am going to keep him in my prayers for sure.

One thing to share with you before I go is this interview that Dr. Mercola posted on Facebook earlier.  It’s about the dangers of genetically modified foods to our health.  I don’t know about you, but some of the things Jeffrey Smith said it causes freaked me out.  If you scroll down the page, there is a link to a Guide for buying non-GMO products.  Great way to make sure you are buying non-GMO is to eat whole foods that are organic and buy meats that are grass-fed and free-range.  If you are buying packaged items, if it is certified organic, it cannot contain any GMO products at all.  The list says to stay away from the big four in packaged products: 1) corn, 2) soy, 3) canola, 4) cottonseed and that there are few GMO  fruits and vegetables that are sold in the produce section.  If your produce has a 5-digit PLU code that starts with an 8, it’s GMO.  However, using this code is optional right now and not mandatory.  I’m re-posting this article on GMOs and PLU codes that I posted a month ago in my blog just in case you didn’t see it.  Very eye-opening.

Happy Easter to all of you who celebrate it!