If there is one thing that Americans do greatly, it is that they eat.
America is one of the unhealthiest countries in the world. Children in today’s society will live lives shorter than their own parents because of the food they are eating. Diet-related diseases are increasing and are currently the biggest cause of death in the United States today.
Famous chef and food advocate Jamie Oliver came to the United States to start a “food revolution”. He spends much of his time campaigning against the use of processed foods in national schools and poor cooking habits. Starting in West Virginia, the unhealthiest state, he talked to real people about their real habits. He shows a young girl who has only a few years to live because of the food choices she has made. He shows another woman and her children who just like other Americans, were never taught to cook at home and eat highly processed foods. He shows more young people that have experienced deaths of close family members all due to obesity. These deaths don’t just affect that person; it affects their children, friends, peers and everyone else around them.
Jamie sees the problem of obesity as a triangle between the home, school and the main street, or modern day life. The main street is where fast food has taken over the country. As the supermarkets and big companies take power, most foods that Americans eat are those that are largely processed and full of extra additives and ingredients. Portion size and labeling are also huge problems that we have in our country.
As life changes, we have to step back and readjust the balance. School food is something most children have twice a day and for that reason is very important and he stresses this through the video. School cafeterias are run by people who don’t have enough food knowledge. We are not teaching kids enough about the food. There is a clip where Jamie goes to an elementary school and asks the kids what certain vegetables are. They can’t seem to name any of the ones he shows them. If they do not know what they are, they either have not eaten them or will not eat them. It is this alarming fact that helps us realize that we have to start teaching our kids about food in school.
The good news about all of this bad news is that it is preventable. To make real change, big brands need to put food education at the heart of their business. Work places need to offer fresh food. Schools need to cook proper and fresh food for the children. Life skills like recipes that children can make, need to be learned.
If change can be made in this country, starting with properly educating our children about food, beautiful things will happen in this world.