Watch Now. To watch the show now, visit the official ABC Jamie Oliver Food Revolution page.
The leader of the Food Revolution is celebrity gardener and chef Jamie Oliver. Jamie’s Food Revolution web page offers more information, including a petition you can sign. His show launch comes just following a hotly debated healthcare bill in the U.S. Congress. Following the 6-part series two U.S. generals who were former chairs of the Join Chiefs of Staff declared obesity to be a threat to our national security. [source]
Television Show Review. Jamie Oliver is not only a chef, but a gardener. On his cooking show, the viewers are sometimes taken from the garden into the kitchen. His emphasis on fresh ingredients is central to his food philosophy. Those unfamiliar with this context may not understand astonishment and disgust he has when learning more about American food. In this first episode, Jamie descends upon the small town of Huntington, West Virginia.
He chose that town because it is statistically considered the most unhealthy city in America. Yet, despite it’s reputation as the sickest town in America, Jamie says, “I’ve spent 18 months traveling around America, and this town looks and feels like any other. Yes, this area has some of the tip-of-the-iceberg of problems, but it’s only 2 to 3 percent away from the national average. The reason I’m passionate to do this program is because this is about the whole of America.”
He’s not singling out these people, but a broader problem in America. [source]
As depicted at the very beginning of the show, Jamie’s attitude and somewhat awkward diplomacy seems to result in a very negative reaction from the community. While he certainly has good reason to feel that he’s above most people’s culinary abilities, this unfortunately comes across a bit too strong.
Review. Below is a review of the show by Gregory Johnson.
I like Jamie and respect him a lot. I wanted to like him in this show, but I couldn’t help but wince a few times at his apparent lack of self awareness and/or sensitivity to how he was coming across to these people who just didn’t have a clue about what he was preaching. He brought one woman to tears in the show when he told her that she was killing her children with the food she was feeding them. That seemed a bit harsh to me.
The show does bring up some really good points. I was reminded of similar shows like Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation. Jamie’s approach brings an entirely new slant on the issue and possible solutions.
After watching the entire first episode, and reflecting on the show a bit more, I thought about how Jamie is a gardener and it seems he is approaching his Food Revolution from a gardener’s mindset. A gardener looks at a problem like soil that is crusted over. It needs to be broken up and tilled thoroughly before new seeds can be planted. Jamie’s abruptness and seemingly disruptive style are apparently his way of breaking up the soil first, and then beginning the labor of planing fresh seeds and watering this garden that is his dream of a nutritional revolution in America.
At one point in the show, Jamie makes a genuine connection with a local Pastor. It seems that Jamie and the Pastor are in similar roles, both trying to make a change in people’s lives and sometimes it takes some drama and abruptness to inspire people toward the change that’s needed. Pastors and gardeners have similar professions; they both involve planting seeds and watering the soil. Throughout the show, Jamie seems inspired in his own life and mission by the faith of those around him.
Jamie’s primary challenge in the first show is to provide a school lunch program that will not only meet nutritional requirements, but also be appealing to children.
At the end of the first episode, the outlook seems quite bleak. The tension during the show is similar to an episode of Kitchen Nightmares. To borrow a line from the movie Wag the Dog, not even Peter Rabbit could get out of this one. We’ll see how Jamie does as this show progresses. ~ Gregory Johnson
Video Review. In the video below, Gregory Johnson discusses the first episode of the show, and he also shares about a school kitchen that serves hundreds of people daily with fresh, organic, vegetarian food.
Learn More. To learn more, click the banner below to visit Jamie’s website.