Revolution? Or Passing Trend?

**UPDATED**

Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution wrapped up last night.  I have to admit that I had high hopes, but in the end I was underwhelmed.

I was hoping that the show would make the conversation about what we eat and how we feed our children mainstream, but there is a difference between mainstream and trendy.

I fear the push for better quality food is just a passing fancy.  It was good for ratings, I’m sure.  But in the end, reality TV and Ryan Seacrest Productions may have won out over real change.

My husband summed it up well last night when he said, “I feel like we just watched the same show 6 times.”

There was always a conflict, a drama, some tears and sentimentality, and then in the end a sweeping victory.  Did we ever doubt that Jamie would save the day?

And, I know it’s show business, but did he have to make the people of WV out to be so ignorant?  I found it interesting that he went to the directors of the hospital for funding and they expressed concern about him making a mockery of Huntington, that’s exactly what happened in the end.  As much as Jamie tried to express his concern and respect for the people of WV, the advertising department had a heyday with the “fattest city in America” mantra.  I guess that’s what happens when the producer of American Idol and Keeping Up with the Kardashians is involved.

School lunches are horrid, there is no doubt about it.  I signed the petition.  I’m all for making our school lunches healthier.  Heck, I’d just be happy if they got rid of the flavored milks and the cookies and chips and the “ice cream,” which is anything BUT cream.

I don’t buy school lunches; I pack lunch for my kids.  But not everyone has that privilege.  Some people depend on school lunches for financial reasons.  That meal may be the only square meal some kids get in a day.  And for the rest of us, trying to do our best to pack healthy lunchboxes, only to have our efforts sabotaged by bags of Doritos and Rice Krispie Treats and cartons of chocolate milk is quite demoralizing.  So if Jamie Oliver’s publicity stunt can help achieve a change for the better, then I’ll take it.  But I wish the show had focused a little bit more on facts and a little less on drama.  Then again, I suppose drama is what sells.

Speaking of packing lunches, there was another huge red flag raised in the final episode.  When they showed the kids bringing in bagged lunches full of Lunchables and other assorted packaged junk food, did you hear what Jamie said about the bagged lunches meeting state regulations?

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

The government has no business telling me what I feed my kids [put in their lunchboxes].

The government says that low-fat diary is healthy.  The government says that all saturated fats are bad.  The government says that “no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-r-BST treated cows.”

No, thank you, the government can keep their misguided information and let me raise my family as I see fit.

And this is my biggest fear with this movement.  While I want people to be aware of what they are eating and how it affects their quality of life, and as much as I want government run organizations, such as our schools, to be on board, I do not want the government dictating how we feed our families.  And that’s the direction I’m afraid this is heading.

So in a nutshell, I’m glad this is a topic of conversation.  I hope it’s not (but fear it is) a passing fad.  I hope this awareness will lead to better food in schools (and less junk).  And most of all, I hope that it’s not a foothold for the government to get more control over our lives and our food choices.

What say you?

For another take on the show, my friend Cecily wrote about the topic tonight too.

UPDATE: I want to clarify about my government rant. I meant that the government should not tell me what to pack in my kids’ lunchboxes. I understand that the government must regulate what is served in government schools, and it is my hope that we can improve upon the regulations that are already in place.