Monday, April 5, 2010

Food Revolution, Episode 3

We're back!
We're in beautiful Huntington, Virginia.
If you'd like to follow along with my comments, head over to and look for episode "103." The link is at the bottom of this post.

1. Alice has issues...control issues? She's mad that she's in the test kitchen, and she thinks that the processed foods are better for the kids, because it makes them happy?

2. Rhonda, the district food supervisor, is letting Jamie into one of the high schools as well. This is a good sign!

3. The student body is, apparently, completely dependent on french fries for their emotional and mental well-being. That will probably be one of the first things that has to go.

4. He's putting together his little army - all the kids he can round up to help with the Food Revolution. And he's going to put them in the kitchen! Man, if I was in high school, I would SO be there.

5. All of these kids have either major weight-related health issues themselves, or have been intimately affected by weight issues in their families. That group of kids...that IS the revolution.

6. Homemade yogurt and homemade shepherd pie?! That sounds absolutely amazing. And it's just FOOD - no additives.

7. "It tastes good. That's not the point." We know that Alice is here for the money...and that whole kitchen might run better if she either got herself on board, or took herself out. ?? What do you do in a situation like that? She's good at what she does, but she's poisoning the project.

8. They need to raise $80K to train all of the cooks. Or just get the kids to do it. Heh.

9. Everything takes money, doesn't it? Moving back to real food...oddly enough, takes more money than the fake food.

10. Fries are a vegetable, y'all. Jamie is just figuring out that we count fries as veg and ketchup as fruit. Jamie is ticked. His dish was full of veg and NOT optional. The regular meal (a chicken sandwich and a bunch of french fries, with an optional salad) was going out like hotcakes...sans salad. So his meal was reprimanded (with veg built in, but not ENOUGH) and the other meal went out (with plenty of veg, that nobody was taking). How does that make sense? Bureaucracy, my friends.  Red tape, and it's silly.

11. I don't agree with...the wandering around the lunch room and stealing back the french fries. I mean, come on - the kids have got to know they aren't healthy. How embarrassing would it be to have your crispy fries snatched right off your tray at lunch time!

12. These kids are not chefs, obviously, and they're cooking for senators. Umm...I hate to be a kill-joy, but a senator is still just a person who grew up eating Mom's casserole for dinner and cold cereal for breakfast. Still, it's a fundraiser, so it's got to wow and convince.

13. Jamie is so funny when he's angry. He tries to kill you with kindness, to your face. Still, I admire the way he keeps his cool. (Oh, and he said he was serving pumpkin...and it looks like he's cooking butternut squash. I don't know how it is in England, but here in the US...they're different gourds. Heh.)

14. And...our prodigal chef is back! Rob had to dash off for football practice. It's interesting - football takes precedence over a dinner that could change their (health) lives. Ok, maybe not this one dinner...but still.

15. Poor little Robert - he's got to just be a freshman. Those kids are all tired.

16. "I never had a famous chef cook for me. It tastes really good." It will be great to see what they say when they find out the meal was cooked by a bunch of...non-chefs! It REALLY makes the case for Jamie's revolution. If six high schoolers can cook a fabulous, fresh meal and serve it to 80 people...then 6 grown ladies, with years of experience, should be able to do the same for a high school every day! Yes, it will take time.  It will take a lot of organization...but most good things in life do!

17. Here's the big reveal! "I started to cook because I was rubbish at everything else." Well, that's a great reason to go into a profession!

18. The boy that went through lock up makes SUCH an eloquent argument. If lock-up had had programs like this...he would have come out with a job, a hobby, and a way to help others. How true is that?!

19. Those six kids are inspiring. They are standing in front of their friends and family, and BEGGING for the means to facilitate this change.

20. "You guys make the change, and I'll believe it." That's our boy, Ryan (the one from lock-up). As parents, and adults, we do have the responsibility. We buy the groceries, we cook the meals (generally). This is our responsibility.

That's the whole show! Jamie still needs to raise his $80,000 to keep the lunch program rolling. Can you quality food in schools?

I know that there are people who just don't think about food. They eat because they have to, and they move on with the more important things in life. I must admit, I'm a little more on the Jamie side of things. I make food because I love to watch family and friends eat it. I love to see the look on friends' faces when I tell them that my daughter, Ming Wai, made the bread they are eating, because generally they assume it came from a supermarket bakery. Preparing food for my family is a priority for me. We organize our day around the meals, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. People might argue that focusing on food so much can lead to weight issues...but I think it's just the opposite. When food is forbidden, shunned or an embarrassing topic, I think that is when kids learn to hoard food, or develop unhealthy eating habits. It is my job to get at least three healthy meals in front of my kids every day, and teach them what to expect from their food, and how to get it for themselves. How to make those good choices.

How do you organize food in your houses? I loved the suggestions last week from you guys. This week, for lunch, my kids have been working on an enormous pot of pasta and broccoli that I cooked up. It's backfired a bit, as Siu Jeun (my son) is more interested in throwing the pasta around on the deck than he is in eating it. One friend (hi, Casey!) suggested that I serve finger foods - slices of bread, cheese, meat, fruit and veg. I love this idea because anything left after lunch can be put back into its containers, instead of being thrown away!

Episode 103 can be found here.


  1. OK, the more I think about food, the healthier we are. When there are chips and store-bought cookies in the house we can mindlessly eat, we all suffer. But if I put thought into what cookies to make, E helps me, they're in the special's not an issue. We have GOT to think about our food more! It's not a prize (whoever came up with "clear your plate before you get dessert" was a chowder head), but it IS a hugely important part of life. The end.

    (And taking fries off their plates? Lay off, man. Teens like fries. That's why they bought them.)

  2. Really wonderful episode. My big, strong Aussie husband SOBBED when Brittany talked about her struggles at the end. I loved, loved, loved seeing the kids cook (made me jealous--I want to cook with Jamie!) and so proud of Ryan for his eloquence--WOW! The food looked fab. My favorite part, definitely, was seeing how great the highschoolers were in the kitchen.

    Agree about the fry scene. Made me cringe. :)

  3. P.S. Loved that "I cook because I'm rubbish at everything else" comment. Hilarious!

  4. Ryan is my kind of guy - I'll believe it when I see it. Heh. But I need to tell y'all.. being a former Virginia resident... that Huntington is in WEST Virginia, not Virginia. *grin*