This week, the public school system taught me something:
A fried chicken sandwich and fries counts as a full meat and vegetable portion, while a stir-fried noodle dish with 7 vegetables in it does not earn that approval.
Essentially, this was another example of the biggest challenge Jamie (and the children in the government’s care…) must face: bureaucratic red tape. Policy for policy’s sake. Rather than take into account the individualized idea of what Jamie is trying to do, understanding the true nature of his methods, they see french fries as a vegetable, which is easier to prepare than a stir fry (which has multiple vegetables, home grown at that)–so they go with the french fries. Yep, that’s logical!
Even so, it’s good to see that Jamie Oliver is beginning to get through to the schools, but most importantly, in the community. He moves on to the high school, where he takes a different strategy than in the elementary school. He recruits a group of high school students to help him push his grassroots campaign forward.
He takes a cue from his London restaurant, Fifteen, where he trains teens to get a start in life through cooking. He helps them earn a place and a trade for themselves so that they can get on their feet.
He works with these kids for a few days in order to prepare them for a fundraiser, at which they will serve the “movers and shakers” of Huntington, WV. This not only will bring in money, but will demonstrate the passion brewing in the community to those who can help get the boulder rolling.
Really, this episode wasn’t a tear-jerker as much as others, but this is a real step forward–a hopeful one.
However, the next episode looks crazy. I can’t wait!