Sometimes I am a little late to catching on to things, especially when it comes to new television shows, but thanks to the internet and a DVR I am able to keep myself reasonably informed of all things pop culture. I took a sick day today from work, due to a nasty flare up of what I think were allergies (aren’t you glad you asked?), and managed to sleep for about 4 hours of it. Under strict instructions from my husband to not fritter away the sick day with house work or projects, I took to the couch with my laptop and a cup of tea when I finally rolled out of bed.
I had heard about a new show via some Facebook status updates that sounded right up my alley, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. I did not have very high hopes, since I have largely written off network television – especially network reality shows – due to repetitive content and ridiculous commercialism (Seriously, have you ever seen the awkward product placement moments they try to incorporate into The Biggest Loser? Extra Sugarfree Gum is not a suitable replacement for a sweet treat!), but since the full episodes are available on ABC.com and I didn’t have much else going on, I watched the first four episodes.
I will say that I was not sold on the whole (spoiler!) Local DJ as Antagonist angle, but otherwise I was really, really impressed with what he is trying to do and how he is trying to do it. I have read a lot of books on the politics of food, most notably Food Politics (natch) by Marion Nestle, that address the issue of poor nutrition in schools and the decline of the home-cooked meal, and they have influenced the priorities that I have in providing food for my own family. It was really encouraging to watch how Jamie approached different segments of a town’s population in his attempts to get his important message across, including education, skills training, and discussions about motivations for changing.
It was also really encouraging that there were not any moments that stood out in the show as someone trying to sell me something. When what you are pushing is fresh vegetables and whole food ingredients, it’s difficult to slap a proprietary label on that and put it on a shelf, and this show didn’t try to do that. I am eager to see where this movement goes next, and glad that there is something that people are talking about right now that doesn’t include ridiculous people behaving badly for attention, like politics.
So, Fabulous Thing #102: Worthy pursuit, worthwhile television.