Last night after grocery shopping we came home and my husband turned on the tv. Oprah was on and she was interviewing Ryan Seacrest & Jamie Oliver about Jamie's ideas on changing the school lunches and educating people about food...real food. It was a great show. The two guys have partnered to make Jami's idea into a tv show. The first episode aired last night on ABC. So this morning I looked for it on line and watched it. What shocked me the most was the fact that he had a table full of veggies in a classroom, held a vegetable up and asked the class what it was and they could not name one vegetable, not even the tomatoes. They recognized ketchup, fries & pizza though. That is so extremely sad to me. I can't imagine raising a child that way. When I was growing up my parents had a big garden and I had to help them with it because we ate out of it all summer. That is not to say we did not eat some junk too. I remember eating sweet peas & green beans off the vine and tomatoes were everywhere and a part of every meal. My mom was not a great chef but I was the last of 7 kids and she had prepared meals, big meals for many years. I remember being so tired of eating green beans & new potatoes from the crock pot or having tomatoes & cottage cheese for dinner so much that I thought I would turn into a bean or tomato. I appreciate those things now. In fact cottage cheese & tomatoes is still a family favorite. My husband would gag when I would say that I was eating that. Of course now as a vegan I do not eat the cottage cheese. My parents & I ate dinners out a lot. It was not fast food but it was not home cooked. My parents are older than most my age. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that in my childhood experience food was respected and something to be grateful for. I was not allowed sugary cereals but Twinkies & ice cream seemed to make their way into the kitchen. I honestly can say that these junk food items were never given the same acknowledgment that real food was. I remember my mom & sisters making potato salad and zucchini breads and thinking that was going to be a good day. Store bought potato salad couldn't hold a candle to my mom's recipe and it was always a weird color. Who would have thought you could make a sweet bread out of zucchini but I preferred that to a twinkie any day. I did not grow up educated about food in my opinion but after watching that show this morning my parents were professors. Now I am teaching my mom about food and she is very receptive.
I have family and friends trying to teach their kids where their food comes from and what is real. My best friend in Portland sends her oldest son to a school where the kids have a garden and what grows in that garden is what gets served at lunch. I love this idea. I have watched shows and read about similar programs in other cities and wonder why all schools don't adopt this type program. They were visiting last summer and I was showing Dana how to sprout sprouts in the kitchen. I thought the boys might enjoy it too. Her oldest son came in and she was showing him my jar of sprouts and telling him about it and he already knew how to do it. Fantastic!
It is so important that we teach each other & our children about the food we eat. To quote a teacher of mine "we are what we eat and what we eat eats" for all you meat eaters. Let's decide to say no to unreal "food" and yes to the real stuff. Let's decide to respect ourselves, mother earth, animals & each other again. Raise those forks in health not harm.