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Resistance for the Food Revolution

Would you allow a TV reality show crew into your child's school in hopes of improving her lunchtime nutrition?

Every revolution faces some resistance and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is no exception.  After weeks of fighting to get inside Los Angeles schools to film the second season of his Emmy Award-winning reality show, it looks like he finally got in… until he was kicked out.  After two weeks of filming, Oliver’s filming permit has been terminated by the district whose representative says he failed to submit a proposal about his plans to officials. 

In past weeks, The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) had repeatedly told him he would never be allowed to film in their school cafeterias, even as he tried to rally support from parents and students, sometimes dressed as a giant tomato.  They finally did let him in but now the deal is off, with both sides saying that the school district was worried about how they would be portrayed.  They also seem to have concerns about distractions that would arise from shooting an unscripted reality show during school hours.  Ya think?

Of course the show would be a distraction.  And, like any transformation reality show, I’m sure it wouldn’t go easy on showing just how far the school district would need to go to improve things in their cafeterias.  In short, it would make them look bad.  I guess the question is – should the school district administrators be willing to deal with the distraction and bad press inherent in this type of reality show, in exchange for a shot at improving the health and quality of life of their students?

Are you familiar with Jamie Oliver?  I think of him as part of our family because we cook together on a regular basis.  Well, I cook while his face smiles back at me from his cookbook.  At this point in my adult life, chefs with fabulous cookbooks are the only celebrities that have the ability to make me star-struck. 

Were I to meet Angelina Jolie or Harrison Ford, I imagine I’d make small talk and calmly ask about their latest family developments or work projects.  But when I got an email from Cynthia Lair after I reviewed her cookbook and website, I was absolutely giddy.  Why do people like Lair and Oliver have this effect on me?  Because they affect my life on a daily basis.  Their transferred knowledge and creativity fill my family’s stomachs and build healthier bodies.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is a reality TV show on ABC that focuses on helping schools and families learn to cook more and with better, fresher ingredients to increase health and diminish obesity.  Whether or not Oliver’s show can continue filming in schools, he has pledged to continue working with families, grocery stores, restaurants and individuals in the Los Angeles area, teaching cooking classes and raising awareness.

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Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler, and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.