Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jamie's Ministry of Food - Pass It On

Did you watch Jamie Oliver's new series called, Jamie's Ministry of Food, on channel 4 tonight? It was both fascinating and disturbing to watch. (If you missed it, you can watch it again via Free Catch-Up on Channel 4 Shows) This is how the Channel 4 website describes it: In Britain we spend more than £2 billion a year on ready meals. Fewer people than ever before are cooking from scratch and obesity is at record levels. Now, inspired by the wartime Ministry of Food that helped people to make the most of their rations, Jamie Oliver wants to start a food revolution to get people in Britain cooking. Jamie travels to Rotherham to meet one of the fiercest critics of his school dinners campaign, so-called ‘Burger Mum’ Julie Critchlow, who passed junk food through school railings to hungry children. Jamie wants Julie, who is actually a good cook herself, to help him to inspire others to cook at home. The plan is to teach a small group ten simple meals that they can pass on to others who, in turn, will also spread the word. If it works, he wants to get the whole town cooking and kick-off a nationwide campaign. Jamie's Ministry of Food The show highlighted the problem regarding how many adults can't cook - at all. The most distressing scenes were with Natasha who admitted she never cooked any meals for her two children. They were just given takeaways and would sit on the floor to eat the food with their fingers (no cutlery was used at all). I felt so sad for those children especially when Natasha opened her fridge and showed the bottom drawers (where fruit is usually kept) were stuffed full with sweets (candy). It's no wonder that her five-year-old has already had to have rotten teeth removed by the dentist! How sad is that?! It's true that eating healthy isn't cheap (Natasha is on benefits) but it is possible to spend the money on real food instead of junk. Even Jamie seemed overwhelmed by the prospect of teaching Natasha and the other adults how to cook when they were all struggling with minimal skills (they didn't even know how to judge when water was boiling or what simmer meant!). And of course their low income and depressing life style, made everything more difficult. I have huge respect for Jamie Oliver and his ambitious campaigns that he is always so passionate about. I think this new idea for people to learn how to cook and teach others (Pass it On) is quite inspiring. Let's hope it is successful. It certainly won't be easy as was evident in the first show tonight but I'm sure Jamie will meet the challenge.

4 comments:

  1. I just stumbled across your blog trying to find a way to watch the show online - any ideas how to see it on this side of the pond? Also, I was super excited to have stumbled across the blog of a fellow Minnesotan by accident (especially after the Twins lost last night)!

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  2. Hello Martha and welcome - I'm pleased that you found my blog! It's particularly nice to hear from a fellow Minnesotan! It's a shame the Twins lost.

    There is a "Catch-Up" service on the Channel 4 website, which means programmes can be watched for a period of 30 days after the original broadcast however rights agreements mean that the Catch-Up service is only available in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Perhaps, the show will be broadcast in the USA sometime in the future.

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  3. That sounds such a brave idea. Good for Jamie Oliver.

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  4. Yes, indeed. He isn't just a celebrity chef. I think he really cares about people and puts his heart and soul into his campaigns.

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