Tag Archives: school lunch

Activism Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food

Jamie’s Chicken Nuggets…and, What’s Wrong With Fat?

I love Jamie Oliver and what he’s doing for the children of America. In my opinion, he’s one of the biggest heroes of our time. Having said that, I also believe there is room for some improvement.

What’s really wrong with the chicken nugget demonstration?

On Jamie’s second episode of Food Revolution, he is seen in his kitchen with a small group of kids showing them how processed foods – namely, chicken nuggets – are made. Standing there at a counter where a whole chicken sits, he tells them that the parts of the chicken like the breast (pointing out that it’s the most expensive), legs, thighs, and other more “recognizable parts” of the chicken are to be saved and eaten.

When the carcass is stripped from the meat, he goes on to tell them that the leftover components are really not useful and proceeds to hack it up and place it in food processor. “This”, he tells them, “is how chicken nuggets are made.” (not in America, but the demonstration is supposed to be for the effect of showing the kids how horrible chicken nuggets are).

At this point, I wanted to jump into the screen and yell, “but those parts are good for you to eat, just not like that!”

This scene was infinitely frustrating, but not because the children didn’t get the point he was trying to make; it was frustrating because traditional peoples all over the world use every part of the animal and bird. Why? Because this is where the most nutrient dense elements are found! Why didn’t Jamie tell the children that there is a good use for the carcass, and that some of the most vital nutrients come from it?

The entire point of why the nuggets were bad was lost. Children associate good taste with greasy slop from fast food. They don’t understand that you can take the carcass and make delicious, nutritious bone broth from it and it can be used in a variety of foods from soup to casseroles to rice, and the list goes on and on. And it’s not their faults, they’ve just never been taught!

The importance of real, traditional foods is still being completely missed by those who claim to know about nutrition. I love Jamie, I think he’s a hero in every way, he’s just missing this really important point that kids need to know. Kids think soup comes from a can, and don’t realize at all the versatility in a chicken carcass as to just how much food and nutrition it can provide. And it is not from grinding it up and putting it in a blender to put in gloppy cakes, coat in flour, and fry in toxic, industrial, vegetable oil.

Pastured animals and birds

The other thing that Jamie does touch on occasionally -which is good, but not emphasized enough – is that all meats and meat products that come from animals and birds on pasture are healthy to consume. We need real, saturated fats that are from healthy sources. They are some of our most important ways to obtain Vitamin A, D, E, and K – all nutrients that people in developed countries are in short supply of and desperately need to get more of in their diets.

Animals and birds on feedlots (and we don’t know the origin of this chicken he is preparing, now do we?) have obese meat from being fed soy and grains (cattle are ruminants and are not meant to eat grains), which is full of chemicals, antibiotics, and all manner of horrible substances we and our children should not be eating.

Animals and birds living on concentrated animal feedlot operations (CAFOs) do not get enough outdoor access and those important nutrients are not transferred to the meat from sunshine and grass – that’s where we get our Vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as Omega 3s and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (you know, the important stuff for our brains, hearts and circulatory systems).

Fat is good for you!

Which brings me to the next point, which is the one about fat. Fat has been made into a criminal, but rarely do people differentiate between good and bad fats. To modern health and science, saturated fats are the enemy. But to people who have lived all over the world, generations of children have been raised on good, real, saturated fats. Why would those substances just suddenly be bad for us to eat? They’ve been around for millennia, while the new fats created by hydrogenation, genetic modification, deodorization, and all manner of horrible processes are being heralded as fantastically healthy for us. And yet, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes are epidemics to our culture. More than several times Jamie refers to how unhealthy fats are, but we know he knows better!

I’m so glad Jamie is doing what he is, and I really commend him for his efforts. I hope as time goes on, he’ll impress on these important points. Jamie is a smart man – I’ve heard him talk about locally-raised foods, pasture-raised meats, and even raw milk (hey, the Queen of England drinks it!), so it’s only a matter of time before this information starts to become more well-known by the average person. I also think if a lot of people were to send letters to Jamie and comment on his web site, there might even be a positive response.

There is a forum on Jamie’s site and I would encourage everyone to go on there and leave their comments. Please take a moment and express your views about these important topics, and let’s give Jamie 150 percent of our support! Thanks for all your hard work Jamie!

Want more information about school lunches?
Disturbed About What Your Kids Are Eating In School?
Hormones In The Milk – Do You Know What Your Kids Are Drinking
Changing The Face Of School Lunches – There’s Still A Lot Of Work To Do
Meals For Children – Restaurants and School Lunches Are Lacking In Nutrition
Want more information about traditional diets eaten around the world and how critical they are to health? Visit the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sad Changes In The Standard American Diet

Activism Green Living Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food

The Crusade Marches On – School Lunches, Jamie Oliver, and The Child Nutrition Act

What do Jamie Oliver – British chef and The Child Nutrition Act have in common? Both are mechanisms by which (hopefully) we are going to experience badly needed change in the way our children eat lunch and breakfasts in public schools.

How many times have you heard someone say what terrible food children eat for lunch at school? I’ve been hearing complaints since I was a little girl. It’s a sad state of affairs when people just accept the fact that children don’t receive healthy food at school. Our children are our future, and if we don’t provide them with the proper foundations in which to build that future, all will be lost.

The truth is, many parents agree that school lunches are pure garbage; I know because I am a parent who has worked on the school lunch initiative in my city of Boise, Idaho. Anyone who knows me understands how passionate I am about real food, and especially about children’s health.

Although I already knew what to expect in the contents of foods served at schools, I was in for a really rude awakening when I went into the warehouse that stores foods served by my school district last spring and read the ingredients. For a detailed look at some of the things we found, visit this post: Meals for Children are Lacking – Restaurants and School Lunches are Lacking In Nutrition.

My team, comprised of other parents (one a medical doctor and the other an exercise physiologist) did an analysis of several main entrees that are served in our district and presented our findings to the school administrators. Despite the startling scientific evidence showing the negative impact that these particular foods and many others we were calling into question have on human health, the individuals attending our presentation were largely unmoved by this data – as is evident by the fact that this food is still served in school lunch cafeterias in Boise, Idaho and other school districts today.

I’ve also had numerous conversations with other parents who are tired of having to send their children to school and eat the food that is served. Some of them are so fed up they send lunches with their children. That’s exactly what I did when my son attended school for one year, during his second grade year.

Chef Jamie Oliver of Britain has been making changes for years in different places – his home country, and now this country. He is on a mission to change how our children eat their meals. Airing on ABC this week is a very important series about his efforts to go into an American school in Virginia and show them just how important these changes can be. Here’s the preview of the first episode, which aired on Sunday March 21st, 2010:

And here is the full episode.

Don’t miss the next episode airing on Friday, March 26th of Food Revolution. And please, please take a moment and read through this action item I received from Organic Valley today about making your voice heard about our children’s health and future. Nothing, in my opinion, could be more important than this!
Dear Farm Friend,

Childhood obesity and diabetes are at epidemic levels in our country. At Organic Valley, we promote the benefits of delicious, healthy eating, but realize that some children have little access to the nutritious foods that they need.

You can make a difference in the lives of more than 31 million children by helping schools serve healthier food. The National School Lunch program is a big part of the solution. Ask Congress to pass a strong Child Nutrition Act.

Right now, legislators are considering changes that will enable more schools to buy food from local farmers, cook fresh meals, teach healthy eating, and plant school gardens. This is an enormous opportunity for families and for farmers. Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch campaign website makes it easy for you to email your legislators.

Helping more schools serve healthy, local food would be a major step forward towards a future where everyone can enjoy food that’s good for us, good for the planet and good for the farmers who produce it.

The Senate Agriculture Committee will begin marking up the bill this Wednesday, March 24, so your timely comments make a difference. Please take a moment to speak out at Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch. Then, contact us at rootstock@organicvalley.coop to let us know you took action.

Thanks for all you do!
The Farmers and Staff of Organic Valley

Do you have some experience dealing with your school district and trying to make change where you live? Please share!

Here are some other school lunch posts:

Changing the Face of School Lunches – There’s Still A Lot Of Work To Do
Your Voice Can Make A Difference in The Way Children Eat School Lunch
Disturbed About What Your Kids Are Eating In School?