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