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    Dear Jamie Oliver: What You’re Telling Us Hurts

    January 18, 2011 •  6 comments.

     •  Blog, News, Uncategorized

    This morning’s headline out of the UK reads, “U.S. loses appetite for Jamie Oliver as 75 LA school districts turn away his Food Revolution show” and for some reason, it didn’t really come as a surprise because sometimes, when a message hurts, it’s easier to just shoot the messenger.

    There have been a lot of headlines recently addressing Jamie Oliver’s efforts to stir up a food revolution here in the US, and lately, not all of them have been kind. A recent article in Esquire called “Is Jamie Oliver the Biggest Loser of All?”

    And as I reflected on this father of four’s attempt to educate and inspire us, I realized that perhaps he wasn’t aware of one key point in communicating his message: His knowledge hurts.

    It hurts to hear that what we’ve been feeding our kids causes harm. It hurts to hear that our kids don’t know the names of vegetables, or that our lunchrooms aren’t designed to serve real food or that we haven’t prioritized funding for our children’s school lunch programs. And it hurts to hear that America is one of the fattest countries on the planet.

    To hear all of this causes injury. It creates a wound. It inflicts damage. It hurts.

    And in a world in which there is already so much injury, grief and heartache, it is as if we are simply saying, “Enough. We can’t handle any more.”

    But at the end of the day, when we are laying in bed, reflecting on how much we don’t want to hear this message anymore, we quietly know it to be true. And shooting the messenger won’t help. Because we see our system’s failings in the health of our families. We see that our failing to prioritize funding for the school lunch program is failing our kids.

    But perhaps more than being reminded of this, what we need to be reminded of is that each and every one of us matter and that together, we can affect remarkable change.

    So maybe, rather than a revolution inspired by food, the revolution actually begins with love, since the knowledge hurts. A lot. And then, with compassion for the fact that what we are learning is ripping our hearts out, we can then work together to restore the health of our families.

      6 Responses to “Dear Jamie Oliver: What You’re Telling Us Hurts”

      1. Ellen E

        It does hurt, but sometimes pain and truth is the only way to change. If people are upset by what is hurting them, hopefully they will stop denying the truth and start being proactive. Do not give up your efforts, you can do it! I wish I could devote my life this to this, but in the meantime I am an annoying thorn that won’t shut up about everything to my friends. Even though they dismiss most of it, eventually they do start to hear and make little changes.

        • admin

          Thanks so much for your courage and dedication, Ellen. Together, we can affect the change we want to see in the health of our food system and in the health of our families.

      2. Dawn M

        Why does one assume that the parents don’t want Jamie Oliver in the school system. The bigger question is why doesn’t the school system want Jamie Oliver there? Did you read the article? The School System doesn’t want him there because they are feeding the kids crap and don’t have the money to make the improvements his show requires to make them look good. There’s no hurt, no introspection. No parental guilt. Most of the parents probably do not know he’s offered to come.

        Agree with the sentiment, just wrongly placed in this case.

        • admin

          Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, Dawn. You make such important points, and we are grateful that you’ve taken the time to share them here.

      3. Looks rather obvious to me that educational institutions wouldn’t want any blame laid at their doors. Jamie if you read this get your campaign out to the parents and ask them to insist it be taken into schools. Most parents can take blame if it is based upon the fact that they have been cheated by mass advertising which lies to them.

        • AllergyKids

          Thanks so much for your honesty, Karen. While we can’t all do everything, we can all do something. And your call to action is such an important one.

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