Food Revolution Chattanooga


Food Revolution Day is tomorrow-May 19, 2012!  Food Revolution Chattanooga will be held tomorrow at the Saturday Market at the Tennessee Aquarium, from 11-1.  Here’s my post about Food Revolution Day….

“The Jamie Oliver Foundation, a charitable organization that functions to educate, empower and inspire people of all ages to make better informed food choices, is launching a worldwide Food Revolution Day on May 19, 2012. The event will be held in kitchens, homes and communities around the globe.”

Do you remember Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution?  It was on ABC for a couple of seasons and focused on British chef Jamie Oliver’s quest to change the foods that are served to American children at school.  Apparently, he was very successful in making changes in some British schools, but was met with quite a bit of resistance in the U.S.  Of course, as a teacher and someone who sits in the cafeteria with my students every single day watching the things that are served in our cafeteria, I was very interested to see how this all played out.  I mean, pizza as a vegetable?  Pink slime?  Uncrustables sandwiches counting as an entree?  Ice cream, flavored and colored waters, chips, and not-whole-wheat crackers sold as revenue producers-impulse buys, if you will?  And I would consider the transgressions of my own school system quite mild when compared to school systems that actually allow fast food chains to sell food in their kitchens.  Really????  So, you get the picture.

Jamie’s focus has changed a bit.  Now, he’s focusing more on encouraging people to eat fresh, eat locally, eat simply.  Eat real food (you have probably already gathered this, but in my opinion, highly processed food may be edible, it may satisfy hunger, but it isn’t “real” food).  I think the problem with taking the Food Revolution into American schools was that the food that is served in schools really isn’t all that different to what the children are served at home, or in whatever fast food chain they may visit in the evening.  Now, before you think that I am being critical to parents, I am not.  “Real food” seems scary and inaccessible to a generation that was raised on convenience foods, especially when our lives so very much revolve around our busy schedules with work, school, and extracurriculars.  To our parents and grandparents, packaged and processed foods seemed like a time-saver, a life-saver.  Now, it’s clear that while they may be a time-saver, a life-saver they are not….our health is going downhill and so is our emotional well-being as families spend more time eating in their cars and less time talking to each other around the dinner table.

And here’s where Food Revolution Day comes in….I got involved when @FoodRevCHA showed up in my “who to follow” on Twitter…so I followed, and next thing I knew (literally-the next day!), I was on the planning committee for Food Revolution Chattanooga.  Unfortunately, life has gotten in the way, and the last week of school got pretty hairy/hectic….so, sadly, I had to back out.  I do hope to be in a better position to help plan Food Revolution Day 2013, and I still want to encourage you to attend if you can!

So, the goal of Food Revolution Day is to show people how accessible local and real foods can be….to take the “scary” out of it.  You know what?  Baking your own bread isn’t scary….but if you can’t bring yourself to do it, buy fresh bread from a local bakery.  Whole chicken isn’t scary.  Our grandmothers could carve up a chicken in five minutes flat, but we look at a whole chicken like an alien from outer space.  Food Revolution Day is about taking the fright factor out of those foods and introducing Americans-and people from other countries all around the world-to fresh, accessible food from their own towns.

“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has caused quite a stir all around the world. On Food Revolution Day-May 19, 2012-Food Revolution Chattanooga will cause a stir for local food in the Chattanooga area.  Food Revolution Day in Chattanooga will be held at the Saturday River Market located at the Tennessee Aquarium. We’ll have live cooking demonstrations as well as other surprises. Chattanoogans, join the Revolution to learn how to shop, cook, and eat real, healthfully, and locally! The event is free to the public and family friendly.” (http://fitfoodie.us/food-revolution-day-chattanooga/)

Beth, the blogger at {Local Milk} will be making some yummy pizzas topped with homemade ricotta and local meats and produce.  Dana from Fall Creek Farms will be doing a discussion of dairy.  Gaining Ground will be providing info about Chattanooga’s local food movement….and there will be others there to talk about local, healthy food options.

You can read more about Food Revolution Chattanooga by visiting the event page at http://gidsy.com/activities/7320/simply-local.  You can also check out http://www.jamieoliver.com/foundation/ and http://www.foodrevolutionday.com/index.html for more information about the Jamie Oliver Foundation and what’s going on worldwide on Food Revolution Day.  I encourage you to join the Revolution for real food!

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