Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food Control

The nannying British chef brings reality TV to West Virginia

By at least one measure England’s Jamie Oliver is the most popular chef in the world. Such an accomplishment is no small feat for a dyslexic 34-year-old son of publicans nor for someone who dropped out of school at 16 to attend catering college. Today Oliver can boast of having launched several restaurants, authored at least a dozen cookbooks, created the O-like magazine Jamie, starred in countless TV series, served as a pitchman for British grocery giant Sainsbury’s, and amassed a personal fortune estimated at more than $60 million.

This week Oliver will host his first American network television show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, a Ryan Seacrest-produced reality series debuting Friday evening on ABC. In a departure from Oliver’s previous American shows, which focused on teaching people who want to cook how do so, Food Revolution is a bold attempt by Oliver to begin forcing every American to cook and buy only the foods he thinks we should eat.

[Note: Article continues below video]

If this were just the story of a marginal chef with some vague ideas, that might be the end of it. But Oliver and his powerful acolytes have used television to ravage the wallets of too many British taxpayers to take him lightly.

Despite, or perhaps because of, Oliver’s immense and growing visibility, critics are divided over the chef. To some, Oliver is a “national treasure.” But others see Oliver as little more than a “fat-tongued twat.”

The surprising root of this debate has little if anything to do with Oliver's cooking or his successes in the culinary marketplace. Oliver’s notoriety stems more from his surprising victories as Great Britain’s most successful food lobbyist. Oliver appears to believe there is something deeply wrong with those who don’t dine in his restaurants, buy his publications, watch his TV shows, or think of food as he does. To him, this deficit of character is so egregious and so widespread that only hugely expensive government re-education programs can rectify it.

From the pork protectionism of Jamie Saves Our Bacon to Jamie’s School Dinners, his exposé on “how little government was spending” on school lunches, Oliver has lately taken to Britain’s airwaves to urge government to regulate and spend at a much higher clip. And the British government has responded, adding a billion dollars to its school-meals budget in response to Jamie’s School Dinners.

The “Naked” Days

Oliver first rose to worldwide fame as The Naked Chef, a boisterous hipster everyman who tossed around words like  "pukka" with the emphatic and gratuitous self-assurance his American peers let fly "bam" and “yum-o,” and who scooted about late Cool Britannia London from home to fishmonger to ethnic grocer to indie cheese shop and back home to the kitchen. There, Oliver would cook up something wonderful for a requisite stable of attractive fellow twentysomethings who served as the show’s eye candy, studio audience, and fortunate tasters. What was naked about The Naked Chef? With one known exception, naked referred to cooking without embellishing food.

The Naked Chef, which first aired in America in 1999 on the Food Network, quickly and simultaneously went neon and downhill. But for people like me who watched the show, bought Oliver’s books, and went to one of his live demonstrations, The Naked Chef was all one needed to go from culinary imbecile to capable cook in mere months.

The Naked Chef is one example of the good Oliver the entrepreneur has done. Another is Fifteen, a charitable enterprise and restaurant concept Oliver launched in the early 2000s in London (and later franchised in Australia and the Netherlands), in which Oliver hires and trains as cooks young adults who have been homeless, jobless, or struggled with substance abuse. Oliver has also starred in several TV series based on Fifteen.

Oliver’s “Feed Me Better” & “Ministry of Food” Campaigns

A less savory Oliver emerged in the middle part of the last decade, by which time he was clearly no longer satisfied with changing only the lives of people who sought his help. Oliver launched the Feed Me Better campaign, which he designed with the admirable goal of getting British school kids to eat healthier food. But while he could have argued in favor of parents or kids packing the cheap, easy, and tried-and-true alternative to school food—brown bag lunches—Oliver opted instead to urge more government control and increased spending on big-ticket items.

“Ovens, grills, and cooks drive up costs tremendously,” former Reason Editor in Chief Virginia Postrel wrote in a 1995 piece on school lunches. Oliver did just that, seeking and then winning hundreds of millions of dollars in new British government spending on school lunches, cafeteria-worker training, and kitchen equipment.

Negative reaction to the British government’s nationwide implementation of Oliver’s school-lunch recommendations was swift and widespread. Parents, some of whom labeled Oliver’s food “low-fat rubbish,” pulled 400,000 kids from the school-lunch rolls, choosing to brown bag it rather than have their kids eat Oliver’s “healthier” options. Parents opposed to Oliver’s scheme handed food to their kids through the gates of schoolyards. Some vendors and parents set up shop outside schools and sold food to students. Enterprising students, in turn, sold food to peers in schools, which led to suspensions for pupil transgressions as absurd as “crisp dealing.”

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  • SxCx||

    Tax money issues aside: is it unlibertarian to advocate a specific lifestyle as being superior to others, or even "the best"?

    Serious question.

  • ed||

    Not unless compulsion is involved. Nannies favor compulsion.

  • SxCx||

    You're right, I should've mentioned that. Aside from compulsion, coercion, aformentioned tax money.

  • ||

    Absent coercion, there's nothing unlibertarian about exercising free speech in an attempt to persuade others to voluntarily adopt one's ideas (unless those ideas involve advocating coercion).

  • Chrispy||

    Not at all, as long as you don't try to force anyone to do anything.

  • SxCx||

    What about persuading them? Even obnoxiously or aggressively? (short of physical threats or violence)

    Just trying to draw a few boundaries.

  • ||

    The problem is, in today's political climate, is that it's a very short stumble from advocating what people should be doing, to coercing them into doing it. Someone, somewhere is thinking what a marvelous idea this would be for a national health policy. Fines and punishments to follow for non-compliance.

  • SxCx||

    You're right, this is what I was thinking too. Behind suggestions, there may lie regulations. Thank you for this.

  • Daze||

    It's also a very short stumble from advocating to writing a book or starting a business that helps people voluntarily improve their lives. Or for that matter, to rolling back dumb regulations that hinder people from voluntarily improving their lives. The problem lies in which direction one stumbles, not in advocacy itself.

    You seem to be saying, "Never voice your ideas or spread information, because someone else might pursue those ideas in a non-libertarian way." That's a bad idea.

  • ||

    No, I'm saying that I don't trust anyone who is so cozy in bed with the power elite and whom has an axe to grind, and is not afraid to do so with great malice. And someone who is fairly fucking nuts and an unmitigated attention whore. We already have an institution for that behavior. It's called Congress.

    It's really not all that hard to understand.

  • Daze||

    What about those who aren't cozy in bed with the power elite and who don't want government to force lifestyle changes on others? Does it bother you if they advocate healthy lifestyle choices in ways that don't limit individual freedom?

    That was the question you were responding to. So yes, your position is hard to understand.

  • ||

    That's a different question and not one relevant to Oliver. I already answered that question downthread.

    Behind every moralizing crusader is a petty tyrant waiting to be set free, one who won't hesitate to use the dominant power structure to enact their agenda. They should be greeted cynically, at best, at all times.

    Show me one who won't use the boot to get their point across and I'll add them to my Christmas card list.

  • ||

    Paranoid much?

  • ||

    When i started reading your article, i wondered why one would going so rough on a such an idea as making people to live healthier. I guess you just gave me an answer. "Behind every moralizing crusader is a petty tyrant waiting"? You sure must have seen many dark sides of many people. This Answer sounds like you have lost the hope in the kindness and truth of human beings. At least, it does for me.
    Let me ask you one question, that could help me to understand your point of view. Are you against the idea of people living a healthier life? Or are you just against Mr. Oliver trying it and/or the way he is trying to do it?

  • ||

    Amen to Markus. The author seems terrified of potential government tyranny - fair enough - but would you not admit that nutrition, or the lack thereof from a 'typical western diet' (those parents were handing fish and chips through the school gates, not sandwiches) is an ingrained cultural problem? And that changing unfortunate cultural habits is unlikely to happen purely by choice? It seems to me that some level of official endorsement, and incentive, would be helpful here.

  • mike||

    Uh, so let me get this straight: you can't "advocate" things anymore because someone might just think it's a good idea and make it national policy?

    What're you suggesting, we all sit on our collective thumbs and shut up?

  • ed||

    Libertarians have no problem with free speech and expression. That's what separates us from Democrats.

  • SxCx||

    You wouldn't think so, but I've wondered sometimes.

  • ed||

    Now is a good time to wonder, given all the Tea Party hysteria created by Democrats and fellow travelers in the media.

  • ||

    ""Libertarians have no problem with free speech and expression. That's what separates us from Democrats.""

    And republicans

  • Silverman||

    ""Libertarians have no problem with free speech and expression. That's one of many, many things twhat separates us from Democrats.""

    And republicans

  • ||

    The point of pointing this out was not to say that make libertarians inseparable from republicans.
    On points like this, according to the usual understanding, libertarians and democrats should closer on the social issues, yet they aren't.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, laissez-faire attitudes for social issues simply don't exist in either party.

    How much do you want to bet it has to do with the current size and power of government?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    AND Republicans, ed.

  • ||

    Even obnoxiously or aggressively?

    Are they free to ignore you and leave your presence? If not, you're exercising coercion.

    If they are free to leave, and you're not advocating coercive policies, then it's still libertarian no matter how much of an arsehole you are in presenting your ideas.

  • ||

    Even obnoxiously or aggressively?

    Especially so. Free speech is for all the obnoxious rabble rousers. Think Ann Coulter, Larry Flynt, Micheal Moore, Malcom X, Rush Limbaugh, Lenny Bruce, etc, etc. Freedom of speech implies freedom to offend, if you can't say fuck you can't say fuck the government.

    It is kind of ironic though that some of the most obnoxious demagogues use their bully pulpit to advance causes antithetical to freedom.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    SxCx

    "What about persuading them? Even obnoxiously or aggressively? (short of physical threats or violence)"

    You mean like PITA?

  • SxCx||

    I guess what I'm trying to say is: if Jamie Oliver did all the things he's currently doing without forcing people or involving the government, would libertarians really care?

  • ||

    Nope. I don't.

  • DanD||

    I'd think he was an asshole and I would pay his ideas no respect, but I wouldn't think he was acting outside of his rights or infringing on the rights of anyone else.

  • SxCx||

    Just want to clarify that the issue is that he's getting the government involved, not that he's telling people what to do. Because I thought it was perfectly libertarian to tell people what to do, provided you aren't forcing them what to do.

  • ||

    Jamie Oliver can cry all day long and I wouldn't give a shit.

    The problem is when he wipes his tears with a new bill of law that will force me to pay for appropriations that will make Jamie Oliver cry marginally less than he's otherwise prone to cry without them.

  • ||

    As far as the UK enterprise was concerned, the government was already involved. Through the education authorities meals are provided for school kids. Oliver tried to make them provide healthy food instead of shit food.
    Not sure why anyone would object to this.

  • ||

    I agree, while I don't like the idea of public schools, the fact that we have them and there is a lunch program, I don't think they should be feeding the kids crap.

    If we are already providing food to school children, don't you think it should at least be healthy food? I watched the first two episodes and was appalled... not at what Jamie was doing but by the whole school environment.

  • ||

    He's a British chef. He should not be listened to any more than an Italian traffic cop.

  • Marc||

    With all due respect, Gordon Ramsey is British (Scottish) too, as is Fergus Henderson (um, also Scottish?). Fail.

  • Comrade Zero||

    Okay, he's an English chef.

  • ||

    I'd rather listen to those Two Fat Ladies.

  • ||

    Too bad they're dead. (Or at least one of them is. Not sure about the other one.)

  • Comrade Zero||

    Serious Question here: How is it that this sort of nannying gets out of control?

  • Warty||

    All it takes is for someone with enough power to listen to the nanny. Or, worse, for the nanny to get power.

  • Michelle Obama||

    Which is why you fucking bastards are glad it's my husband who won the White House, and not me.

    Bitches.

  • ||

    Somewhere in Italy there are two outlier traffic cops smiling.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Zing!

    Now I'm off to boil dinner.

  • ||

    Nice one. I've often wondered about how the Brits have come to be the ones to teach us how to eat.

  • bothered||

    because the food in American sucks?

  • The Gobbler||

    I don't give two fucks from Thursday.

  • Wimpy||

    I will gladly pay you Tuesday ...

  • ||

    if Jamie Oliver did all the things he's currently doing without forcing people or involving the government, would libertarians really care?

    Not this one, unless the missus started using his concentration camp recipes.

  • Ted S.||

    Did Dr. Adkins try to use Big Government to force his dietary ideas on people?

    Adkins, it seems to me, was hated largely because his ideas threatened a lot of nanny-state types.

  • ||

    If he wants to change school lunches and they are provided by the schools that are run by the government, how can he address the issue without involving the government? If Macdonald's is given the concession for a school cafeteria, as does happen, aren't the kids being forced to eat Big Macs, for lack of an option?

  • ||

    No, because in the marketplace of competition, it is up to the proponent of lifestyle to demonstrate the benefits v. drawbacks of a particular lifestyle.

    It is up to the individual to choose which is most appealing to him or her to adhere or chuck for something else they prefer.

  • SxCx||

    Yes, absolutely.

  • Paul||

    Generally it is unlibertarian. Not out of any codified philosophy that gets you kicked out of the club. It's just a trait that generally is in the libertarian DNA. Let others live as they will. Don't get involved. Don't join a club, including a political party. Just, generally...don't.

    As you can guess, this is why libertarianism is a little hard to jump start as a movement. It's an anti-movement. It's anti-power, anti-coercion.

  • ||

    Which is funny. You'd think it would be easier to NOT do stuff.

  • ||

    Good question. A couple of thoughts specific to the issue at hand:

    1) Assuming we're unlibertarian enough to accept the validity of public schooling, the advocacy of certain personal and civic virtues would seem an unavoidable (and probably desirable) part of their in loco parentis mandate. Put another way, paternalism just isn't something I get too worked up about when we're talking about elementary school students. Our schools are going to be imparting certain ideas about good citizenship, good morals, and good health. Against that background, debating whether and which dietary ideas deserve inclusion in that basket doesn't strike me as a radical departure.

    2) I'm just not sure how well libertarianism applies in the context of the food system. At a minimum, there seems like an irreplaceable role for government coercion in the maintenance of a safe and transparent food supply, and in making food accessible to the truly indigent. I'd honestly love to see a description of what a genuinely libertarian agriculture would look like. The status quo in America, based as it is on extraordinary indulgences selectively granted to favored growers and processors, certainly isn't it. And the lifestyle these policies incentivize has proven harmful. So, again, taken in the context of the massive distortions currently extant in our food market, advocating that these distortions be redirected or rolled back just doesn't strike me as especially unlibertarian.

  • ||

    Not only is Oliver a douchebag nanny, he's a shitty, boring chef. Fuck him. I think I now hate him more than Bobby Flay. At least Bobby can cook.

  • ||

    I agree. My wife occasionally watches his show. I have never seen him prepare anything but boring, lousy meals. I would rather eat one of Sandra Lee's meals out of a can.

  • proud libitard||

    plus she's easier on the eyes!

  • ||

    She is smoking hot. She totally is someone's girlfriend at food network. She can't cook a lick. But she is hot.

  • ed||

    Her greatest skill seems to be in opening cans.

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    I think it is her cans...

  • PACW||

    Yeah, hot in that cold icy Cindy McCain way. Plus she coordinates her sweaters to her mixer to her curtains! That's her business and I would not favor any legislation against kitchen apparel matching, but it's just not something I would have thought warmblooded hetero libertarian guys would go for. And if it's the perky that revs your engine, Rachel Ray has genuine perkiness!

  • ||

    But her voice! It grates! It hurts us!!

  • proud libitard||

    that's what a sock is for...jeebus, kids these days!

  • ||

    I don't know that it's terribly fair to criticize Sandra Lee for the content of her show... there's a pretty specific and interesting reason she does things the way she does, it's how she grew up cooking as a child

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandra_Lee_(cook)#Early_life

  • ||

    She is dating Andrew Cuomo. The humanity.

  • ||

    I don't even think Bobby can cook. Notice how clumsy he always is? Means he don't spend that much time in the kitchen.

  • ||

    Likewise, Dr. Robert Lustig has some awesome scientific smackdowns regarding fructose, but completely blows all credibility and claim to common sense or (DRINK) reason when he advocates crap like kids needing to show ID for soda pop. Even if fruit juice is "alcohol without the buzz", prohibition is the playground of tyrants, or moral and intellectual toddlers.

  • ||

    Hey dj, are you actually Dave W.?

  • ||

    As long as he's just writing books about it, I don't care. His food is shit anyway.

    I will, however, do whatever Nigella tells me to do.

  • ||

    Sorry, change books into television shows.

    I just got back from a lunch with a lot of wine involved.

  • ||

    Nigella? You are such a disappointment.

  • ||

    Dude. I worry for your heterosexuality.

    Yes, she has got a Spinal Tap-worthy ass of song, but she is pure curvy goddess.

  • ed||

    I'd eat her. Food.

  • ||

    Hot Pockets, anyone?

  • ph||

  • ||

    So you like fat chicks. Got it.

    Come to think of it, this probably explains your marriage.

  • ||

    Don't be mean. They need lovin' too.

  • ||

    But they gotta pay. (narrows eyes)

    Giggity.

  • Nigella Lawson||

    Awwww, you'd fuck me.

  • ||

    If Nigella Lawson is your idea of a "fat chick," then there's a good chance you're anorexic.

  • The Gobbler||

    Giada. Yummy!

  • ¢||

    The articles in Reason are pretty good sometimes. You guys should read them.

  • oncogenesis||

  • Chrispy||

    (Oliver’s better-eating-and-living-through-wartime-rationing cant doesn’t hold up to common sense or hard wartime truths, which in addition to food rationing included the quite unhealthy consequences of more than one-half-million British war dead and lengthy periods of nightly Nazi bombing raids on London and other British cities.)

    Like the guy or not, I wish you'd leave stuff like this out of it. Nowhere - at least not in this article - does anyone advocate for warfare as a means to raise living standards. If you want to establish that the Ministry of Food didn't work, you should look for statistics on malnutrition or starvation in Britain during the war. Nazi bombing raids have nothing to do with it.

  • Brett Knoss||

    Ture. I can see merit to rationing of food in Britain from 1940-42 when u-boat attacks on commercial shiping. There was never a good reasoing to have food reationing in the United States or Canada, nor in Britain after the Battle of the Atlantic was won (let alone after the war). What Jamie missed is that a lot of the clever use of food was not the result of rationing but the high cost of food to pesants, likwise the modern food industry uses clever ways to sell low cost products certain cuts of meats to increase efficency.

  • ||

    Peasants!? Please explain.

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    Jamie is tired of eatin' slimy, sloppy eggs!

  • ||

    Today Oliver can boast of having launched several restaurants, authored at least a dozen cookbooks, created the O-like magazine Jamie, starred in countless TV series, served as a pitchman for British grocery giant Sainsbury’s, and amassed a personal fortune estimated at more than $60 million.

    Hello, I'd like to buy $40 worth of calorie offsets, please.

  • The Gobbler||

    FTW!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Holy CRAP! Dont encourage them!

    Shhhh

  • ||

    Fibersol-2 is a calorie offset. It costs about $40 too. You can find generic versions at your local pharmacy for half that though. Don't tell them I told you that the generic is literally the same product.

    Uh oh. Lawyers. Gotta go.

  • Tim||

    "British chef" isn't that an oxymoron? I mean most British food is bland stuff boiled forever until it is mush, which is probably for the best for people who consider teeth to be vestigial.

  • ||

    There are some very good British chefs. A lousy average can conceal some good individual data points.

  • Marc||

    "British chef" isn't that an oxymoron

    Don't stereotype. See upthread.

  • Tim||

    Just joking.

  • ||

    There are good British chefs, sure. They just don't cook British food.

  • ManikMonkee||

    British food rocks
    Sunday Roasts, fish n chips
    battered sausage, fish cakes, toad in the whole, Welsh Raebit, Shepard's pie
    all washed down with a good ale

    hmm starting to feel homesick

  • ||

    Sorry, Monkee, that is is not good food. It may be nostalgic food, but good it is not.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Sounds good to me.

  • Marc||

    Fergus Henderson (St. John Restaurant) does. That's what makes him a genius IMO--he can make British food (particularly offal) a thing of beauty.

    British food isn't even intrinsically bad. It's just so often done badly.

  • T||

    I'll buy that. It's like a cheeseburger. Done right, it's fantastic. Done poorly, and it's available at McDonald's for a buck.

  • ||

    Case in point-Gordon Ramsay.

  • ||

    cf. Ramsay, Henderson, Marco Pierre White, Marcus Wareing, Heston Blumenthal, Rose Gray, April Bloomfield, etc.

  • Carol||

    Try to drag yourself into this century please.

  • MJ||

    You are cofusing "British Chef" with "British cuisine".

  • Brett Knoss||

    The "Feed me Better" campaign could have been used to advance school choice, by showing how schools cut corners in their food program while wasting money on other areas. The problem is that he doing what has been a problem with public schools since the idea was concived; using public schools to advance his ideas on children as a menas of social engineering. And aparently it failed.

  • ||

    Last month, in recognition of his combined efforts, Oliver was awarded the 2010 TED Prize. TED, the nonprofit that bills itself as the home of “[i]deas worth spreading,” honored Oliver for his work as a “standard-bearer in the fight against obesity and other diet related diseases,” and for having “pressured the UK government to invest $1 billion to overhaul school lunches to improve nutrition.”

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's just a massive coincidence that prizes that reward and value individual and singularly liberty-enhancing actions aren't covered more by the MSM, and that awards that reward collectivist and oppressive ideas are.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Pure coincidence. I mean, why would the mainstream media try to hide individualism?

  • peachy||

    Why is is not a surprise that the "national treasure" link goes to the Grauniad? (That's a rhetorical question, by the way.)

  • Lepus||

    Charlie Brooker on Jamie Oliver being a twat. God, I wish we could get Screenwipe/Newswipe on BBC America...

  • Jeffersonian||

    That was beautiful

  • ||

    Where's the recommend button? Reason doesn't have a recommend button?

    I call for a quorum. Do I have a second? Jamie? You round?

  • Mo||

    correctly identify tomatoes, a beet, an eggplant, and a cauliflower. (Never mind that the latter three are obvious ringers many healthy adults couldn’t identify in their raw forms

    Who are these idiot adults that could identify a raw eggplant or beet? Have these people never played Kid Icarus?

  • Ska||

    A Kid Icarus reference....outstanding.

    Damn eggplant wizards.

  • Brett Knoss||

    Cauliflower wi suprisingly tough. It is a memeber of the cabage family and grows in heads a lot like a head of cabbage. Also broccoli is Italian for flowers of cabbage.

  • ||

    Don't forget brussel sprouts, cabbage's smelly, stunted cousin.

  • Lord Jubjub||

    If I remember right, Oliver got beaten badly in an Iron Chef competition against Mario Batali.

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    Iron Chef has apparently run out of quality contestants. They had that shithead Spike from Top Chef a couple weeks ago.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    In all fairness Batali and Morimoto (i have eaten at his NY restaurant) are bad ass! Even Bobby, loath as some are to admit it, is a fnatastic chef.

    Pass the peas please

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    Oh, I agree that the Iron Chefs themselves are great, but some of the challengers clearly don't belong.

  • ||

    You gotta try Baked Mario Batali cuisine. I really don't know if it the the quality stuff he packed or if it was the food he cooked.

  • ||

    It is Spaghetti-O's.

  • ||

    What does it mean to be beaten badly on Iron Chef? The judges fling their feces at you?

    On the original show, I liked how the judges would insult the winning chef before voting in his favor.

  • ||

    Tonight's secret ingredient.... FECES!!!!!

  • ||

    Everyone gets beaten badly by Batali, but the fact that Oliver chose Batali as the chef to go against shows how fucking delusional he is. Christ, Flay would have crushed him, and Batali is better than Flay.

    For the record, I think Batali's kind of an ass, but he is just a fucking amazing chef.

  • hamilton||

    Agree.

  • mr simple||

    I think Batali's kind of an ass

    Most great chefs, and all critics, are.

  • ||

    And Batali was probably on his second case of wine, and 10,000th cheesy calorie for the day.

    Mario Batali eats shits like Oliver for breakfast.

    Yes, he eats shit for breakfast.

  • Daze||

    Advocating that people voluntarily adopt a certain behavior is not nannyism. Advocating that government force people to adopt a certain behavior is nannyism. There's a big difference.

    This article clearly criticizes Oliver for the latter form of advocacy.

    It's true that libertarians sometimes lose sight of the difference and engage in a weird anti-health crusade, as if eating a dozen Krispy Kremes were morally superior to eating an apple. But this article isn't an example of that tendency.

  • ||

    Negative reaction to the British government’s nationwide implementation of Oliver’s school-lunch recommendations was swift and widespread. Parents, some of whom labeled Oliver’s food “low-fat rubbish,” pulled 400,000 kids from the school-lunch rolls, choosing to brown bag it rather than have their kids eat Oliver’s “healthier” options. Parents opposed to Oliver’s scheme handed food to their kids through the gates of schoolyards. Some vendors and parents set up shop outside schools and sold food to students. Enterprising students, in turn, sold food to peers in schools, which led to suspensions for pupil transgressions as absurd as “crisp dealing.”

    Ahem.

  • ||

    He's "Daze"-d and confused, JW!

  • Warty||

    Epi keeps getting older, but those sixth-graders stay the same age.

  • ||

    Stop projecting, Warty. Wasn't it you who said that "that's the thing about kids: they're all pink in the inside"?

  • Warty||

    Soft and pink, and they make awesome Üterbraten.

  • Daze||

    Are you two disagreeing with me? If so, please explain. I am indeed confused.

  • ||

    Can we make an even swap with the UK? Our nanny-staters for their normal citizens who don't want to be controlled? These 400,000 students adn their parents and that loud sex chick and her husband can move here in exchange for Michael Bloomberg and Felix Ortiz. Straight up.

  • ||

    At this point I'm willing to trade Bloomberg for a frog.

  • Ska||

    And once a day someone has to get the new mayor from the Chambers St. station to city hall, a la Frogger.

  • celtigirl||

    aw, hey, we really don't want Sarkozy over here do we?

  • Jales||

    No worse than those that think they are morally superior for eating an apple...

  • Tim||

    Just what we need: another British momma's boy.

  • peachy||

    By the way, the lunch-ladies (and their massive binder of government regulations, oh irony of ironies) handed Oliver his ass on an institutionally approved platter.

  • Scott||

    Man, now I have libertarian whiplash.

    I watched the one-hour preview they had on Sunday and saw him struggling with the USDA health guidelines for "healthy" lunches and I just assumed it was do to with, of course, lobbying groups influencing the USDA in order to get their products of nebulous nutritional benefit into the school.

    It didn't even occur to me the idea that Jamie's food was just as bad, if not worse, and that was the problem. I was sitting here hoping for some sort of libertarian breakthrough at the school.

    At times my level of cynicism is apparently insufficient.

  • ||

    The short short history of the USDA guidelines goes like this.

    "Hey ADM and Cargill! What should we say are the guidelines?" - Uncle Sam

    "Oh brother. It's the insurance adjuster again. Just figure out a formula so we don't stand to lose anything unless Mother Nature screws the whole planet." ADM/Cargill

  • Melissa||

    Or maybe the government guidelines, based on government interpretations of science, are B.S. Read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

  • ||

    I was listening to this same ass hat on the radio this morning. He claimed that children today won't live as long as their parents did! Simply because schools offer pizza on their menus. I was a fat kid, and I often didn't even eat lunch! All fat kids are fat because of at home eating habits, not school lunches. Fuckin moron!

    When my dad went to public school, they had to eat mystery meat and other unmentionables. He was pissed that kids were eating pizza in schools! What the fuck is he talking about?

  • ||

    All fat kids are fat because of at home eating habits, not school lunches.

    Great, let the fucking genie out of the bottle won't you. Now they'll be knocking on doors to inspect pantries. Gee thanks, tk.

  • ||

    Oh shit, you're right. My bad. Damn.

  • ||

    Does anyone seriously believe that kids today won't live as long as their parents?

  • Tomcat1066||

    Well, between two wars and an economy going into the crapper, it's possible. But it sure as hell won't be because of pizza occasionally on a school lunch tray.

  • ||

    What do you mean, "occasional"? Pizza, and foods of similar quality, are par for the course with US school lunches.

  • Jales||

    Actually that's not entirely true. ALL fat kids are not fat because of home diets. Some kids NEED that weight.

    My oldest boy was chunky..he was active, properly fed, etc but no matter what he was still chunky. He hit 14 and literally shot up in growth. All of sudden my "chunky" kid was a beanpole. Apparently he needed it. If you feed a child a healthy diet and give them plenty of activity and they are still overweight, might want to consider Mother Nature is trying to tell you something.

  • ||

    Lol, true. I just stayed short and fat, myself. I was a fat kid, but if most of my caloric intake took place at school, I would have starved to death.

  • ||

    You should have saw my grocery bill that year...it was awful. He would have starved too! LOL

    I've got two more boys growing, my 4 year old is the size of a 7 year old and not an ounce of "chunk" on him. My 2 year old is normal for his age, but he's knock-kneed VERY obviously. Doc says another big boy in the making. *sighs* Grocery bill shoots up every time one of them have a growth spurt lol

  • ||

    "should have seen"..my only excuse is I was up at 4 am and I'm tired LOL

  • ||

    OK, I give. What the fuck is the connection between Jamie Oliver and The Met's adverts for Hamlet?

    Besides the food in 16th century Denmark, that is.

  • Warty||

    The nationality of the author has nothing to do with the nationality of the character. The character is the character. Hamlet's not English, he's Danish.

  • ||

    Didn't I say that?

  • Warty||

    Time to say auf wiedersehen to your Nazi balls.

  • ||

    Nein! Not ze glocken!

  • ||

    Hamlet's not English, he's Danish.

    And Danish is a delicious breakfast pastry, which Oliver hates, ergo . . .

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    I love danish.

  • Brett Knoss||

    Danishes are good. Youo know in Canada we'd nver good kids pizza for dinner, back bacon, eggs covered in ketchup, and donuts but not pizza.

  • Warty||

  • ||

  • Ted S.||

  • ||

    you people are fucking nuts. you are flaunting your ignorance in defense of your ideology. don't tell me what to eat! if you listen to the britt. you might loose some weight and be able to see your dick again someday. this is reason.com use your brain. I guess you don't use your seat belt because you don't want to be told what to do. waco's

  • ||

    I guess you don't use proper grammar, spelling, or punctuation because you don't want to be told what to do, right?

  • ||

    That would be me. ;-)

    Fuk um.

  • Marc||

    Drink.

  • ||

    I'm all for losing weight. It's just that oliver doesn't really know how to do that, and his suggestions seem to require theft on a large scale.

    Under a voucher system, parents would be able to take their kids to any school they wanted, and the schools would have to compete by offering lots of things, including a healthy lunch. Unless the parents don't give a shit, then I don't give a shit either.

  • ||

    ""Unless the parents don't give a shit, then I don't give a shit either.""

    Bingo.

  • Ted S.||

    I'm all for losing weight. It's just that oliver doesn't really know how to do that, and his suggestions seem to require theft on a large scale.

    Gotta love those dreadful puns....

  • ap||

    uh, drink?

  • PACW||

    I wear my seatbelt ALWAYS. My son wears a helmet when he rides his motorcycle. I have no desire to force anyone but my own children to wear belts and helmets. This is reason.com - where the philosophy is to persuade with REASON rather than with force.

    Why do people who hate libertarianism come here? I surely don't go to NYT anymore than necessary - and I never tell NYT commenters what I truly think of them.

  • ||

    I guess if people who "hate" libertarianism - or at least have some questions about it, or aren't sure that a lot of the half-baked opinions on here aren't "libertarian" at all - didn't come here, you'd have no-one to "persuade" with your reason.

  • ||

    I have zero problem with people promoting healthy eating.

    When it becomes by law, or influenced by taxes, it's a different story.

  • ||

    Michael Pollan (Omnivore's Dillemma/In Defense of Food) has written the only sensible analysis of obesity that I have found. In short, he argues that USDA Agricultural Policies (farm subsidies, etc.) encourage massive caloric production at the least cost. This means primarily corn, soy, and wheat. He specifically examines the pervasiveness of corn.

    For example: A Child's Chicken McNugget Happy meal - Ground chicken bound with corn starch, covered in corn meal, fried in corn oil and served with a high-fructose corn syrup sweetened drink.

    He also talks about the challenges cereal manufacturers face trying to come up with new ways to package/market corn in cereals.

    If the government is truly interested in encouraging a healthy diet, it should look at market-distorting farm policies.

  • T||

    You mean US agricultural policy is completely distorting the market? As are our subsidies and tariffs? Who would have thought?

    Plus, they're keeping the third world in poverty, too.

  • ||

    Brazil just called. They said "right on". If I knew some Portuguese I'd use it.

    The farm subsidies won't change without equal reciprocation from our trading partners.

  • Tman||

    Whilst I agree with Pollans critique of Corn subsidies, he's a bedfellow with Oliver when it comes to the nannyism. And Pollan is certainly not afraid of some over-indulgent hyperbole when making his point about the "evils" of high fructose corn syrup. He's all about a soda tax and is desperate for Obama to make him food czar or whatever.

    Check out this critique of Michael and the agri-intellectuals-

    http://www.american.com/archiv.....ellectuals

  • ||

    Whoa! I just read that link.

    So, I assume that farmer DOESN'T take hand-outs from the gov't to perform his solemn task of "feeding the world"?

    Most of the local food at my farmer's market is grown by unsubsidized farmers, is comparable in price to my Wal-Mart, and tastes much better.

    That farmer is a windbag.

  • Paul||

    I've come to the slow, painful conclusion that one has to be slightly insane to be successful.

  • WTF||

    I'm going to swing by Wendy's on the way home and get a Baconator with large fries, and while I'm eating it, in between bites, I'm going to yell "Fuck you Jamie Oliver!" and giggle.

    Hope I don't choke to death. You're not supposed to talk while you eat.

  • ||

    True story: You can eat and talk at the same as long as you use a english accent and close all of your statements with "and that's rubbish".

  • Jennifer||

    Force, or convince? This has got to be, hands down, the most ham-fisted nonsense I've ever seen posted here.

    Someone with decent powers of logic might figure out that listening to a little good advice about food and health might lead to a healthier, fitter, happier population.

    Apparently, however, anyone who even insinuates that bacon double cheeseburger bowl with gravy might be death on a plate is just an agent of the state trying to tell you what to do.

    To think I used to come here because intelligent people hang here. What's next, creationism?

    Aside to WTF: go ahead, man. Self-harm will certainly show that nanny-state bastard what for! Why not pour yourself a nice glass of corn syrup to REALLY teach him?

  • ||

    Force, or convince?

    Conveniently, for Oliver, it's both a floor wax and a dessert topping.

  • Hank||

    First Kid Icarus, then Monty Python, and now SNL.

    Sometimes, I love you guys.

  • Hank (post below)||

    Is there another Hank? I'm not on here all the time, but pretending to be another commenter isn't cool, you shitbird!

    I certainly wouldn't say, "I love you guys." Fuck you, asshole. That's more like it. If you're gonna impersonate, at least use some gratuitous profanity, fuckhead.

  • T||

    I guess you missed that whole part about him getting all kinds of tasty government loot to push his agenda? I mean, shit, $60 million should be enough to start, I dunno, a non-profit to educate people about how to eat healthy. You'd probably even have some money left over to live on. But if you get the British taxpayer to cough up the cash, abetted by your cronies in Whitehall, you get to keep all your money and claim you're just doing good works.

    Convincing people is one thing. Convincing them using the money the government took from them is another thing entirely.

  • ||

    Wait a minute. If you're British, and convince the taxpayers to cough of their loot for your projects you not only get the added claim of "good works". You also get a title and broadcast frequency lands.

  • ||

    A thought.

    The human body can tolerate so much junk food and that food is actually pretty darn tasty. This human gift enables other humans to create a certain percentage of food from otherwise radically cheap resources which empowers job creation through the marketing of products that in large quantities are rather harmful, but in moderate form create happiness and satisfaction.

    Not without potential for harm, the same manufacturers now produce informative charts that educate their customers on the risks of consuming too much of their products, but ultimately cannot stop you from continuing to consume their products unless the Center for Science in the Public Interest has their way.

    Jamie Oliver's war is with education. Education is controlled by the state. Oliver's war is with the state. But the state is too big a bully to pick a fight with. Instead he chooses to pick fights with, well, the genius creations of the Irish and the Scots - an agricultural hedge.

    Tell Jamie Oliver to go sell his Longshanks nonsense to the French. They may even offer him a Princess.

  • Tomcat1066||

    If all he were doing were trying to educate people, all would have been fine. Unfortunately, he's spinning a bunch of bullshit like it's fact, and has shown he likes the idea of forcing his bullshit beliefs on kids.

    Jamie Oliver can choke on a dick for all I care.

  • Almanian||

    For dinner I just had two Hebrew National hot dogs with Tony Packo's relish and mustard. On crappy, generic white buns.

    I did not slice them lengthwise before I ate them.

    They were delicious!

    Jamie Oliver can lick my hole.

  • Almanian||

    PS Paid for with my own hard-earned cash. Even het it up myself. Mmmm!

  • ||

    You eating yer cheeburgers is gonna cause you to need them care dollars you paid which are rightfully mine cause I got the cirrhosis on account of I was depressed by you oppressing me, and I got the clamydia on account of you didn't educate me properly on how to use one them rubbery devices.

    So put it down and eat yer kale you bastard!

  • Hank||

    Jamie Oliver. Fuck him and his sissy scooter.

    He ought to cut out his and Anita Dunn's horse tongue and serve it up as his first nanny dish. Mao s' Tongue. I almost vomitted watching that fruit chew her tongue. He's not much better.

    Fuck 'em both. Oh, I am just kidding.

  • Danny||

    http://www.gochristianlouboutin.com/index.html

  • KD||

    While Oliver's not perfect and I'm sure not libertarian, the show is interesting and worth watching because he does bash the USDA and the idea that that all schools should follow the advice of one central food authority. He even tries to "get away" with not serving the required "2 breads" in the first episode.

    So while I don't think the government should be in charge of feeding children (or anyone) in any way shape or form, if they ARE going to and there's no way to convince voters it's not the government's responsibility to provide food, then it shouldn't be processed shit.

    Oliver's food ideas aren't perfect and I hesitate to take advice from someone who clearly can't keep his own weight down, but judging by the first episodes, his changes are better than not. Course, I could be wrong by what happens in subsequent episodes, who knows?

  • Nitori Kawashiro||

    “They don’t understand me,” he cries. “They don’t know why I’m here.”

    Don't you mean “nobody takes me cereal!”

  • ||

    Is this really by Glenn Beck?

  • G Mc||

    Ah, well clearly the answer is to create a law which prohibits speech that may encourage legislatures to pass laws.

  • $||

    rctl is really thin - she lives on loads alone.

  • Jim Brennan||

    Students are eating poorly and spend too much time in front of screens.

    Farmers and people with farm experience are suffering terribly from unemployment.

    To solve the problem will cost too much. Why?

    Those sounds more like reciprocal solutions than problems. What a great opportunity it would be for the students to get involved in the production and to some extent preparation of their own food. Fortunately the people who can educate them are available. There is more to be learned in a garden of their own making than on a television or computer with selectable programmed preferences. For the most part people like what they are consistently told they like - advertising works. Gardens work better. Imagine, children being participants rather than spectators; raised to contribute rather than criticize; being involved rather than a designated consumer.

  • ||

    That billion to fight obesity in America? Another way to funnel money to Obama's supporters.

  • ||

    What on earth do the German bombing raids have to do with the Ministry of Food? This article is nothing but a libertarian rant.

  • scott||

    This is quite unbelievable. He is not 'forcing' the public to do anything - just projecting an opinion. So are opinions not allowed? That's what makes up a democracy - or is your definiton of democracy different to mine? And yes, democracy is all about lobbying government to do something that you think is might be a good thing. You obviously don't like being told what to do - do you apply the same intellectual rigour to attempt in order to not be influenced by the advertising and marketing that bombards you? Or is it selective and Oliver is an easy target because he's not from around here.

  • Jales||

    You slept through government class right?

    If this is your view of how our government is supposed to work then I'm glad I homeschool.

  • ||

    A national treasure, or a fat-tongued twat. Well, then, that makes it all rather simple, doesn't it? No one should pay any attention to a fat-tongued twat--just as anyone who uses such a term can be safely ignored.

  • mj||

    I can't believe they quoted anonymous with “fat-tongued twat.” It would be nice if they would just deconstruct what he intends to do, rather than making it personal.

  • ||

    And what fast crap food multinational buys your dinners, Mr. Linnekin?

  • ||

    "Parents opposed to Oliver’s scheme handed food to their kids through
    the gates of schoolyards. "

    It wasn't "food" - it was a BIG MAC, which is a food-like product. My god, people, you are talking about
    the lives and health of our future.

    Also, "One promo shows a bewildered Oliver as he tries (and fails) to get a
    room of healthy-looking elementary students to correctly identify
    tomatoes, a beet, an eggplant, and a cauliflower. (Never mind that the
    latter three are obvious ringers many healthy adults couldn’t identify
    in their raw forms"

    SERIOUSLY??? That speaks to a MUCH larger issue. If adults can't identify a cauliflower or an eggplant, I highly doubt they are healthy.

  • ||

    Ah, so other vegetables aren't healthy? They can't eat OTHER vegetables and just not have had cauliflower or eggplant? My brother can identify them, he must be healthy right? Even though he only eats fast food...but he CAN identify cauliflower and eggplant.

    Perhaps you make want to re-think your judgment on that one..You should also provide proof that all the parents were handing Big Macs through, as well as explaining to me what a "food like product" is.

    I had a doctor tell me once that I had an "illusion of breathing" as if I THOUGHT I was breathing but I was actually suffocating (I was actually breathing..either that or I'm an amazing scientific study). Is that the same thing?

    And you know, my grandparents grew up on lard and fatback and bacon and all those "bad" things I keep hearing about..yet here they are, pushing 70 and still going. My grandfather is frequently hospitalized but I think we could possibly attribute that to any number of things including growing up in a smithy and being a boxer as well as the fact that he was hurt in the military.

  • ||

    The kids in the program couldn't even recognize a potato.

  • Kob9||

    The author calls out that most "healthy adults" can't identify a beet, eggplant, and a cauliflower in their raw form. Sorry, but if you can't be considered healthy if you can't identify vegetables, which always have been, and continue to be the best food for you in their raw form. Not being able to identify these means you're diet doesn't include them, which means you probably aren't that healthy.

  • ||

    Because the ONLY vegetables in existence are beets, eggplant, and cauliflower.

  • ||

    The kids in the program couldn't even recognize a potato.

  • Kob9||

    The author calls out that most "healthy adults" can't identify a beet, eggplant, and a cauliflower in their raw form. Sorry, but if you can't be considered healthy if you can't identify vegetables, which always have been, and continue to be the best food for you in their raw form. Not being able to identify these means you're diet doesn't include them, which means you probably aren't that healthy.

  • ||

    The more I consider that comment, the more troubling it seems. The fact that his editor(s) apparently didn't question such an odd statement is disturbing in itself. I'll continue paying attention to what these folks say about pot-smoking - no doubt they're very good at that! - and I guess I'll read the rest for amusement.

  • ||

    I'm not sure that the fact that child obesity rates stopped rising means that we should not combat child obesity.

  • ||

    I say we leave it up to doctors, who are supposedly trained, and parents and everyone else stay out of my kids' lunch box. That's kind of what I pay the man for.

    In fact, I say we just leave all child decisions up to those who have actually met the child. That way people can't be making ignorant assumptions on something they know nothing about based on how the media presents it.

    One kid's peanut is another kid's cyanide pill.

  • ||

    "can't be making" should be "can't make" omg, I'm going to go take a nap before my grammar errors kill me off...*shudders*

  • ||

    SHame on him. No one but agribusiness lobbyists should be lobbying governments about food. Shame on him for having opinions on food quality. Shame on him for making people feel ashamed. Shame on everyone who ever wrote a diet book or did research on nutrition or dared to a share a thought on how one might improve oneself.

    An article both senile and childish.

  • d chow||

    Baylen Linnekin is a self-righteous hater. Why don't you try standing up for things that YOU believe in rather than sh*tting all over your own face by insisting other people's good intentions are wrong. If your beliefs are better than another person's, they'll win out anyway. Stop hating.

  • Combaticus||

    So a chef gets fat, and then decides to save America? Physician, heal thyself.

  • Tony||

    Quickly perusing the comments leads me to see that few watched the show. I don't know about England, but on the show he had to stay within the current budget. So you're telling me all of you would rather schools reheat "chicken" patties rather than make the lunch ladies actually cook from real ingredients? Why would you want kids to eat less healthy? Opposing stuff for the sake of opposing is not intelligent. I see nothing in the push to make school lunches healthier that is anti-libertarian.

  • ||

    Exactly. It's not like the status quo is a libertarian state of existence. If I had to chose between microwaved hamburger patties and burritos, or Jamie's cooking, the choice is extremely easy.

  • ||

    Reading the essay and comments I am struck by a pair of questions. How many of those commenting actually watched the Jamie Oliver program? How many of those commenting have a basic grasp of how public school lunch programs interconnect with the government? I ask because based on the comments it would appear few commenting either watched the Oliver program or have an understanding of how school lunch programs are currently structured. It appears instead that the author and the bulk of those commenting are simply using the Oliver series as a handy peg on which to hang a batch of boilerplate libertarian catch phrases like "nanny state" with no thought whatsoever.

    In the pilot episode there is a long scene in which Oliver discusses his plans with the school district administrator in charge of overseeing all lunch programs in the district who hands him a massive ring binder filled with the USDA required rules, regulations, and accepted recipes which meet them. Another scene documents the frozen, highly processed, foods the school obtains through other government programs.

    Why is a highly regulated government program, which primarily serves the interests of subsidized agribusiness at the expense of our children's health preferable to an effort by a perhaps overly full of himself celebrity chef to show that healthy, nutritious, freshly prepared food can be offered on the same budget?

    It is absurd that the comments seem to accept the existing USDA rules and regulations, which distort the market to favor of the likes of Monsanto and ADM, as preferable to the logical and reasonable positions of Oliver and Pollan.

  • Tony||

    Amen brother, amen.

  • Ghost of Schrödinger's cat||

    tl;dr

  • ||

    Thank you! This whole story and reasonTV piece was an extreme let down for me. I had more faith in Reason to actually build logical fact based arguments and not resort to hyperbole and boilerplate comments as you stated. A equals A, after all. Just watched Oliver's show tonight and even though I don't know where it will end up and it is an over produced Ryan Seacrest experience, the above article, video and posts have little grounding in reality. Do your f&*kin' homework!

  • ||

    A good example of how libertarianism, taken to its extreme, becomes a caricature of itself. At least Mr. Linnekin's drivel is sequestered to this remote corner of the internets.

  • ||

    Wow, thats amazing. And he standing in front of a Mickey Dees?

    Lou
    www.anonymizer.us.tc

  • Bob||

    Classifying McDonalds as "delicious"? You guys are simply evil.

  • Amy Alkon||

    As investigative science journalist Gary Taubes writes in "Good Calories, Bad Calories," it isn't fatty foods but carbohydrate consumption that causes the insulin secretion that puts on fat. A McDonald's Angus burger with bacon and cheese is perfectly healthy -- providing you toss the bun. The problem is (and I wish Ron Bailey had contributed to this piece) that the American diet and the advice Americans are given on what to eat are not based in science but "science." See Taubes book for more on that.

  • ||

    What an appalling piece of misinformation, riddled with out of context quotes. How, precisely, is Jamie Oliver going to "force" West Virginians, or anyone else, to change their diet? What form of coercion is being applied? Jamie Oliver educates people and hopes that they make intelligent choices. His school lunch programmes in Britain were not propelled by his personal power, which is non-existent, but by the demands of parents when they were shown what their children were being fed. The problems experienced were in the implementation, not with the programmes themselves. So it's more expensive to feed kids healthy food. You seem to believe that the health and well-being of the nation's children are not worth the cost of feeding them something other than junk. The costs of obesity to the American economy are huge and growing, but you suggest that it is not worth addressing because obesity has stopped increasing, for now. This publication should be embarrassed to host such a shamefully dishonest piece of blatant political propaganda.

  • ||

    Oh please. Obesity in and of itself means very little according to science and not "science". The strongest man and woman in England got married a few years ago. These are two people who pull Mack trucks with their own strength alone. Something I cannot possibly believe can be done if you aren't healthy. However, I can assure you they are, just by looking at them, considered "obese". The effort to control obesity is about looks, not health. Otherwise the pressure would be put on being healthy regardless of size and not on looking attractively thin. We would be having an Unhealthy Epidemic and not an Obesity Epidemic.

    However it's not about health, otherwise we'd hear more about how many people are unhealthy even when thin than we would about how fat they are. Right now we are ignorantly giving people the idea that if they are thin then they are healthy.

    Oh, and thanks for making even more teenage girls self conscious. I'm sure you'll be happy to know that anorexia has been rising! More skinny people in the world!

  • KP||

    This is the most ridiculous article I have read in a long time! You are actually berating a man who is trying to make a positive change in people's lives, and it seems for no reason other than he is too rich and famous - oh and British!?

    I am almost certain you never saw the UK version of the TV series, where he made such a huge impact on the school he visited, and actually inspired other schools to want the same for their students. There wasn't heavy opposition like you suggest but in fact, the only reason he was able to get the government to take action was by getting a petition signed by schools parents and others.

    About the brown bag lunches - He never said they were not good but he recognized that many parents were too busy to prepare a decent meal for their children - or they just didn't know how, which is why he focused on school lunches. Plus it's easy to pack a sandwich but harder to brown bag a nice hot meal. There are more possibilities with meals being cooked in school. Yes it's not as cheap as processed crap that looks like it's made from a mix of unknown animal remains but he does help provide some cheap solutions while still using real food!.

    And as for parents who were passing lunchesthrough school gates. That was because the children themselves complained about having to eat vegetables and the parents had no control over the children, thinking they would rather have them happy eating junk than complaining about eating green stuff. As parents they should have been more stern with their children and I think Jamie wanted the parents to do that. As for the data proving some children actually did worse in their studies - there are so many societal reasons why that could have happened - that can't be put on school lunches. Also Lunch is just one meal of the day. You can't assume that just because their meals improved in school that their parents suddenly stopped feeding them junk at home. You yourself mentioned in another of your articles that parents need to take more responsibility for what their children eat, and Jamie only wanted them to become more aware of that - he chose school meals because that is one place parents have no control over.

    You wrote;
    "(Never mind that the latter three are obvious ringers many healthy adults couldn’t identify in their raw forms, that British kids think that bacon comes from sheep, or that decades of Ministry of Food training last century couldn’t keep adult Brits from falling for a 1957 British mockumentary on Switzerland’s annual “spaghetti harvest.”)".
    The first point is just shameful, what adults find it hard to identify these vegetables? The second does nothing for your attack on Jamie (or are you just prejudiced against the British?) and this is just as bad as the millions of American children who ask me if London is a country in Europe, or if people speak english in England. The third point is ridiculous. Decades? Give me a break it was only a few years, and Jamie is not in his fifties, he wasn't even alive in 1957!

    You also wrote;
    "Michelle Obama launched a $1 billion campaign to battle childhood obesity in America. That money will likely flow in spite of the fact childhood obesity rates in America stopped rising in 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control."
    So as long as the numbers aren't increasing as much as before it's ok then? Even if this were true, the children that will still die from or live an unfulfilled life because of obesity - we can forget about them because the numbers don't look so bad now? What is wrong with you!

    Excuse Jamie Oliver for caring for the well-being of another human, maybe he should just go home and enjoy his fortune for himself. It's not like I see any American chefs who care about anyone other than those who can afford to come and spend a fortune in their over priced restaurants.

    Don't even get me started on that awful video! A woman who works for a magazine, (not a doctor or dietician) actually suggests that it's ok to serve children processed meals that are not fresh on a daily basis. Just because adults live off it every day, it is not ok to give that to a child so often! You might as well give them plastic food!

    I suggest you watch the show, and give the man a break. Yeah he has made a good business for himself, but he is still using his fame for a positive change, maybe you should try it sometime!

  • ||

    Thank you KP, you said it all! The Food Revolution is one of the most inspiring things I've seen in a long time! Giving a community health and hope by transforming the way they eat. Anyone who listened to the teenagers who stood up to help Jamie would agree that the whole revolution was worthwhile, even just for what it meant to them.

  • Dan||

    It's important to note that the study cited in this article (from the University of Essex) finds that there was a negative effect from Oliver's program on students eligible for free school lunches only. They didn't have data on whether those students actually signed up for free lunches, and suggest that the parents of free lunch-eligible students (low income)might be less receptive to the new lunch program than higher income parents. So it's not as cut and dry as the author suggests. Low income families just might not have caught on as quickly. Plus, their data set is really small. The last year they have data for is 2007, and the program went into effect during the 2004-2005 school year. Things could still change for better or worse.

  • bo||

    this is the worst written article i've ever read.

  • Mike||

    What I find most worrying about this article is the rather spurious claim that many adults can't identify beets, eggplants, and cauliflowers.
    Jamie might be on to something if that's the case. You people need help.

  • ||

    Watched it last night. In between commercials were pushing "RAGU" spaghetti sauce.

  • Rob||

    This is one of the stupidest articles I've read for a long time. The author obviously went to great lengths to make Jamie Oliver sound like a master criminal and had to resort to vast amounts of emotive rhetoric to cover up the lack of any actual facts with which to back it up. Does the author work for the US Republican Party? To the author: get a life. Were you paid for this?

  • John the Brit||

    Are there so many fat Americans because you people would rather stuff it all into your bodies rather than see anyone else get it? Its like the parties opposed to a public health service. Very difficult for us nannied to death Europeans to understand. But probably not worth worrying about now the Chinese own yer asses. Heh heh heh!

  • Harriet||

    Childhood obesity levels may have stopped rising, but they haven't started falling. You still have a nation of obese children who are nutritionally illiterate and who will die young, after spending adulthood with a multitude of obesity related diseases.. Your country may not care about the health of its young, but in the UK - where we all pay for health care - it is deemed a sensible idea financially to try and prevent health problems rather than pay to treat them. Jamie Oliver may be an annoying little toad, but at least he is attempting to help people who have been continually failed by governments (removal of cooking lessons, good quality school food, free milk at school etc.). Also, the Ministry of Food (control) continued to ration after the end of world war 2 because some of the UKs food supplies were used to feed those in need in other countries destroyed by war.

  • ||

    Yes rationing in the uk continued after the war for many good reasons including the desperate need in Europe and the fact , you yanks, demanded we pay you immediately on the lease lend deal...something the uk did till the 1970's....yep pay you for standing up to hitler...cheers for that.

    This article is the most biased uninformed drivel I think I have ever read, and this comes from someone who is no great fan of jamie oliver.
    However the article and most of the comments make me angry and sad at the same time.
    Do you lot really feel civilized?....because from my point of view you ...to let 'the market' control health (of course diet has a huge effect on health) is not civilized at all, it is evil.
    But you keep on allowing people to become insanely rich of other peoples misery...I guess it makes you feel good.

  • Tony||

    Exactly Phil, this is a waste of an article. It is simply no more than an attack on Oliver - who I also don't care about one way or another, except when he cried and then I wanted to punch him...But this article seems to just want to keep people especially kids from eating healthy. Not sure the point nor the implications regarding libertarian philosophy.

  • Mark. S.||

    "Stopped rising" is not the same as "have started to drop." The rate of childhood obesity in the U.S. is outrageously high.

  • Aj||

    Yes, coercion is bad, I agree with that.

    I find myself, however in a disagreeable place cognitively. I like the idea of a junk food tax. *gasp* It already exists for other unhealthy items (smokes, alcohol, etc). This stands at quite a stark contrast to my support of personal choice, which this article appeared to be championing.

    But with regards to food, current culture, and obesity, that choice seems to be based upon ignorance. (The denotation of the word, not the connotation.) The author posits that healthy or unhealthy, we should be able to make our own decisions, which I can agree with, provided there is adequate comprehension to be able to make educated decisions. As the author himself says, even adults cannot accurately identify vegetables such as a beet or what have you. You cannot seriously mean to tell me this lends itself to making those type of intelligent choices. I would argue that a choice made out of unawareness of alternatives is not a choice, and is a stone's throw away from being equally disagreeable as coercion.

    The overall fight here in my perception seems to be with two things: the chosen ignorance I described above, and the state-run concepts of food and nutrition (USDA guidelines, etc). Let's take a look at the two bread stipulation for school lunches. In and of itself this is not a bad thing, but I fail to see healthy bread options available, as they are commonly white bread based products (rolls, pizza crust, sandwich bread, etc). This isn't a personal beef with white bread (we both know it's tasty, and I bake it with some regularity), but numerous studies have illustrated it is nutritionally devoid of benefit, and the complex carbohydrates are one of the main contributers to overproduction of insulin in the blood, something which is directly correlated with increased fat storage in the body. Were the bread options including things such as whole grain breads or brown rice, the two bread stipulation would be something which increased health as opposed to its current state. It also appears that USDA guidelines continue to exist in a world which has not accepted the shit in lifestyle which has accompanied the digital age, more specifically the increase in sedentary times throughout the day. Rather, they still base meals upon the assumption that people do actually get the recommended one to two hours of strenuous physical activity each day (which clearly isn't the case, as the prevalence of obesity belies).

    I don't know, I don't agree with either edge of the spectrum here. A more reasonable solution would be more to the likes of thesis vs. antithesis becoming synthesis.

  • Joe15||

    He doesn't want to force anyone to do anything. He wants to encourage them to eat better, so they are healthier.

    And what is with all the orange links in mid-sentence? Am I supposed to stop mid-sentence and go and read something else, then come back? Links in the text of an article are a terrible idea.

  • Joe15||

    He doesn't want to force anyone to do anything. He wants to encourage them to eat better, so they are healthier.

    And what is with all the orange links in mid-sentence? Am I supposed to stop mid-sentence and go and read something else, then come back? Links in the text of an article are a terrible idea.

  • A Foodie||

    The author of this article must not have watched the show or he would not be saying such simple minded and stupid things.

  • ||

    So you would rather Jamie just go away and let the kids eat crap and die young???

  • ||

    The writer's arguments against Oliver are ridiculous. The man is trying to improve the quality of food in the schools because the garbage they serve is full of chemicals that cause obesity and diabetes. I don't want to subsidize pizza and pink milk for breakfast! That's a disgrace.

    And considering the fact that these children don't even know how to use knives and forks, it's obvious that they aren't eating real food at home either. Did you see all the pizzas in that woman's freezer? They, along with many other poor people in America, need access to real food. They are lucky to work with Jamie Oliver!

    The people in Huntington are incredibly ignorant and you are trying to argue that ignorance is freedom. It's not. In this case, ignorance about nutrition will result in diabetes and early death.

  • ||

    This article is absurd and ridiculous.

    The food they serve in schools is disgusting and should be changed asap.

    End of story.

  • Ben Schiller||

    Assuming you agree that children eating healthier food is a good thing, why do they object to someone making a TV program about it? What are you so afraid of? What do they think is going to happen: that American kids are going to want to eat English food? That they’ll want to talk and act like Jamie?
    http://www.theschiller.com/whos-afraid-of-jamie

  • ||

    To hell with Jamie Oliver for trying to change government policy.

    Thank God for Reason for steadfastly advocating the status quo. Government programs work! Let's not change them!

    Besides fat chicks have bigger boobs...

  • Sortit||

    You have to be joking. American is THE FATTEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD - honey the status quo is not working. We are a bunch of fast arses who spend 10% of our health care money on stuff related to being lard arses. Truly the government programs are not working and the system needs fixing and fast.

  • ||

    Oh, ok. I was trying to understand why the article didn't make any sense and then I realized this is a right-wing-screw-logic-nutty website. Well done, excellent article :p

  • ||

    Neither the US nor Britain has either a strong or palatable native cuisine. This is the country where breakfast sausages wrapped in pancakes on a stick were invented, and where it's twice as expensive to buy butter and eggs that haven't been adulterated with chemicals. The fatter everyone gets, the less enjoyment they're willing to settle for from a meal, without ever realizing that it isn't the caloric intake that's making them obese, it's the damn hormones and chemical preservatives in the food.

    Whatever. There are plenty of paradises of cheap, high quality, excellent and natural food left on Earth. Take the Argentines, for instance, who eat several times the amount of red meat as do Americans. You never see a single overweight Argentine, even though it seems that they eat at least four times a day (plus snacks consisting mostly of pig, cheese and dough in some combination).

    We had Julia; she tried to help us appreciate eating for the enjoyment of it, but that old puritan ethic just can't stomach fine French cuisine. It's all binge and purge with Americans. Which is likely why this country falls for one huckster after another selling a snake-oil BS program for weight loss.

  • ||

    This article is insane, and most of the comments even more so. I have subscribed to Reason for many years, and I generally find the content exceptional. This article is exceptional only in its arrogance and ignorance. It's almost like the author is a paid shill for the price-supported, tax-incentived, subsidized processed food system. Does he work for Cargill?

    There is no excuse to defend these companies, the government, and the food system that backs them up. They do what they do at the expense of every single American's health and pocketbook. The system we have is as far from libertarian as you can get -- it is unfairly regulated, taxed, and tariffed, and it encourages the production of all of the wrong things. We pay for this system with every tax dollar, and then we pay for it again with the strain it places on our environment and on our health system. We also pay for it in energy costs; the system encourages the production of nearly nutritionless calories using petroleum, in the form of fertilizer, pesticide, and fuel.

    Michael Pollan's "The Ominivore's Dilemma," for one, exposes this system. You don't have to agree with everything in it to learn astonishing things from it. The system should make you furious if you are a true libertarian; its makes me angrier than almost any other.

    The school lunch program we have is horrible for taxes, for liberty, for the environment, and for human health. Jamie Oliver is trying to stop that system in one way, by stopping the government from even FURTHER subsidizing it and from teaching our children that the processed crap it generates is OK to base their entire diets upon.

    You don't have to like Oliver to understand that the system he is fighting is inherently broken and absolutely must be changed, for both the health of our country and for libertarian ideals.

  • ||

    thank you for saying this.

  • Cormac O'Connor||

    I feel this article is unfair on Jamie. It's glib and oversimplified tone misses the point that this is not about coercion, it's about nudging people to eat healthier. Research shows that by being mindful of what one is eating leads to eating less, and eating healthier. Just to take one point (there are many more) in the article, if childhood obesity in America stopped rising in 2008, then there are still many obese children in America, right?

  • louboutinvips||

    Now is a good time to wonder, given all the Tea Party hysteria created by Democrats and fellow travelers in the media.
    http://www.christianlouboutinvips.com
    http://www.christianlouboutinvips.com

  • ||

    Cool! How did I end up on Rush's site?

    Doesn't matter. Just happy to see a hit piece on anyone pimping the "good life".

    Low culture is best! If it has flavor, recognizable vegetables, or ingredients we can pronounce, it's the food of commie pinko fags.

    Keep up the good work, Rush!

  • abercrombie london||

    As I was busy looking for the special gift, I saw a woman enter into the store with a big bag, she was wearing an abercrombie ,abercrombie and fitc中国历史h , abercrombie london and she looked nice.

  • ||

    I don't follow your logic. Seeking to dismiss evidence that the Brits were, overall, remarkably well-nourished following several years of wartime rationing, you assert that many had died in bombing raids... Reason?!

  • ||

    I had been a subscriber of Reason for years (though I need to subscribe again) and I too have always thought the writing to be fantastic. But after watching the first two shows of Jamie Oliver - I was a skeptic turned convert. I knew the school lunches would be bad - but I never thought this bad. I haven't heard him at all speak out on a ban on soda in schools, or banning anything. Let's be honest - kids should not be having pizza for breakfast - that is crazy. I still consider myself a libertarian - but the school should OFFER healthy breakfasts and lunches. Granted it should be up to each local school district - but I want the school to provide apples not cupcakes. Plus the show illustrates stupid Government regulations - like pizza counts as two breads because there is a soft crust and crunchy crust. You can always send your own kid in with twinkies and cookies if you want - but the school should provide healthy options so our kids can grow strong and learn.

    Any to those people claiming that this is all stupid because science can't prove that a McDonald's Angus burger is bad for you - I think are all being disingenuous - we all know that a pear is better for you than a brownie.

  • daveed||

    Andrew, I picked up on the same thing -- that the sorry state of school lunch programs stems from over-regulation, and collusion between the Dept of Agriculture and special corporate interests.

    The sheer bureaucracy involved for even the most minimal of changes is mind-boggling. And what the government deems to be "nutrition-worthy" (ie eligible for Federal funds) is often nutritionally poor processed foods from corporate conglomerates who have undue influence on Congressional committees and executive branches.

    As for Jamie Oliver, he's a self-promoting twit whose faux friendly manners didn't fool the no-nonsense folks in West Virginia. I do hope, however, that his show highlights some of the systemic problems in public education, and implores families in WV and elsewhere to take back their schools.

  • ||

    I'm glad at least one comment above wondered what kind of "healthy adults" couldn't identify an eggplant (!?) or raw cauliflower. The author must know a lot of incredibly stupid adults! And I doubt they're all that "healthy" if they're that dumb about food.

    I understand why conservative radio hosts are always defending kids' "right" to junk food and soda in taxpayer-funded schools (!), even though they're never in favor of kids having any other rights (i.e. they love corporal punishment, locker searches, etc.). Conservative radio hosts seem to be almost all fat guys themselves; they've have consigned healthy eating to some '60s hippie fantasy of their imagination and consider junk food to be pro-corporate and (therefore?) pro-American.

    I'd like to see Reason looking more into the bribery and unscientific jiggering of USDA policies, and whining less about imaginary threats by "nanny-staters" to your right (as a stupid adult) to stuff yourself with whatever garbage you want.

  • John La Puma MD||

    This analysis has it right: Jamie's food is not created with nutrition guidelines (especially calorie limitations) in mind.

    But it has also got it wrong: his central message is that learning to cook, by itself, is a practical skill, like learning to read and write. And that teaching kids (and by extension, their parents) how to cook is a skill to be taught in U.S. schools.

    It often takes outrageous stories and examples to examine out of date policy. Jamie offers both stories and examples...and as a physician and trained chef myself, I like that you offer nutritional data.

    John La Puma MD
    http://drjohnlapuma.com
    http://ChefMD.com

  • ||

    "If Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is a hit, then Great Britain’s so-called national treasure may find an Obama White House invitation is just the first step in one chef’s quest to subjugate the American diet.
    If the utter disregard of the horrible consequences of what teh author calls“the American Diet” as consumed by West Virginia school children in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution weren’t so sad. I’d be forwarding this article to friends to laugh about the author’s zeal and length to discredit Mr. Oliver in a feature length-plus treatise, surely designed to expose yet another liberal cabal stealing America’s liberty and wasting its taxpayer funds--
    I am sure it will delight some loonie, liberatrian readership somewhere and will equally delight my liberal friends.
    “Subjugate the American diet?” Can you actually claim with a straight face to that the kids’ diet, consisting of pizza, chicken nuggets, flavored milk, potato fingers and processed -everything industrial foods can be defended as a better use of federal lunch program funds than what appears to be a valid attempt to save the future lives of those who children? Did you not hear the Huntington death rate statistics realted to obesity and diabetes? Did you see the deep fried, fat laden heaps of globs that landed on the obese lady’s kitchen table as her weekly diet? Are you actually proud of frozen pizza, chicken nuggets and non foods being served to children in this country? I guess in what amounts to me as a typical libertarian way, you are proud to discredit every communal- or gasp-governmental- effort that could improve communal wellbeing as long as your tax dollars aren’t affected.

  • ||

    Wow, defending the government mandated school lunch program? That is somehow libertarian?

    I think Jamie Oliver should go back to the UK, and let natural selection take its course, especially where it concerns fat-assed Americans.

  • Maisie||

    I'm sorry, adults can't recognize raw cauliflower? I don't know what planet you're on, but I'm glad mine is different.

  • ||

    Agree - it was such a bizarre comment that I found all the author's other conclusions to be unbelievable. (I had to read the sentence 3 or 4 times to make sure he was serious.) What the hell do the adults he knows eat, I wonder? And if they have kids... yikes.

  • ||

    I am surprised that you are so negative about Jamie Oliver. It's almost as if you have some sort of personal grudge against him! Anyhow, yes, I'm sure that there are a few questionable things he's done over the years (he's human, after all), but it's undeniable that his heart is in the right place. You very easily point out the flaws in his theory, but what are you doing to combat obesity or to change the diets of schoolchildren? Do YOU have any suggestions for change? It's obvious that the problems that cause childhood obesity are incredibly diverse and ingrained, but we have to start somewhere. I admire Jamie Oliver because at least he is trying to help people, even if they don't want his help. Your article comes off as mean-spirited and ultimately I believe you are less helpful than Mr Oliver.

  • ||

    I think the author is in favor of childhood obesity because he makes an unthinking assumption it's (somehow) pro-business, or something, so it must be good. Reason rarely descends to that level, except on food-related subjects! (Why on food, only, I haven't figured out yet.)

  • Emmylou||

    I sincerely hope you ar wrong about adults not recognizing cauliflower. For one thing, it looks pretty much the same raw as cooked. For another, come on, it's cauliflower. We're not talking ramps or garlic scapes or marrows or something.

    But here's the thing: if you're right and we Americans can't identify our vegetables, THAT'S THE FREAKING POINT! I mean, come on, he's not saying children are stupid; he's saying we've failed utterly to teach our children something incredibly valuable. Clearly we did not become the fattest nation in the history of the planet by overindulging in roasted beets.

    I take issue, too, with your snide-seeming comment that even British children think bacon comes from sheep. Mr. Oliver isn't trying to say that Americans are dumber than Brits. He's done this very same thing in the U.K., as you mention, so it's unclear to me why you think he's castigating us. He clearly doesn't think he's some sort of Great White Hope, here to rescue the backwards infidels from ourselves. The man is passionate about something very basic and good, as is Michael Pollan, also not a nutritionist.

    In the end, I'm very sad that it seems to be pefectly fine with you that people don't recognize eggplants but can spot a Twinkie a mile off. As Ms. Lostetter says, your article (and may of the comments here, including the ones about British chefs, who I will point out, are actually extremely well-respected by serious European and American chefs these days) comes off as extraordinarily mean-spirited and without any actual suggestions. Perhaps you should focus on lighting a candle rather than simply railing against the darkness.

  • ||

    Great comment!

    Any adult who can't recognize an eggplant or a head of cauliflower, apparently has never been to the produce aisle of even a very bad American supermarket. To most rational people, that would be a disturbing problem by itself.

    And the great-grandparents of those kids grew their own vegetables.

  • ||

    hes a pompous pratt - and a cry baby.

  • ||

    "Oliver] may find an Obama White House invitation is just the first step in one chef’s quest to subjugate the American diet." Right on, go Jamie go - the American diet needs all the subjugation to healthier eating it can get. By force if necessary. If ever totalitarianism was necessary, it is necessary to radically alter eating patterns that are not only destroying individual lives but are also destroying the planet. The ultimate solution? Force everybody to become vegetarian. This will happen sooner or later when the oil runs out - because the meat industry runs on oil.

  • ||

    here, here!!

  • Oskar||

    "Such an accomplishment is no small feat for a dyslexic 34-year-old son of publicans nor for someone who dropped out of school at 16 to attend catering college."

    In the UK, you don't drop out of school at 16; you finish school. For that matter, what else is catering college, if not school, bearing in mind that the more academically-focused alternative is a sixth form college. Such a nonsensical and ignorant lede makes me wonder how much the rest of the article is worth.

  • ||

    Oliver has a point, he's just slow to realize that he's trying to educate the wrong people. I watched the first two episodes out of curiosity and laughed when he went through this whole demonstration about how processed chicken nuggets are made (with all of their fillers and preservatives) and then asked the kids if they would still eat it. All of the kids raised their hands and said yes. Schools provide processed food because it's cheap. Kids eat it because it's what they are used to eating.
    Yes, we have an obesity problem here in the US. And, we're all going to be paying for it soon under Obamacare, BUT let's place the responsibility squarely where it belongs......with parents. They more than anyone else control what their children eat. Unless, of course, they pawn that responsibility off on the school system. If you, as a parent, don't like the food that the school is providing, send a breakfast and/or lunch to school with your kids. From what I've seen, most parents just don't care that much....and that's their right. The only objection I have is that I'm going to be paying for their lifestyle related diseases in the future.

  • ||

    I think most parents do not understand what good food is. For goodness sake it should be considered child abuse to let your kid become obese but if you know no different how can it be. Parents need as much education as the kids. I think it is appalling that American needed some pommy dude to come in a create a stink about the state of these children's health to get people taking. Were the the American's who should be advocating for these kids. At least Michelle Obama is out there raising awareness.

    P.S. If you truly think that healthy adults couldn't recognize those vegies then you have a way bigger problem than you thought.

  • ||

    Good message. Bad messenger. This English twit comes from a country known for terrible food, rude people and is now over run by Muslims......hmmmm they eat better, don't they Jamie? Stay home and teach some Arabs to eat good, healthy kidney pie.

  • William||

    The author went to far in attacking Jamie Oliver. However, I think by attacking Jamie Oliver the author is not focusing on the real problem -- involvment of government.

    As all good libertarians, we should look at the government causes of this problem. The greatest danger is we use more government to fix a problem caused by government. These are some of the problems.

    1) Agricultural subsidies to corn, soya bean and other food crop producers caused to them produce surpluses.

    It makes it cheap. So ranchers use it to feed livestock. Thus making meat cheaper. This causes people to eat more meat. Since its cheap soft drink producers use fructose instead of cane sugar.

    2) Instead of getting maintenance staff/janitors to take care of lawns / school ground gets middle / high school kids to do it (have their parents to sign a waiver. Have their parents sign a waiver. They need the exercise and it can save the school the money.

    3) Stop the bus service to any child within three miles of a school. Get them to walk, they need the exercise. Its not the responsibility of the state to bus kids to school.

    4) School should setup a gatekeeper during the drop off and pickup to charge incoming cars. There is a social cost (pollution). To discourage parents from dropping off their kids and force them to walk !!

    All this can save money while promoting health. It sounds like I hark for the good old days.

    Then again a libertarian would argue what's the point of public schools in the first place.

  • romigrl||

    I think it's all about moderation. Yes obviously those lunches were unhealthy but it's what kids like. Why didn't he make healthier versions of the foods the kids liked? Why didn't they make the fruit and veggies more appealing with dips? I like the concept of the show but I feel like it's the wrong approach. You have to work in their comfort zone. Also, don't the parents have a choice as to whether they want to send meals with their child? We don't have school lunches until high school in Canada and I'm glad I can control my child's lunch until then.

  • romigrl||

    I think it's all about moderation. Yes obviously those lunches were unhealthy but it's what kids like. Why didn't he make healthier versions of the foods the kids liked? Why didn't they make the fruit and veggies more appealing with dips? I like the concept of the show but I feel like it's the wrong approach. You have to work in their comfort zone. Also, don't the parents have a choice as to whether they want to send meals with their child? We don't have school lunches until high school in Canada and I'm glad I can control my child's lunch until then.

  • Adonisus||

    Did anyone see the last episode where he tried to dissuade the kids from eating chicken nuggets by showing what goes into them?

    Not only did he fail miserably, but the kids were absolutely ready to eat the meat slurry he had just haphazardly made!

    Now THAT was funny.

  • toilet roll holder||

    Jamie Oliver is great!

  • Craig||

    This article is fantastic. Here's my theory ... a major societal problem is that evolution has basically stalled because stupid people haven't stopped breeding, as should be the natural order of things.

    Now the more people that read this drivel, and more importantly subscribe to the whole "I'm not gonnna do it because you tell me I should, no matter how right you are" mantra that it carries, the more of you will become infertile from obesity and diabetes and stop breeding, or simply die before you get a chance to breed.

    The collective IQ goes up, society advances, all good.

    Morons.

  • ||

    Wow, what a bitchy, nitpicking article.

    Snide references to a 1957 documentary hoax, sneers about the bombing of British cities, insinuations about motivates and unpleasant personal references.

    All because a chef wants to share his passion for good food with children who are fed a diet of processed pap.

    And by the way, if you think it is perfectly ok for 'normal' adults to be unable to identify common vegetables such a cauliflowers then i really wouldn't want to see the inside of your kitchen.

  • Mr. Obispo||

    Wow, such a dishonest article. But I'm LMAO seeing the "libertarians" at Reason defend the school bureaucrats serving pizza for breakfast. Because, you know, Jamie Oliver actually has a secret socialist agenda. Well he can pry my chicken nuggets from my COLD, DEAD HANDS!!

  • Lisa Simpson||

    "Don't you all realize that you're just been brainwashed by corporate propaganda?"

    "Apparently my 'crazy friend' has never heard of 'the food chain'."

    "Yeah, Lisa's a 'Grade A' moron!"

    "When I grow, up, I'm going to Bovine University!"

  • liberty||

    So no one can have an opinion and advocate their ideas? Jamie is wrong for advocating an idea he believes in? If that is true, like your article suggests, then no one can be an individual.

  • ||

    "The same week Oliver won his TED Prize, Michelle Obama launched a $1 billion campaign to battle childhood obesity in America. That money will likely flow in spite of the fact childhood obesity rates in America stopped rising in 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control."

    So the problem isn't getting any worse. But is it not still a problem?

  • Anthropochick||

    My hometown of Houston, Tx used to be the fattest city in the US. We likely have more fast food places per ca pita than anywhere.

    Of all the crap I pay taxes for, I'm not gonna shed tears over feeding the local kids better. For the poorest families, school lunch might be the best meal those kids get.

    And I like that Jamie is making cooking look 'hip.' And gender-neutral. My fellow 20-somethings and I - none of us know how to cook, and so we eat crap. Jamie is HELPING. Health problems cost $$$ and eating better = healthier. This is not rocket science, folks.

  • Paul Horne||

    What a pathetic argument by Reason.TV. Was this really an issue worth taking on? Lenniken is another mediocre mind playing devil's advocate because he can't think of anything important to talk about. More than half the country is overweight and it's because of the food we eat, OBVIOUSLY. We should teach our children how to eat in school because we haven't done it yet and no one is trying to do it. Go proudly eat your burger, you tool, and when you're writhing on the floor and clutching your heart in agony in a few years, you can blame it on the government.

  • Kristin||

    wow. curious how you not once addressed the repulsive yet all-pervasive influence of big agra on the USDA. perhaps you think it's a good thing that the USDA considers a french fry a vegetable? that public schools feed kids rubbish? your unbalanced article leaves me guessing.

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...the Bible's books were written by people with very different mindsets...in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it's literally a labyrinth, that's no joke.

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It's just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight...the Bible's books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on...the Bible's books were written by people with very different mindsets...in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it's literally a labyrinth, that's no joke.

  • abercrombie and fitch uk||

    "The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one."

  • abercrombie fitch uk||

    Well said. Tucker is despicable, Crossfire became despicable (despite the presence of supposed "heavyweights" like Novack and Carville), and Jon Stewart is a comedian who has never proclaimed himself to be anything else. Just because certain people here don't understand how satire works doesn't change that fact. The fact that The Daily Show has gained some cultural traction doesn't change that.

  • abercrombie uk||

    Even if you go on his website, it's still just a a ten minute discussion. The interview with Jim Cramer simply amounted to Jim sputtering something every couple of minutes while John wagged his finger at him the whole time. I've never seen him have an intelligent discussion with anybody, and he only talks to people that he knows he can bully into a corner. Usually idiots, yes, but it's still dispicable. I don't watch him that often, but it is people like him that make me wretch. The fact that people go around saying "He slammed so and so" in that "debate" pisses me off. John's not directly responsible for that, but he certainly plays his audience to get that effect.

  • ||

    The author of this article is an idiot. I should explain why but I don't have the time. If you can't see that he's an idiot, you too are an idiot.

  • ||

    I'd like to meet the person who did the nutrition comparisons quoted above, because they must have used some very unusual pita bread and oatmeal biscuit to get those figures. Was the biscuit 10 inches across?

  • ปลวก||

    In other words, there's more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I'm not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that!

  • charms||

    so love that

  • Watch NHL||

    We should teach our children how to eat in school because we haven't done it yet and no one is trying to do it.

  • Fire Sprinklers||

    Typical Jamie tactics trying to "educate" America now! He failed miserably in the UK doing exactly the same thing, my guess is he will get no further across the pond. Saying that, there is no doubt in my mind that he is a very decent guy and has only good intentions.

  • Bzac||

    That has got to be the most poorly written Straw man argument I've ever read.
    The subject matter aside , I can't belive you actualy have a law degree and write for a living, when you can't even construct a real case for the points you want to get across.
    shocking really.

  • bob in chicago||

    Bzac, it sounds like you're unable to read and process the article as it went into pretty specific details about the facts on Jamie's work. It was even balanced enough to give credit to Jamie for his earlier work. Your dumb anecdotal response quoting some "study" doesn't really counter the very specific and detailed analysis of the data in possibly the same study.

  • Bzac||

    a quick goole brings up a guardian article in which a study conducted after the UK school food program , the results? achedemic results up and absences due to illnesses down.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/educ.....ners-meals

  • Foodies Heaven||

    There is no questioning the fact that a balanced and nutrious diet can assist in a childs education, the lack of additives and preservatives which in all fairness we still do not fully understand can not help.

  • Kurt||

    Very admirable to work to get school children to eat better. That can be a very tough one.

  • jewelry||

    Thanks by share

  • RAN||

    He failed miserably in the UK doing exactly the same thing, my guess is he will get no further across the pond. | ran แรน |

  • s v||

    This article is trash. It is such trash that isn't even worth it to Summer Glau this trash. That is impressive.

  • gps coordinates||

    i think jamie oliver is doing a great job trying to get healthier foods into schools.

  • master||

  • ||

    I pay taxes for, I'm not gonna shed tears over feeding the local kids better. For the poorest families, school lunch might be the best meal those kids get. IBCBET

  • DJ Laser Lights||

    I think this is a really good idea, at least for suggestions of what to eat. Diet seems to be one of the biggest problems & learning to control yourself at a young age can be quite beneficial.

  • Weber Summit Reviews||

    It is nice to know that someone other than ourselves care about what goes into our kids bellies!

  • Onstar FMV||

    Great post! This is something that ALL parents should read!

  • bob in chicago||

    This article is so well written. I didn't watch the earlier season of the show, but "food revolution" is pretty amazing to watch this season because Oliver's total douchery prevents him from making any inroads to the cali school system. He looks like a self-righteous idiot to anyone watching the show with any common sense, it's pretty funny.

  • หนังใหม่ dvd||

    Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

  • Avtex||

    I think this has crashed and burned already, but how would we like it if some loud mouthed American came over here and told us we was killing our kids with the food we were feeding them. Come on Jamie - stop trying to save the world and do another cooking programe.

  • Fairy Tail Episodes||

    is nice to know that someone other than ourselves care about what goes into our kids bellies

  • ห้องน้ำ||

    All of the kids raised their hands and said yes. Schools provide processed food because it's cheap. Kids eat it because it's what they are used to eating.

  • ||

    You know, I think libertarians are way off the mark on the food issue in America. They miss the point that the entire problem with food in America is that it was co-opted by corporations funded my big government. I mean, I see libertarians get mixed up and become corporate shills all the time for food and environmental issues... it's a shame. Jamie Oliver is asking why, in schools that children are mandated to go to already, are we feeding them food that all fit and intelligent people know, is making them fatter and slower and weaker? The answer is that large corporations in league with government are forcefeeding our children garbage all across the country. Health and Fitness and Diet are synonymous with a pure libertarian philosophy. They are based on reason and sound principles and have been perverted by corporate interests and big government.

  • Avtex||

    Very informative read, I have a lot of time for Jamie and the inspirational work he does.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Oliver sounds like a real douchebag. Or as they say in England, "A fookin' coont"!

  • sbobet||

    You comment?

  • cam sexy||

    It's my favorite chef...

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