Jamie Oliver is launching a Food Revolution across America, one unhealthy Appalachian city at a time.
Jamie wasn't satisfied by simply trying to improve the eating habits of people in England, so he hopped the pond and launched his very own American revolution at an elementary school in Huntington, West Virginia. His journey hasn't been easy, folks. So far, he's had to deal with a curmudgeonly radio DJ, an especially jaded lunch lady, and the emotional burial of a perfectly functional deep fryer. And all that before the pizza breakfast was even served! The horror!
If we learned anything on tonight's episode, it's that people in West Virginia love two things: funny haircuts, and chicken nuggets, both of which can be detrimental to the human body in large quantities. Jamie thought if he showed the kids how chicken nuggets were made, they wouldn't want to eat them anymore. So, he did what any of us would have done—grabbed a knife and started hacking at an old chicken carcass like Michael Myers after enrolling in summer classes at Le Cordon Bleu.
The kids looked on in disgust and horror as Jamie threw the chicken guts into a food processor, and ground the bones up into a revolting looking red paste that eerily resembled a tomato sauce I once saw Sandra Lee whip up on an episode of Semi-Homemade. Thinking his job had been done, Jamie smugly asked, "okay now, who would still eat this?" One by one, the kids all raised their hands. They still wanted the nuggets, ultimately making his experiment a total fail.
In the most emotional scene of the night (it is ABC, after all), Jamie met up with a bunch of first graders who couldn't identify a tomato or a potato. Jamie suddenly started to cry. I wasn't sure if it was because the kids couldn't discern broccoli from cauliflower, or because he just realized he was running out of flowers to name his daughters after.
Saddened by the incident with the first graders and still licking the wounds from his earlier nugget defeat, Jamie decided to dress up like a pea in a desperate attempt to get the kids excited about the healthy lunch they'd be served later that day. As it turned out, the children still didn't eat their veggies. But on the up side, they'll all be able to check "witness grown man actin' a fool" off of their bucket lists.
All jokes aside, Jamie seemed genuinely passionate about introducing healthier eating options to a city that's clearly in desperate need of help (after all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did just label Huntington the nation's unhealthiest city). It's hard to tell what resistance was real and what was edited in for ratings, but the local DJ and the lunch lady came across as unnecessarily rude to him. They need to check their bad attitudes at the door, because this is the first generation of children that may actually have a life expectancy shorter than that of their parents. And that's not something that should be scoffed at.
Stay tuned next week, when Jamie takes on the older crew at Huntington High School! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to throw away all of the chicken nuggets in my freezer.