Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (Ep. 3): 'French Fries Are Vegetables!'
On last week's episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Jamie was tormented by a resentful lunch lady, insulted by a rude DJ, and depressed by a bunch of first graders who couldn't discern a potato from a tomato. Ah, yes. Just another day in the life of a man trying to change the eating habits of stubborn West Virginia city!
This week, Jamie left the world of chicken nugget–obsessed elementary school kids behind and set his sights on a bunch of teenagers obsessed with french fries, Lady Gaga, and Ugg boots—otherwise known as "the student body of Huntington High School."
Jamie quickly found himself disgusted by the unhealthy menu choices at Huntington High and even heckled a few of the students about their poor lunch choices. "You're obviously foxy young chicks," he said, as he cornered two young women walking into the cafeteria. "You've got carbs [in your basket], and milk with more sugar than a soda. Does this worry you at this beautiful age that you're at?"
"Not really," the girls replied, as they giggled and blew past him to eat their fried chicken sandwiches and make fun of the phrase "foxy young chicks." And in a slightly related story, I think that's the pick-up line my grandfather used on my grandmother.
Jamie was clearly upset by the sheer amount of french fry chowage (technical term) going on around him, so he took the opportunity to send out a sternly worded warning about overindulging in their deliciousness.
"Do I love french fries?" he asked sarcastically. "The french fry is one of the most beautiful things on the planet. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. But you eat those little babies every day, and your heinie's gonna get bigger than Godzilla's jacksie!"
(At first, I thought he said "bigger than Godzilla's TAXI." Darn that pesky British accent!)
The next day (or "who the heck knows when," in reality TV timing), Jamie went back to Huntington High to prepare a healthier lunch for the students there. However, he soon caught the wrath of food services director Rhonda McCoy because his veggie stir fry didn't contain a full "cup and a fourth" of vegetables per serving. Amazingly enough, Rhonda made this determination just by eyeballing his stir-fry! Wow, she's so talented! If she ever loses her job with the school district, she could have a lucrative career with the FBI.
Much to Jamie's dismay, Rhonda put the previously booted french fries back on the menu to comply with the state-mandated rules and regulations (read: ridiculous red tape). And this, my friends, was the part in the episode where Jamie's head about exploded at the thought of french fries being considered vegetables:
Fed up with Rhonda's decision and determined to overthrow the broken bureaucracy of her troubled state, Jamie staged a revolt and declared "NO MORE FRENCH FRIES" halfway through the lunch service. He took matters into his own hands, and actually ran around the cafeteria grabbing students' uneaten french fries out of their trays with tongs. The horror!
Along with several bitter Alice-isms ("the chicken was dry!"), last night's episode also centered on six Huntington High students who all had very personal reasons for wanting to eat healthier. One girl lost her father to obesity, and another was so overweight herself that a doctor had recently told her she might only have seven months to live. The kids were likable and their stories were emotional, and you couldn't help but root for them to succeed.
The episode ended with a series of stressful scenes that felt more Top Chef than Food Revolution. Jamie asked the students to prepare a meal for 80 of Huntington's big shots in an effort to raise $80,000 to train all the school cooks in the area. Ultimately, they fell short of their monetary goal, but they gained the support of their state senator and publicly committed themselves to eating healthier. And isn't that really what it's all about?
Did you watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution last night? What do you think about his project and the way he's being treated by some of the people in Huntington?