Starting a Food [Education] Revolution

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution aired on U.S. television between from March 2010 and June 2011. Its star was English celebrity chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver and the show documented Oliver’s attempt to help Americans fight obesity. Oliver’s mantra was “start a revolution with real people and real change.” The first episode takes place in Huntington, West Virginia, one of the unhealthiest towns in the U.S. The show documents Oliver trying to improve the eating habits of the residents—but not without opposition.

In the second season of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Oliver visits Los Angeles, California, on a mission to change school meals. Oliver clashes with cafeteria staff over the pizza served for breakfast and the chicken nuggets and flavored milk for lunch. The show depicts the difficulty in introducing change within one of the largest school systems in the U.S. Despite the show winning an Emmy Award in 2010, it was cancelled in 2011 and Oliver was ultimately barred from filming at any Los Angeles public school. The audience is reminded that the daily schedule, student motivation, and the bureaucracies of the school system cannot be separated from the wider social, political and economic contexts in which they exist. In other words, schools are complicated organisms.

You can watch Jamie’s inspirational TED Talk, “Teach Every Child About Food” [21:53] below:

Support Media Literacy Education in the U.S.

Media literacy is an essential set of core competencies for the 21st century. Yet, it is not a required subject area in U.S. schooling (although one can argue it is an implied teaching method within the recently adopted yet highly controversial Common Core Curriculum Standards).

Most commonly, media literacy is taught through the intentional grass-roots efforts of intelligent and innovative K-12 teachers who teach subjects such as (but not limited to) English, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Health. Media literacy education has also organically emerged through after school programs, community center offerings, and religious curricula.

The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) was established, in part, to coalesce these grass-roots efforts. Please show your support to media literacy education in the United States by making a donation (of whatever size) to this non-profit organization. Other ways you can support media literacy education in the U.S.: