Locals review "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution"
"Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" focuses on Oliver's efforts in Huntington in 2009 to promote healthier eating habits by encouraging food preparation from fresh ingredients. Those efforts were focused on local schools, families and a kitchen to teach people how to cook. Each week, we will have local residents weigh in on the episodes.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tyson Compton, a native of Louisa, Ky., has served as president of the Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau since February 2009. Compton came to Huntington from the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, where he was marketing director for 14 years. Prior to that, he was marketing director for a magazine publishing group in Los Angeles. Compton serves on the boards of Leadership Tri-State, the Southeast Tourism Society, Boyd County Foundation for Children, Youth Leadership and Clear Channel Radio Local Advisory Board. He is also a member of Huntington Rotary and is actively involved with Create Huntington. He is a graduate of Community Leadership Development, a member of ACTC/OU Diversity Committee and a member of the Country Music Highway Action Team.

What was the second episode’s theme?
For me, the main theme of the second episode centered on education in relation to what we eat. I found the scene where Jamie cut up the chicken carcass to make chicken nuggets fascinating. Don’t think I’ll be eating those any more! He continued the education process with the Edwards family, with the students, their parents and the school staff.

What wasn’t addressed?
I would really like to have seen some information on how the American diet has evolved (or devolved) over the years. Obviously, our habits didn’t develop overnight, but rather it would seem that our reliance on processed food came from the need for convenience on the consumer side and profitability at any cost on the producer side.
It would also be interesting to see the actual costs of the school meals before and after Jamie.

How were Huntington/ the school system portrayed?
I am so proud of the Huntington residents and school system employees that have participated to this point. A wide range of emotions and reactions has been displayed throughout this process and they can’t be viewed as right or wrong. They are all valid because they are real. I’m even rethinking my feelings about Jamie’s tears in the first episode as I found myself tearing up more than once as I watched this episode. I found the Edwards family to be very inspiring and I think that will be the case with families across the country. And I think the school officials and employees showed a lot of grit and pride. Watching those little guys proudly identify their vegetables after the teacher worked with them was awesome.

How incredible is it to see our city featured on a national television program that is being viewed by millions across the country? I would say that you can’t buy publicity like that. Bu you actually can – it would just cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’m anxious to offer my support to EMO and Huntington’s Kitchen, not just for what it has to offer our local community, but so that we can have visitors outside the area experience the kitchen and take back their positive comments on the Food Revolution to their hometowns.

Any progress made?
I definitely feel some progress is being made. Getting the parents of the young students behind the effort was a huge step forward. The visit to the doctor with the Edwards family was a stark eye opener for individuals of every age and seeing the kids enjoy the meal at the end showed that change is possible. Jamie’s got my support now and I’m anxious to see what’s next.