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.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Amy Gannon is a registered dietitian who lives and practices in Charleston. She earned an undergraduate degree in human nutrition and foods from West Virginia University and completed a master’s degree and dietetic internship at Marshall University. In 2005, she earned a Certificate of Training in Pediatric and Adolescent Weight Management from the American Dietetic Association. She has been a consultant dietitian for the HealthyKids Weight Management Program at Charleston Area Medical Center for five years. She has experience in clinical dietetics, sales, community nutrition and higher education. She is currently serving as president of the W.Va. Dietetic Association and works as a youth specialist for WVU Extension Service- Family Nutrition Programs. In addition, Gannon is an adjunct professor for the Marshall University School of Medicine and owns a private consultative nutrition practice in Charleston.

What was the episode’s theme?

The theme of this episode was garnering community resources. Obviously Jamie wants to make the changes sustainable and he knows that it will take the resources of the whole community pulling together to do so.

What wasn’t addressed?

I feel like Jamie needs to address the nutrient difference of his meals verses the "regular" school meals. It is obvious that his meals are less processed, but how do they stack up in terms of calories, fat, vitamins, minerals, etc? His recipes seem nutrient rich. I love that he throws extra vegetables into everything- even sloppy joes! I think he should work with some registered dietitians in the Huntington area to look at the healthfulness of his meals and use this to gain support for his food.

I also believe some information was left out about the milk issue. Jamie said "milk is milk"- meaning that students will drink whatever is put before them. While the logic behind this is somewhat right, even flavored milk is nutrient rich. Milk is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamins A & D, and lots of other nutrients. It is an exaggeration to say that flavored milk has more sugar than soda- much of the sugar in flavored milk is from naturally occurring lactose. However, I do agree with Jamie that children drink too many calories from sugar. Not everything we drink should be sweet, but it seems like we are raising a generation who doesn't understand this. Should flavored milk have a lower sugar content?- absolutely. Is flavored milk an important tool to encourage kids to get enough calcium and vitamin D?- yes.

How were Huntington/ the school system portrayed?

Very positively. Even Alice started coming around during this episode. I loved how the students all came together to show support for Jamie's food and try something new. I also LOVED how the food environment changed in Central City's cafeteria. What a difference several months made. Teachers were working with students during meal times and the children were actually consuming the food. Even when the wrong type of chicken was ordered, no one panicked. It would have been very easy to give in and use the processed chicken. Instead, everyone pitched in and changed gears at the last minute. The crisis was diverted. I think it was a real testament to the way in which people were adapting to the new food environment.

Any progress made?

Certainly. This episode not only showed how the students were accepting the food, but how the community was starting to accept the changes as well. Cabell Huntington Hospital was getting on board, and people seemed to enjoy the green bus which served locally produced foods. It seemed like progress was really starting to happen.