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.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mary Cook on final episode

Mary Cook works at Village of Barboursville Elementary as cafeteria manager. She is a resident of Barboursville and has been employed by the Cabell County Board of Education for 19 years. Before Village of Barboursville Elementary, she worked at Cabell Midland High School as a cook and Huntington High as a cafeteria manager. She graduated from Marshall University and has worked in some form of the food industry since she was 14. She had her own catering business for 10 years. She was president of the Parent-Teacher Association at Barboursville Elementary School for four years and Cabell County PTA president for two years. She has two children, three stepchildren and eight grandchildren.

I thought that the final episode had a different feel to it then previous shows. I felt that the Jamie's journey was quite interesting, he is a go getter and very motivational. This show was what I was waiting for! He has dogged the school system (Cabell) and school meals everywhere, but until tonight hasn't mentioned the fact that most bag lunches don't compare to the nutrition we have been feeding our students for several years. It's Reality TV so of course they are going to pick the worst meals provided by schools. Let it be known that the majority of our meals ARE FIXED FROM SCRATCH!! In the elementary, we had pizza menued only 1 or 2 times a month. We served spaghetti, beef a roni, nachos, wheat hot rolls, etc. all of which were made from scratch.
I think that the show was very hard on the USDA and didn't mention the fresh fruit and vegetables that come through them. Some of the foods do need to be changed out but by allowing us to purchase foods at lower costs we are able to bring in more fresh items to offer students. I don't agree with Jamie about the flavored milk. There is a lot of information out there that contradicts the value of flavored milk. It seemed that Jamie is still laying the decisions yah or nay on Rhonda McCoy. I'm not sure that the majority of these decisions are really up to her, if so, Rhonda I need a raise.
I think that the show made us all aware of the problem and maybe we will make better choices in what is served in our schools, brought in a bag or lunch box, and purchased for our families. It scary to think about the life expectancy of our grandchildren being shortened. I hope that our way of looking at food and what we eat will stay with us. I'm not sure that we can afford the price of fresh or organic. I don't like preservatives or additives being put in my food.
I would have liked for them to address the cost of the food. I know that the food bills at my school have jumped and I am not serving as much variety as I was before we started the chef's menu. My school has been doing these menus since November, the student's are doing better with the new foods. I never thought I would see the day that the students seem happy to get cooked broccoli or are happy to have baked beans. Today I heard that if we continue with these meals it could cost $6.00 a meal (I don't know if this rumor is true.) On Monday, my school starts the biggest loser. Wish me luck.