School Lunch Guidelines: Jamie Oliver’s Take

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When asked about the recently proposed federal guidelines for foods sold at U.S. schools, British celebrity chef and Food Revolution host Jamie Oliver says they’re “definitely a step in the right direction.” 

He is, however, concerned about how schools will fiscally implement any final rules. 

“It’s great that we’ve got new standards being put forward,” he says. “However, if the right amount of funds aren’t delivered in conjunction with the standards, then [schools] won’t be able to implement the standards.” 

Oliver believes revamping school food programs will succeed or fail based on “the training and empowerment and love given to school cooks.” Proper training, he says, will increase their motivation to help combat America’s childhood obesity epidemic. 

School cooks will “understand it, they’ll be inspired, they’ll feel important,” he says. 

“We’re not even anywhere near what needs to be put forward,” Oliver adds. “[Obesity] is killing children—your children. It’s changing the face of health and the health of Americans. And I think that we need to put into context the amount of money that needs to fix 30 and 40 years of, really, lack of investment—let’s be frank. 

“I know money is everything,” he continues, “but let’s remember how much is being spent on war every month, to put it in perspective.” 

Tonight on “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” (9 p.m. ET/PT, ABC) 

In Episode 4 of 6, Oliver realizes the importance of moving his food revolution beyond the schools to involve the entire community of Huntington, West Virginia. He organizes a 1,000-person educational cook-a-thon, with participants ranging from steelworkers and firemen to parents and government officials. 

Photo: Holly Farrell/ABC

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