Jamie Oliver’s work changing school lunches is nothing new for him. What he is attempting to do in W. Virginia he started in 2004 in England with his Feed Me Better program. Well the test results on the project are in and we can say Jamie gets good marks too.
A group of economists in the UK were told “that the healthier school dinners introduced by the celebrity chef had not only significantly improved pupils’ test results, but also cut the number of days they were off sick.”
You can read more in this article from the Guardian
Basically here are the results:
-Absenteeism was down 15% which one can assume was due to better health. This is very significant not only as a reflection of students school attendance, and future school performance, but perhaps more importantly their long term health. If changes made early improve health and create better eating habits this has the potential to be life changing for these kids. Better health will lead to better quality of life, more productivity, reduced future medical issues, which will create less of a burden on the health care system…something that we in America need to pay close attention to.
-Test results improved for most of the kids. (The results were not as significant for lower income kids which could mean many different things from poor food at home, less parental attention to their studies or just that it will take longer for them to see change.) Teachers said that students were noticeably calmer in class so they were also more attentive. Maybe all of the ADD/ADHD kids in America are experiencing is from the food they are eating and so drugs are not the solution but rather healthy food.
-Asthmatic kids needed to use their inhalers less. It is alarming how much asthma (and diabetes) has grown among kids but encouraging to see proof that a change in diet made a difference here. Interesting how many benefits can come from a change in diet.
I hate to say it but we have been like guinea pigs experimented upon with these new food-products and it looks as if we have become sick from much of what we have been given to eat. Now we see that by returning to real food that is not processed or created in a lab, we can heal ourselves, our children and family and our countries. And just in the nick of time.
This is a study that was able to really take a look at changing kids’ diet and what it brings and we see a significant improvement.
Returning to cooking from scratch has many other benefits as well. It could provide opportunity for more local products to be used, improving employment opportunities on farms, reducing transportation costs for food and reducing packaging that uses valuable resources and then creates trash. Cooking our own food allows us to know what we are really eating and provides us with more nutritious food. This potentially supports agriculture, and smaller farms, rather than processors of food like substances. This brings our attention to where our money should be going when it comes to food….not to fancy packages, or advertising campaigns but rather what we are actually putting in our bodies.
How sad that when Jamie Oliver was on David Letterman he commented that the only way Americans could lose weight was with diet pills! It is time to come off the pharmaceuticals and do what we need to do. This is such an easy, cost effective solution to a problem that reaches into many areas within society:
Agricultural use of chemicals leading to polluted water,
Loss of fertile soil,
The breakdown of farming communities,
Childhood obesity that leads to adult obesity, bringing with it many illnesses that cost all of society and on and on….
It is great to see someone taking this on in such a big way. In a way it makes me wonder that it took someone from another country to gain so much attention but in effect who cares? Here is the link to Jamie’s web site so you can see more about the changes he is making in one school in W. Virginia and throughout the community there.
Let the change continue and grow.
Be a part of the Food Revolution.