Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There's a food revolution going down in Matthews

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Did you watch Jamie Oliver's "Food Revolution" show? I did. And, I couldn't help but wonder how we got into the habit of eating so much crap.

I know when I was in high school, way back in the early 1990s, we were offered piles of junk food every day — at lunch and during "snack time." (Yes, we had snack time all throughout my primary school years.) The "food" offered consisted mainly of candy, cookies, soda, highly processed pizza, meat-like substances, instant potatoes ... and the list goes on. Oh, and we were greeted in the commons area each morning by the baseball team selling sausage biscuits for a dollar.

Most of my friends blew their lunch money at snack time, and, I admit, I often did, too. That meant our bodies were fueled on little more than sugar, fat, salt and chemicals for the entire day. It's amazing any of us graduated, but it's not surprising so many of us are overweight today. Our system failed to teach us how to eat.

My parents, granola kids that they are, tried. But once I'd been exposed to processed junk food I couldn't get enough. So, the argument that it's the parent's responsibility, not the school's responsibility, doesn't hold up in my case.

With all of that in mind, I watched "Food Revolution" with great interest and wished Jamie Oliver, or someone with a similar message, had infiltrated my school. The administration and staff sure could've used the advice.

So, it should be no surprise to learn that I got excited when I saw this story from The Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly:

Meet Dr. Jonathan Ritz and Tori Grout: Matthews’ very own revolutionaries. Of food, that is.

Their inspiration? British chef and TV personality Jamie Oliver who became well-known throughout America last year, when he debuted “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.” Filmed in Huntington, West Virginia, Oliver took on the challenge of changing the eating habits of one of America’s unhealthiest cities. And now, there’s a group of local residents eager to do the same here. Dubbed the Matthews Food Revolution, the group’s mission is to ensure access to fresh, flavorful, nutritious food for Matthews residents. The four-month-old group already boasts about 30 members.

Watching Oliver’s show from her Matthews’ home, Grout, 31, was convicted to impact her community in a similar way.

“We want better food for our community,” she said.

An organic personal chef and yoga instructor, Grout first became health-conscious with her eating choices when doctors began putting her on several different medications for a variety of health issues. It was then that she decided to rely less on prescription medicine and eat more nutritious and less-processed foods.

“The food companies have taught us we are too stupid to make our own ingredients,” Grout said.

It wasn’t long after making the change, that she began seeing huge improvements in her health. By making meals from scratch, using more whole foods and relying less on pre-made meals, Grout was able to toss most of her prescription medications.

When Oliver’s “Food Revolution” swept America, Grout was ready to make a difference in more lives then just those of her family and clients.

Read the rest of this article, by Erica Oglesby, here.

Further reading: The meat industry feels the heat as the sustainable-food movement gains force — Grist.org

Do your kids know what vegetables are, because these kids don't:

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