Sorry, Jamie Oliver, but it’s going to be more Evolution than Revolution.

My wife and I totally got into that initial burst of Jamie Oliver episodes, where he tried to convince West Virginians in the world’s fattest town to eat better, starting in the school cafeteria. It was as bracing a reality show as I’ve watched recently. (And I’ve watched The Voice.)

Olive Garden just took shakes and fries off their kids menu. We're tryin', Jamie. We're tryin'.

When he showed the kids how chicken fingers are basically fried garbage, and then gave them a choice between a healthy chicken and some punched-out chicken gross-out fingers, and then the kids chose the familiar fingers…well, that was great and terrible TV.

Still, somehow, he made the viewer believe (at least while watching) that change is possible here in America.

Meanwhile, the statistics remain pretty bleak. Patience and hope is what’s called for.

In the hope department, Olive Garden is healthing-up their kid’s menu. Shakes and fries are out.

(I won’t ruin the moment by pointing out that chicken fingers and mounds of buttery breadsticks are way, way in.)


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    1. I totally agree. I don’t tend to get caught up in most reality shows, but that was fascinating, and he was so apparently sincere and determined. I can’t think of too much television I’ve seen more riveting and memorable than when he grinds up the chicken bits into a paste to make nuggets from: waiting to see what the kids would do was as tense as a season-ending episode of Breaking Bad. (Okay, not that tense, but tense.) And then when the kids chose the gross, paste-formed nugget it was like watching a lead character get shot (to extend the cable-drama analogy). I recently went to check out his site; it’s still actively campaigning for healthier lunches. So I don’t think it was a passing fad for him, or hope it isn’t. But that West Virginia initial burst is still the most memorable. (Oh, and the lunch lady characters were so perfectly cast, only they weren’t cast…)

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