Monday, March 29, 2010

in which I share more of my opinions

I have a feeling this might be a longish post, and those are almost always boring. Sorry about that. Blame Heidi and Amy. I usually skip long posts on the blogs I read, because I'm SO BUSY, and I just can't sit still for very long, you know? It's okay for the first five or ten hours, but then you start getting sore.

Anyway, we watched the second episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on Saturday night, and first of all? He is not a convincing liar. A much more believable defense would have been to say, "The mother and I cooked a week's worth of meals of the food they typically buy, and once we got it out onto the table, it made the hair on our arms stand up." That way he wouldn't be betraying her, but he could still argue his way out of his insensitive, but truthful, comments. Plus it's true--she was sicked out by it. Now, I know that newspapers don't do a great job of keeping comments in context (having recently had an article published about my husband in which he is quoted as saying he has no brothers), but still. You could tell he was doing a little bit of a shell game there.

Then he made me mad by dismissing the chicken carcass as the gross part of the chicken. Yeah, you don't want to stick it on your plate and tuck in with a knife and fork, and I understand that he was trying to make a point, but my word. From a thrift and ethics standpoint it is irresponsible to portray the carcass as a disgusting thing that should be thrown away. Make some broth. Or don't, but don't teach the kids that it shouldn't be used. It's the same drum I'm always beating, but an animal has given its life for you to eat. Show some respect. Show some gratitude.

I was perturbed that they singled out only one son of the family for the YOU ARE KILLING YOURSELF AND ALSO AMERICA treatment. What about that sixteen-year-old who can barely breathe? What about the four-year-old Mama Cass (don't be hatin'--I love Mama Cass, but you've got to admit she was big)? Shouldn't they maybe be tested?

When he brought in all the parents and showed them WHAT GARBAGE THIS SCHOOL FEEDS YOUR CHILDREN there was a lovely moment of cognitive dissonance when one of the moms was decrying the laziness of the school cooks. Direct quote: "Is it easier for them to cook that, than to give, you know, our kids something healthier? That isn't processed." Gee, I don't know, mom, is it? Would your kids happen to be some of those who eat chicken nuggets every day? Maybe they aren't. Maybe you eat great food. And yeah, the cooks were probably thinking they don't get paid enough to be cutting up produce and using ingredients, dirtying knives and opening who knows how many jars, but this is a problem with plenty of accountability to share among the cooks, the government, and most of all the parents. They knew this was happening. If it's anything like our school, there is a menu sent home every month with the kids. If you don't want your kids eating garbage, then stop giving it to them.

Hmmph. Now I'm all upset to launch into my next topic. My friend Heidi asked me what I thought about this, and I say that if Walmart is going to encourage polycultures and small farmers and organics, and make produce, ingredients, and actual FOOD more accessible and affordable, then more power to them. It's progress toward conducting business responsibly. But my hatred of Walmart is so deep-seated, and springs from so many, many sources, that this does not redeem them for me. They are the easiest to hate because they are the biggest (and the most egregious offender), and yes, I do shop at big box stores. But not when I don't have to, and I'm one of the lucky people who aren't forced to shop at Walmart. So I don't, and I'm not going to start now--industry is not the remedy for what ails us. It's certainly a step in the right direction, and John believes that it may possibly perhaps not sure, but might (he put so many qualifiers on it that I'm not sure if he actually thinks this) be a catalyst that effects a sea change in the way people behave. I think he might be right. But a business does not have a soul, and it does not know right from wrong. All it knows is profit and loss, and when the right and responsible thing is not profitable, it is abandoned for the good of the business. The answer to our problems--whether it be supporting ethically-run businesses or feeding our children properly--is in our hands and is our responsibility. Get off my lawn!

Now for a palate cleanser. Have you seen the Clairol print ad featuring Angela Kinsey? It is terrible! For whatever reason, the colors in the ad are adjusted to a point where her hair matches almost perfectly her orange tweed suit. Why, oh why, would they think that women in that demographic want orange hair? Stupid.


highdeekay said...

So are we shopping at Walmart together now or what? I hear they have a great deal on orange hair dye.

just sayin'...

when should E and I come see babies?

Layne said...

Whenever you want--just give me a call.

Amy said...

I was so surprised when they said that little girl was 4. And, I thought the same thing when that mom said what she said about the schools feeding her kids junk.

Yes, it is our responsibility to feed our kids good food, but, I sure got upset when I found out that after we were feeding our daughter oatmeal, she was arriving at the school and polishing off a bowl of Cocoa Puffs. Of course, as responsible parents we were able to put an end to that. But, really. Cocoa Puffs? Kind of made me sick to see that jam packed lunchroom full of free lunch kids eating one of their two meals at the school every morning after that.