Friday, April 15, 2011

Food News from La La Land


Too much to do today, so I'll leave you with this story one of my students told me about. From PoliticusUSA:

ABC’s Food Revolution May Have Prompted Change in LA Schools’ Lunches

This season “Food Revolution” is filming in Los Angeles, even though the Los Angeles Unified School District refused Oliver and his show access.
They knew exactly who he was. I'm not surprised, since this is Los Angeles, my old hometown. The place is very show-business savvy, and knows the power of entertainers. I should know, I grew up around them. My little sister's husband is an actor. Her ex-husband is a film editor. Her best friends growing up were daughters of directors and talent agents. Oh, and my 12th grade English teacher was a scriptwriter who was later the mayor of Malibu, twice.

But enough about my growing up in an outer borough of Tinsel Town. Back to the story.

But today, just one day after the premier of Jamie’s show, the LAUSD suddenly announced a new menu.
Why do I have a feeling that the school board read the channel listings and planned this in advance?

Since he wasn’t allowed access, Oliver had the parents bring the school food to him for the first episode of his LA show. The school food was a disgusting blend of what looked like “airplane” or prison food wrapped and cooked in plastic, off site. Oliver demonstrated how ammonia is added to ground beef that our children eat in schools, but doesn’t need to be listed as an ingredient because it’s used as part of a “process” and not an actual ingredient, per the USDA. Lord knows we wouldn’t want the government to tell us what to eat.
My student told me about "red slime." It was disgusting.

Today, LA Times blog reports that, “LAUSD fired back with a revamped menu that officials won’t attribute to Oliver’s pressure but instead said has been in the works for some time. Among the new entrees, beginning next school year, will be Salvadorean beef stew, chicken tandoori, Asian pad thai, California sushi roll and teriyaki beef and broccoli with brown rice.”
Sounds yummy and very in keeping with the diverse student bodies of my old home town.

It should be noted that the LAUSD has a new superintendent, but they denied that Food Revolution had anything to do with the changes.
Yeah, right.

Let’s just say that the sunshine of Food Revolution’s cameras didn’t hurt.
I'm with Sarah Jones of PoliticusUSA on this one.

There's more, including a video, at the link.

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