Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Fighting for a Food Revolution

Huntington, West Virginia, is one of the most unhealthy cities in the United States (according to a 2006 CDC report). For the past couple weeks, I’ve been watching chef Jamie Oliver tackle the city’s health issues in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. But why Huntington? According to the Associated Press:

Nearly half the adults in Huntington’s five-county metropolitan area are obese–an astounding percentage, far bigger than the national average in a country with a well-known weight problem.

Huntington leads in a half-dozen other illness measures, too, including heart disease and diabetes. It’s even tops in the percentage of elderly people who have lost all their teeth (half of them have).

On the show, many Huntington folks are underwhelmed with Oliver. He’s presented by the show’s producers as the interloper, often chided by the villain, a local radio DJ and self-appointed representative of the townspeople. Less than an unwillingness to eat better, the angry DJ seems to represent the community’s unwillingness to change and an immature defensiveness.

Despite vocal protests, the celebrity chef rallies–albeit over the course of several months–the elementary school cooks, the high school students who love their french fries, and the reluctant city officials. In exchange for processed chicken nuggets and sugar-loaded strawberry milk comes local produce and homemade dishes. In fact, Oliver is earnest, funny, and willing to wear a padded green pea costume.

Last Friday’s episode was especially heart-tugging (perhaps even manipulative?) in its presentation of high school kids cooking up a three-course meal for the city’s bigwigs. The cynic in me thought that the roster of student cooks looked a bit like “types,” ala Glee or The Real World (or even The Breakfast Club, for all of us who grew up in 80’s America): the football star, the pretty but damaged popular girl, the outcasts and rebels, all coming together and forgetting their comfortable cliques. Of course, the bleeding heart in me thought the cast of high school cooks was sincere and represented a real desire to grow. When one of the most troubled students joins his buddies in the kitchen after appearing in juvie, you can’t help but admire his headstrong will.

For several months now, I’ve been trying to eat more healthy. It’s a challenge. Trading in processed food for greens and soy milk is a definite change after nearly four decades of binging on greasy pizza, packaged frozen foods, and fried everything (I’m being honest now). Eating better, more local, is a little like learning a new language. Uphill at first, with a necessary commitment and willingness to change.

Let’s hope that, like me, other Americans will choose fresh food over fast food. Jaime Oliver’s fast-paced show–in addition to Michelle Obama’s new Let’s Move! campaign–may contribute to longer and healthier lives.

Advertisements

Filed under: food, health, television, , , , , , ,

Women’s Rights, Rape Awareness, and A Request for Michelle Obama

It may be common knowledge that rape is a tool of war: creating fear among citizens, degrading and demoralizing women (and their loved ones).

How do we fight this shameful injustice? Shed light on the ways rape continues in so many nations unpunished and ignored? Bring awareness to women’s inequality outside the U.S.?

During the recent “Women in the World” conference, Ghanaian activist Leymah Gbowee made a simple proposition to First Lady Michelle Obama: call together the first ladies of 10 African nations to discuss women’s rights.

At the First Lady’s invitation, they would “come running.”

Filed under: africa, global justice, women, , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Visitor Map

Locations of Site Visitors

RSS Recent Posts from Towleroad

  • New Study Finds Gay Relationships Are Often Happier Than Heterosexual Ones
    A new study has found that gay couples tend to have better relationships when compared with their heterosexual counterparts. The study, titled “Sexual Identity and Relationship Quality in Australia and the United Kingdom,” examined the relationship q… Read The post New Study Finds Gay Relationships Are Often Happier Than Heterosexual Ones appeared first on T […]
  • In New Video, Morrissey Corrects the Record, Says He Was Grilled by Secret Service Over Anti-Trump Remarks
    In a new video posted to his nephew’s YouTube account, Morrissey is defending himself against an article that appeared earlier this year that appeared in the German publication Der Spiegel. “Please, please, don’t believe what other… Read The post In New Video, Morrissey Corrects the Record, Says He Was Grilled by Secret Service Over Anti-Trump Remarks appear […]
  • Trump Is Afraid of Firing Mueller
    President Trump has ended speculation he may fire special counsel Robert Mueller, after Trump’s team’s recent attacks on the credibility of the ex-FBI director’s probe into Russian collusion. With Mueller’s investigation making its way into the… Read The post Trump Is Afraid of Firing Mueller appeared first on Towleroad.
  • Man Arrested After Trying to Trade Chicken Alfredo and Sprite for Sex with Underage Male: WATCH
    A 22-year-old student at Youngstown State University in Ohio was arrested last week in a sting by police after offering Chicken Alfredo and Sprite for underage sex. Albert Maruna IV was arrested after making the arrangements with a police officer pos… Read The post Man Arrested After Trying to Trade Chicken Alfredo and Sprite for Sex with Underage Male: WATC […]
  • Pressure grows on UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to Veto Bermuda Gay Marriage Repeal
    UK lawmaker Boris Johnson is under pressure to overrule a ban on same-sex marriage in Bermuda. In May, the British overseas territory legalized same-sex marriage but reversed that ruling last week. The new law requires the signature of British Govern… Read The post Pressure grows on UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to Veto Bermuda Gay Marriage Repeal appea […]

Polls

RSS Breaking News from The Daily Beast

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Pics from Africa 2010

About Me

https://rsiasoco.wordpress.com/about/

About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

Top Clicks

  • None

Categories