Apparently the Revolution WON’T Be Televised …
Last week I wrote about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, and while I took some issue with his cost models and plans for implementation, I agreed with his core point: our country is rapidly becoming ‘the land of the morbidly obese’, and rather than worrying about ‘long form birth certificates’ or who won celebrity whatever, we should get up off our butts and DO something about it!
So what should we do about it? Apparently the answer is that school districts will learn to shut Oliver out, and his response to the lock-out will make for bad TV, and so the ABC network will see viewership drop and yank the show … probably to replace it with some reality show that exploits teenagers since that is all the rage. Or the huge agro-businesses making profits selling schools low-cost prefab foods put loads of pressure on ABC?
According to this report from the Hollywood Reporter:
ABC has pulled the the Ryan Seacrest-produced reality series, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, from the schedule during May sweeps.
The show, which follows Oliver as he tries to change the way kids and adults eat at home and in school, will air its four remaining episodes beginning Friday, June 3 at 9 p.m.
Food Revolution has dropped in the ratings in its second season, with the premiere slipping nearly 40 percent from last year’s series debut.
As I said, I have some issues with Oliver’s math when it comes to cost models – but not with the basic idea that our kids are obese and the eating habits just keep getting worse and worse and worse. Feeding our kids junk is a HUGE industry that has no problem stomping and steamrolling whatever gets in their way – including the kids. We are truly living through the beginnings Idiocracy (even if I thought that movie was crap).
Perhaps I should be wearing a tin-foil hat for this, but I believe that with Season #2 Jamie’s Food Revolution was set up to fail. If I wasn’t on the mailing list I would have had no idea the show was returning – it came back on April 12th (not mid-season, not summer … just kinda ‘whenever’) with VERY little advertisement at a different day and time from last year.
After a second episode aired it was then pre-empted without warning (i.e. it appeared in my newspaper but not that night) two weeks in a row. In other words – it was a mess.
Yet it is clear that there is interest – thousands of people emailing in LA alone, hundreds of thousands of people across the country involved. But that interest – and the associated demands for change – will undoubtedly wane when the pressure and spotlight is off, and folks can go back to ‘the good old days’ or flavored milk and packing their kids a lunch of chips, brownies and soda.
In a week where there is so much jingoistic blood-lust over Osama Bin Laden, let us remember that the effects of our out of control food obsession kill more kids every year than terrorism EVER will, and that the money we saved in medical costs dealing with the after-effects of this health crisis could pay for whatever increased food costs. But that doesn’t matter to most people …