USA VS Jamie Oliver
When is a potato a tomato? Check out the promo for Jamie Oliver’s TV show and weep. Oliver took his healthy eating gospel to Huntington, West Virginia last week, only to be told to sling his hook. Huntington is the most unhealthy place in the world, apparently. The city was recently named by the Centre for Disease Control as the least healthy city in the least healthy state of America. Jamie shows kids eating pizza, McNuggets and something called ‘reconstituted potato pearls’ even for breakfast, but when he tried convincing them to change diet he was trashed by the locals.
West Virginians were never going to be happy about being told off by a finger-wagging foreigner, but the technique had worked here in the UK, where a pair of recent polls showed that Britain now has better eating habits than France, thanks to farmers’ markets, gastropubs and more time spent cooking at home.
The losers in all of this are the good people of W Virginia and other states where vested interests manipulate eating habits. Americans are brilliant at mobilising positive campaigns for better conditions; it remains to be seen if they can defeat the giants of fast food manufacture.