Continuing the Food Revolution in Sacramento

Continuing The Food Revolution In Sacramento

Thu 23 Jan 2014

Story by Jamie Oliver

Earlier this month in California, I was pleased to find that school meals have come a long way. Nearly 90% of schools in California are meeting the updated meal standards successfully. Half of all schools reported moving to more scratch cooking to serve healthier meals. That’s quite an improvement.

During my day in Sacramento, I congratulated their work and continued talk about food education. The morning started with a warm welcome from Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a big proponent of scratch cooking and healthy eating as the leader of the “Farm-to-Fork Capitol of America.”

Watch the footage on CBS Sacramento.

We then went onto a scratch-cooking demo aboard the Big Rig Teaching Kitchen, where I taught participants how to cook the perfect pancake. The boxed stuff has unnecessary ingredients that nobody can pronounce and aren’t good for you. This recipe is healthy and will get you reaching for your mixing bowls more often.

Read more about it in the Sacramento Bee.

As part of a 40-week tour that began in September 2013, The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA), in partnership with The California Endowment brings free classes and food education aboard the “Big Rig Mobile Kitchen Classroom” to underserved communities across the state. The perfect pancake is just one of the many free cooking classes offered.

To find out more information about the Big Rig Teaching Kitchen tour in California and to sign up for classes, click here.

While I witnessed many positive changes in school meals, there are still some improvements to be made. After all, food education begins with the meals served at school.

I joined California Endowment President and CEO Dr. Robert K. Ross and Senior Vice President Daniel Zingale, to walk the halls of the capitol and meet with state legislators to talk about delivering the healthiest and most appealing food and drinks during mealtimes at school. Two areas we need to improve are school kitchen infrastructure and access to water.

During my meeting with Speaker of the Assembly John Perez, we focused on the water issue. Nearly half of California schools don’t offer free water to students at mealtime. He handed me a sample of water from a local school that was plain dirty. How can we put someone on the moon and not have clean water in the schools? That’s just embarrassing. It’s time for us to get grumpy and sort this out.

Finally, I met with fellow chefs, Alice Waters and Chef Ann Cooper to talk about some of the solutions and how we can spread food education. Watch our Google Hangout, moderated by Dr. Ross here:

All in all, the day proved we have the opportunity to continue the tide of change in 2014 that will not only help keep kids healthy, but also help our children succeed in school.

Read the press release here.

Learn more about The California Endowment’s work to improve school meals and access to water here.

Photos: John Decker
Bottom left: Jamie Oliver with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson; Top left: Jamie gives a cooking demo on the Big Rig; Top right: Jamie with California Governor Jerry Brown and Speaker of the Assembly John Perez; Bottom right: Dr. Robert K. Ross learned a delicious fruit salad recipe from Jamie Oliver aboard the Big Rig Teaching Kitchen.


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