With all due respect, enough with the celebrity chefs bringing you the “how to” on beer battered chicken, primarily pointless culinary competitions, cuisine made “healthy” with low-fat and sugar-free crap ingredients, and food TV that is driven by Big Food money and marketing versus true consumer health and education. I get it—it’s entertainment. But when is it going to stop? Or at least minimize. How about marrying educational value and entertainment, also known as edutainment?
Newsflash, we are one of the sickest nations in the world and our Food TV entertainment industry has a great opportunity to be a driving force behind a potential solution, but instead their focus is the next edible gimmick forever sacrificing quality for "quantity". Buck up Food TV! Do you not realize your responsibility to this nation?
Speaking of bucking up…
I find life quite fascinating daily, but it’s not everyday that my entire body and soul feels utterly charged in the deepest sense of the word. I don’t mean to be overdramatic, but for someone who has been swimming upstream for roughly thirty years—begging people to think about where their food comes from and teaching thousands how to make better choices in a country where eating unhealthfully seems easier and cheaper—finding something (or someone) that is blazing a trail for a better food system is remarkably exciting.
Enter Food Forward, a new series on PBS (airing across the country now) that is setting a precedent for a new kind of Food TV—one that highlights how American’s are transforming our broken food system and how you can get educated and be part of the solution. I am truly fortunate to have been a part of their first episode, Go Fish.
In the end, rather than trying to master that perfect beer battered chicken, doesn’t the opportunity to learn about where your chicken comes from (was it raised on pasture, treated humanely and not given drugs) and how you can make a healthier alternative fried bird seem worthy? Surely you will still be entertained, but you will also have the chance to learn about folks across the country that are trying to create a better food system and how this information translates into health supportive cuisine.
I recently spoke at the United Nations, partaking in the 65th Annual DPI/NGO Conference. Its goal was to develop an action agenda to mobilize messaging, advocacy strategies, partnerships and accountability frameworks for global sustainability for the post-2015 development agenda. I had the great honor of meeting John Kempf, an Amish farmer who had this to say: “Farmers can do more to keep people healthy than all the doctors and hospitals combined. If this is true the opposite is also true. Farmers can also have a negative impact on people's health."
The statement holds true for Food TV—you have the chance to keep people healthy but instead, most of the time, you opt out. So hats off to Food Forward, its Food Rebels and fearless creator Greg Roden and team for truly trying to make a difference in this ass-backwards edible entertainment world!
If we don’t start connecting the dots from producer to consumer (and everything in between) then our health will continue to suffer. So I urge you to embrace valuable edible edutainment.
PS. Greg will be joining Stirring the Pot radio on Thursday 9/25 at 5:30pm. Details to come!