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Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better"
by Simon at 17:13 20/03/05 (Blogs::Simon)
Check out the website about Jamie Oliver's campaign to do something about the poor quality of school dinners.
It's here.

You may also want to consider signing the petition on the site.

Interesting reading the comments on the forums there from parents confirming that the behaviour of their kids improved when they weren't fed reconstituted crap full of additives.

Less surprisingly, Blair's now backing the campaign and is about to set up a "School Food Trust" to extend the work already done by Jamie Oliver and the Soil Association.

Yeah, like this is the first time he's heard about the problem.
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simon

<< Harumph - that was one of mine... Google invents the Nutrimatic ... >>
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Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 17:13 20/03/05
Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" David Crowson - 17:16 20/03/05
There was an item on the news rlast week about the kids from the school in question, deserting the canteen for the local chinese chippy at lunchtimes...seems they didn't like the Mockney stuff.....

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bombholio

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 17:31 20/03/05
More like they didn't like the fact that the junk food had been taken off the menu.

Did you see his series on Channel 4 recently? Scary.
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simon

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" scott wright - 08:54 21/03/05
It was an amazing show. As you say, scary! Blair is, apparently, going to do something.... ah, election year.... The problem is that if kids keep switching to packed lunches/chippies the economic realities of Jamie's plan are screwed. However, thats no excuse for not trying. It's a national scandal.
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scott
Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 11:06 21/03/05
When I was at school (a state grammar, from 67 - 82) you weren't allowed out at lunchtime unless you were a "home dinner", or in the 6th form. The "Tuck Shop" was open for 10 minutes a day, during morning break and was a late addition (in 78 I think). No such things as vending machines.

Packed lunches are a different matter - I'm confident not every parent has the time or the cash to prepare nutritious lunches every day for multiple kids. Mind you, they wouldn't have to if the schools were providing decent grub and the parents insisted their kids ate them.
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simon

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" David Crowson - 09:52 21/03/05
No I tend to avoid with a passion anything with him in it for fear of kicking the TV in.

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bombholio

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 10:56 21/03/05
Well, basically school dinners in the UK are a pile of crap and he tried to do something about it by starting a project to do proper cooked food in schools in Greenwich.

The kids wouldn't touch anything apart from the existing offerings of warmed-over turkey twizzlers, chips, pizza and burgers at first - and complained when they were taken off the menu in favour of JO's alternatives.

He showed the hardcore objectors what mechanically reclaimed meat actually meant (by whizzing up a chicken carcass and skin in a blender), and also got the kids to prepare and cook some real stuff for themselves.

Now they have changed their minds and have gone right off the cack previously served. As a result, parents and teachers have seen a great improvement in behaviour and a reduction in the need for kids to use asthma nebulisers.

ADHD (just a label for an ever-increasing collection of disparate symptoms) is probably caused in part by the huge amount of chemical additives in kids' food, and Ritalin probably only works because - as an amphetamine derivative - it suppresses appetite and so the kids end up eating *less* of the crap that caused the problem in the first place.

You don't have to like him, but this (and his "Fifteen" restaurant project) are genuinely worthwhile and he's got to be commended for having the guts to try and do something rather than just sit on his arse.
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simon

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" scott wright - 11:18 21/03/05
I would strongly recommend you go out of your way to watch a tape of the series. It's one of the best educational/policy things on tv for years. I think you'll feel a bit of sympathy for him as well by the end of it. I know I did.

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scott

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" David Crowson - 14:38 21/03/05
No chance of that for reasons stated previously.

Besides , I don't have children, don't seem to be going to have any, so why should I have any vested interests in the education of other peoples....and before you mention altruism, I've done my fair bit in the past for others at my own personal expense....and before you mention caring about our Great Naation, well, it's about 10 years too late for that IMO and it's gone well beyond repair.

Sounds a bit nasty, but having slipped a disk and been immobile for several days I'm in a foul mood.(and hungry too)

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bombholio

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 15:14 21/03/05
Substitute altruism for self-preservation, I think.

I think it's worth trying to reduce the percentage of the population likely to be hyped-up, ill-educated, unhealthy and unproductive.

Otherwise we might just as well arm the nation and declare open season.
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simon

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" David Crowson - 02:34 22/03/05
I fear it's much too little way way too late..

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bombholio

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" smallhobbit - 23:03 30/03/05
ADHD (just a label for an ever-increasing collection of disparate symptoms) is probably caused in part by the huge amount of chemical additives in kids' food, and Ritalin probably only works because - as an amphetamine derivative - it suppresses appetite and so the kids end up eating *less* of the crap that caused the problem in the first place.

Oh dear Simon? Please read your statement again? Do you really want to appear so uneducated? Please come round any time you like and view my childs food? Actually she does not have a decreased appetite at all since being on Methylphenidate ( oops - sorry - you call it ritalin?)

She has never has eaten junk food? If you have medical references to your statements I would be very pleased to view them?

Otherwise - perhaps you could come around here and explain it all to a very small beautiful ( but sometimes confused) child?

Good luck if you ever have any kids!!!!

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smallhobbit

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 10:43 31/03/05
My apologies if I've offended with my choice of words, which I confess were typed 'off the cuff'.

On reflection, I should not dismiss ADHD in some simplistic language.

However, after some research I know that there is no simple clinical test for ADHD and therefore I think it's not completely unfair to suggest that in some cases there may be a tendency to attach the convenient label of ADHD to a collection of symptoms that may in fact be indicating a different root cause.

As to ritalin, I cite this information on methylphenidate side effects which includes appetite suppression.

I think there are undoubtedly other contributory factors to the problem apart from food so please don't imagine that I'm saying that diet is it, full stop.

Pace and pressure of 21st century life, constant stimulation from multiple sources engineered to heighten sensation (TV, computer games are obvious new factors in the landscape for the current generation) as well as genetic disposition seem to me likely to be involved.

There's also an interesting argument to be made that what are being regarded as diseases to be cured are actually an evolutionary reaction to the levels of stimulation in the environment that haven't been present until the last 20 or 30 years - and that this evolutionary reaction (if that's what it is) may turn out to be an advantage in the longer term.

Certainly I've read discussions online involving people who have been diagnosed with ADHD and regard what we might call 'normal' levels of stimulation as tediously boring, going on to say that they can't concentrate unless there are dozens of things all happening at once.

I can't find the exact conversation I've referred to above, but here's one along the same lines - however this is more anecdotal "I know someone..." rather than "I am...", which is far less satisfactory as evidence.

Thanks for replying, and pulling me up on my poor choice of words. I hope my reply gives useful clarification.

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simon

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 08:25 06/09/07
Quick update, 2+ years later on - recent research shows evidence that additives are a contributory factor in triggering hyperactivity.

Parents warned of additives link (BBC)

Not the only cause, but certainly a contributory factor.
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simon

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Sylvia - 07:54 31/03/05
Simon, how ignorant are you???

Did you ever any time sit down and have a research about ADD/ADHD??? The answer to this question is NO as if you would have done this, you would know that ADD/
adhd is inherited and NOT caused by any crappy food and it is a condition.

My son is 8 years old and was diagnosed with ADD two years ago...btw I have three sons, my two oldest are 20 and 18 and they dont have ADD. Why because my youngest father suffers undiagnosed from ADD....ADD/ADHD exists already 100 years...and there is lots of research done.

What do you know about Ritalin or Methylphenidate, what this medication is??? Nothing, you know one of the side effects that is all.

Btw my son was always eating healthy more or less, because junk food was expensive in the country I come from. This stopped long before he was even diagnosed. His biological father lives isolated with his parents because never anybody made one step to find out what is wrong with him, all people say is "he is a stranger a looner..".And this man is somebody who eats very healthy always has.

My son even suffers from co-morbid disorders and illnesses beside ADD and one thing I can tell you I would give everything if he only could be like his brothers. People say he is "not bad" no he isnt he is a fine young lad, who is very intelligent. He himself found out that Methylphenidate help him and he "likes" the kind he is with them as it shows his real ego.

So please do the world a favour and never ever judge about an illness you dont know a dim about or even the medication which they prescribe (which is one kind of many).

For Jamie Oliver, I like him and I think his campaign is alright I also agree that some things in food are not appropriate and we are very carefully with this but those things ARE DEFINITELY NOT CAUSING ADD/ADHD.

Sylv
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Sylv

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 11:28 31/03/05
Hi Sylv,

I've obviously really wound you up with the way I posted - I'm sorry about that, and on reflection I can see that my choice of words was poor.

I don't doubt there's a genetic component involved here - identical twins research shows that clearly - what I doubt is the assumption that *if* you have the genetic susceptibility, you *will* develop ADHD.

This medical review paper makes the point that the presence of the genetic predisposition itself does not cause ADHD to manifest in all environments.

I'm certainly in no position to be able to say what the balance of factors might be in your family, or even to offer any suggestions, so I won't try.

Genuine question: I appreciate you know much more about this than I do, having been directly affected yourself, but how you can be so absolutely sure that some things in food definitely don't cause (or at least contribute to) the triggering of ADHD in someone with the particular genetic combination?

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simon

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Sylvia - 12:17 31/03/05
Hi Simon,
Thank you for your reply.

My answer to your question:

"Genuine question: I appreciate you know much more about this than I do, having been directly affected yourself, but how you can be so absolutely sure that some things in food definitely don't cause (or at least contribute to) the triggering of ADHD in someone with the particular genetic combination?"

...I have tried everything with my child and researched a lot all about ADD. My son's father also suffers from ADD but is not diagnosed and food never was an issue in this. He eats very healthy and has always. Then there are other aspects I would like to recite of the book "Understanding A.D.H.D. " from Dr. Christopher Green and Dr. Kit Chee (ISBN: 0 09 181700 5)

There is written what a doctor knows and we discovered:

"The Facts about ADHD"

ADHD is a biological, brain-based condition which is caused by a minor difference of fine tuning in the normal brain (a slight brain dysfunction).

The dysfunction of ADHD is thought to be due to an imbalance in the brain's neurotransmitter chemicals, noradrenaline and dopamine. This imbalance is mostly found in those parts of the brain responsible for self-monitoring and putting the brakes on unwise behaviour (the frontal lobes and their deep connections, which are the basal ganglia circuits)

Ö

Diet is no longer seen as an important part of ADHD. A few children react adversely to some artificial and natural food chemicals. This can also occur in those who do not have ADHD. Food intolerance does not cause ADHD, though occasionally it makes it worse.

ADHD is a strongly hereditary condition. Most ADHD children have a close relative (usually male) affected to some degree by the same problem. Developmental Reading Disorder (dyslexia) which is often associated with ADHD is also a strongly hereditary condition.

ADHD is a long-term condition which affects learning and behaviour right through the school years. About 50 per cent of children will carry some of their ADHD with them into adulthood. With age ADHD tends to move away from the restless impulsive behaviours, towards those of inattention, inability to sustain work output, deficient short-term memory and frustration with learning. It is these residual features that cause most trouble to adolescents and adults with ADHD. The treatment of adult ADHD is an exciting success story in North America at this time.

At the end of the day Simon we all have to watch what we eat. If with ADD/ADHD or not and we do eat healthy but like Dr. Green said ADD/ADHD isnít caused by any food intolerance or what you feed, it can make it worse but that is not always the case, like with us. We tried everything.

Then the other thing I always think, my son is blessed actually. He is very intelligent and if I think of all those famous people with ADD/ADHD (http://www.adhdrelief.com/famous.html)

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Sylv

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 12:36 31/03/05
Many thanks for that book reference.

Then the other thing I always think, my son is blessed actually. He is very intelligent and if I think of all those famous people with ADD/ADHD

That's an interesting list of people - though I'm not entirely sure how it's possible to say that Socrates (for example) would be diagnosed with ADHD if he were alive today, unless that website's saying something similar to what I was saying in my original post - that a collection of disparate symptoms is being labelled as ADHD without reference to an underlying chemical or genetic cause.

I'll explore the site some more, and hope to increase my understanding as a result.

Regards
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simon

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Sylvia - 13:04 31/03/05
You are very welcome.

I donít want to judge your knowledge in any way. I am only a mother who highly protects the interest of her son and I always did also with my sonís who donít suffer from ADD.

I am sure as you seem to be very literate and researching the internet you will find other websites where famous people with ADD/ADHD are listed mostly those who are listed on the website I have given you in the recent post.

So you probably will need a time reading through.

Nevertheless I need to add that this not belongs to the fact of the food.

I am very determined to stand up for kids/adults with ADD/ADHD as those often will be blamed or even the parents and at the end of the day, genuinely speaking I slipped into this with the diagnosis of my son and I donít like it and I really hope that people with healthy kids or who only want to blame anybody for anything, understand that there is no bad parenting nor food which could cause ADD/ADHD. We parents mostly disbelieve the fact our kids have ADD/ ADHD till the doctorís diagnose them and it is hard for us firstly as it means we need to re think everything and do so many things different.

When we get used to the fact our kids are suffering we appreciate what our kids doing so much more then other parents. Kids are future and our kids are part of it.

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Sylv

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Simon - 13:46 31/03/05
I guess it only really hits home when someone close to you is affected, so I really wish you well and I hope we will all learn a lot more about how to give the best help to those with ADHD and also to the people who care for them.

Kind regards,
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simon

Re: Jamie Oliver's School Dinners and "Feed Me Better" Bruce Ure - 13:52 21/03/05
I agree he can be very annoying, particularly the whole mockney thing, but he's gone up in my estimation immensely since this and his '15' project.

He has of course used his celebrity to grow himself but the vehicles he's chosen have been a lot more worthwhile than those of many other celebs. My hat's off to the geeza.

And much as it pains me to admit it I like his style of cooking, as well.

:bu: