Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Friday

Have you been watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution each week?  He is on a mission to change the way children, and everyone else, eat in our country.  A pretty tall order, but I think he is off to a good start.  Since he can’t visit every city and every home, I thought I would share some of how we do it in our home. 
First, let me tell you, we are a family of four: one hubby, one Mom, a 15 year old teenager, and an 11 year old pre-teen. (both boys, by the way)  I stay at home and work very little (for money) so the only consistent paycheck is my husband’s.  My younger son and I are strictly vegetarians and my husband and older son eat meat, but very rarely.  When they are served meat by me it is bought from a local farmer. 
Okay, so basically, you have to prioritize what matters most to your family.  I mean isn’t that the way we all live our lives?  We set priorites like a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our backs.  It isn’t meant to be a judgement statement, but rather, a statement to really look at what matters to you.  It may be that you can’t live without your smartphone or that stop for a coffee every day of the week, or an expensive purse or dinner out once or twice a week.  Whatever it is, we all have those things that we buy or pay for because they are simply what we value. 
For me, a healthy diet for my family is a huge priority.  A few of the things we did in the recent year that helped with our expenses were to move into a smaller rental, sold one of our vehicles, and got rid of our landline. (to name a few)
We also don’t eat out much at all.  Friday is “pizza night” at our house and I prefer to make the dough from scratch, but sometimes we order from one of the local pizza places here in town.  
Okay, now let’s talk about how I do it when it comes to my kitchen, my pantry and feeding those 3 boys in my household. 

I do not buy everything organic.  I read labels on packaged foods. 

Fruits and vegetables:

  • buy in season – it’s much less expensive
  • when you can’t buy organic, refer to this guide for the dirtiest (most heavily sprayed with pesticides) and the cleanest (safest to buy non-organic) -I love it because you can print out a little pocket sized version to have with you when you shop.
  • join a local CSA – a great way to get a variety of produce and maybe even try something new with your family.
  • Try to do the pick-your-own when it comes to strawberries and blueberries during the summer months and freeze them for the winter.  You will have them from a local source and won’t pay the outrageous price at the grocery store when they are not in season anymore.

Dairy Products- 

  • The most ideal choice for dairy is organic because it is the only way to be certain there are no added hormones, but if you buy non-organic look on the label because sometimes they will specify no added growth hormones or antibiotics, which is important, too.
  • Another thing to keep in mind with buying locally is this:  many times farmers work hard to grow their produce as close to organic as possible, but the expense of getting the “official” organic seal is out of their reach.  I know this is true in my state. So, talk to the farmer.  Ask them about their growing and their spraying and the way they feed their animals like cows, pigs, and chickens.
  • Personally, I would rather buy from a local farmer who does the best they can in a responsible way then to pay for something that was trucked into the grocery store (usually thousands of miles) .  Think about that for a minute…not in an environmental way, but in a health-of- your- family kind of a way and a money saving way, too.  When your food travels that kind of distance, it is handled by many people, trucked through some various weather conditions, and who knows what it has or has not come into contact with.  I love knowing that I can look a local farmer in the eye, hand them my money and know that besides them, I am pretty much the only one to touch my food until it’s served to my family.
  • So, yes, ideally dairy I buy at the store is organic, but when I don’t I always read the labels or buy from a local farmer.  One of our favorites and one of the coolest experiences was last fall when we visited the farm and “met” the goats who provide us with some of our cheese.


  • As I mentioned I don’t buy meat much.  My younger son and I are vegetarians and the other guys in the family get very little meat cooked by me.  Luckily, my grocery store does carry some meat from a farmer in the state as well as my local Co-Op store.  It’s so very important to know that the animals aren’t given any hormones or antibiotics. If you haven’t seen Food, Inc. yet, I highly recommend it.  It will not only change the way you shop for food in general, but it should certainly change the way you make meat purchases.  

Grocery Store Aisles-  

  • You have heard the saying, right? “Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.”  Well, that’s because the aisles are where you are more likely to find processed foods that don’t offer as much nutrition as fresh foods do, if any at all. 
  • Reading the labels is so important.  I will tell you one of my first rules is if I pick up something from the store shelf and the ingredient list is a paragraph long, I immediately put it back.  About ten ingredients is what I like to stay at and I also like to be able to pronounce all the ingredients, too.  That might sound funny, but think about it….if you are going to feed it to your children or put it in your own body, don’t you want to be able to read it?
  • Try to avoid things like high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial anything, things made with white flour (especially bleached flour or enriched flour) , or sugar as a main ingredient.

Okay, I think I covered everything….hopefully.  If I left something out, please scream at me leave me a comment and let me know.  Also, I would love to hear what you think about the Food Revolution in general?  I have some mixed feelings about it, but I’ll save that for another post.   Overall, I think it’s exciting and plan to do some serious work in my local community to work towards healthier lunches provided to students in the school district here.

I want to help, really I do.  At the end of the day, we all do the best we can with the knowledge that we have.  Information is power and when you go into the grocery store armed and ready, you can come out with a cart of food that will fuel your family’s bodies, rather than just feed them.


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  2. Great tips! I always buy organic milk these days. I'm going to try and head to the farmers market more–and you're right abuot many not having the official seal because certification is expensive. I just wish everything was more affordable, so I try to make do as best as I can…

    btw–i haven't watched the show! i wish i did though…someone said i could catch it on hulu so i'll try that.

  3. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    Hey there! It really is worth it to see if you can find the episodes on Hulu. A great "mission" he is on to change the entire country. 🙂

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