Jamie Oliver Takes On America's Fattest TownPosted on Sep 22nd 2009 9:00AM by Martha Edwards
|Photo: Getty Images
British chef Jamie Oliver has made it his personal mission to change the way people in England eat, so it's not surprising that he's taking America under his wing, too. The best place to start? The fattest town in the country, of course. Oliver recently met with the people of Huntington, W.Va. -- known as the unhealthiest place in America -- and admitted that the encounter was a hair-raising experience. So was finding out what they feed their children for lunch. "That's quite scary," he commented after discovering the school menu of hot dogs, funnel cake and hamburgers.
But he's not being mean to the town's 49,000 residents -- he's legitimately worried about their diets. "They are not stupid, they are not ignorant -- it's just they have never had food from scratch in their life," he said about the families he's worked with so far. Oliver blames the large food corporations who sell nothing but processed junk to residents, and points out the difficulty in finding fresh produce even though Huntington is a rural community surrounded by farmland.
There's no doubt that old habits will be tough to break for these southerners -- will this bumbling English chef be able to change a lifetime of bad eating? Looks like we'll have to stay tuned.
In the the meantime, find out what chef Gordon Ramsey thinks about vegetarian diets.