The Fattest Town in America

Jamie_oliver_narrowweb__300x4240 For all my foodie readers, the New York Times magazine was devoted to food this week. It was a little disappointing. Not as meaty as I would like. Yuk. But there were some chicken nuggets in there.

I've been hearing some buzz about Jamie Oliver's upcoming TV show where he goes to the fattest city in America (Huntington, WV) and gives them a food make-over, so I was glad to see an article on him. Oliver is one of my favorite celebrity chefs. He gets very excited by a nice, fresh piece of fish. He's got a fantastic organic garden that he cooks from. He honestly likes food, unlike someone like Rachel Ray who is very adept with a can opener. 

Oliver's story is also inspiring, since he has learning disabilities. In fact, he thinks that his ADHD may help him to multi-task. 

Do you think people will drive to Huntington, WV just to check out the fat people? Fatty
tourism?

Oliver says that fast food is to blame for the bumps and humps in this West Virginian town. He teaches the locals how to make simple home-cooked meals. I wish he would get Jonah's school to stop serving mozzarella sticks as a main course for lunch.

UPDATE:
An interview with Oliver about the show.
http://news.sky.com/sky-news/app/flash/SkyvideoWrapper.swf?playerType=embedded&type=sky_prod_v7&videoSourceID=2039075&flashVideoUrl=/feeds/skynews/latest/flash/ACT-BB-SA-JAMIE-190909.flv
And Doug points us to Yglesias's commentary on this article. A response by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

9 thoughts on “The Fattest Town in America

  1. Why does the southern girl in me who just lost 20 pounds so sharply feel the sting of northern condescension? I can’t watch the anti-southern episodes of Family Guy. I shall opt out. But will try to eat a salad while I watch the competition.

  2. Yggles is right: “If someone—Jamie Oliver, for example—devised an appealing mass-market food product that was better than Taco Bell on the taste/price/convenience dimension but also healthier, well that would be an excellent thing for the world.
    “And maybe someone could do it. The world’s purveyors of processed foods have noted a real market demand for healthier products. Consequently, they’re poured a lot of time and energy into creating things that at least seem healthier. And so we really have a lot of healthy-seeming options. But they’ve never, as best I can tell, poured all that much effort into trying to create things that are actually healthier. But someone could. Jamie Oliver could do it. Mark Bittman could do it. Michael Pollan could do it. And it would be more likely to succeed than an endless procession of NYT Magazine articles hectoring people about how they should cook more.”

  3. As near as I can tell Chipotle is a healthy mass-market food. It isn’t as cheap as Taco Bell, but it is priced in the ‘fast food’ range.

  4. Chipotle contains healthy ingredients (and is delicious), but is also massively caloric. Go look at the numbers on thir web site. That may be portion size, of course. But I eat huge portions at home, myself.

  5. Panera bread is pretty good, if one is careful and doesn’t have a full sandwich. It was a sad day when I realized that i could only afford half sandwiches rather than full ones. But after reading the tragedy that was the last page of the NYT magazine, I do celebrate being able to eat bread at all.

  6. I heart the Tasty Bite line of mass-market Indian and Thai food, but looking at the percentage of sodium they contain makes me sad. I retain water like the Michelin Madchen when I eat that stuff.
    Gluten-Free Cafe sells a reasonably tasty frozen pasta primavera w/o a lot of sodium. (I’m not sensitive to gluten, but I saw this line of entrees in my regular grocery store’s “natural foods” section, which has been ramped up considerably since Whole Paycheck came to town.)

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