Food, Spectacle, and Jamie Oliver

You’ve got to admire Jamie Oliver’s style, how he can shamelessly deceive people with spectacle to convince them of the truth, and do something good. Here’s an example:

1. Fast food is bad for you.

2. If you dump a whole bunch of it into one place, like a tarp or a dumpster, it will look disgusting.

3. If people watch step #2, they will realize the truth of #1, that is, how disgusting fast food is.

4. People will eat healthier. Yay!

Watch the video (scroll to about 1:35):

The problem is with step #2. If you took a caesar salad, some braised lamb, and a pita and humus, gathered it in huge quantities, and threw it on a tarp, it would look disgusting! It doesn’t look disgusting because it’s unhealthy, but because it’s food, and that’s what food does if you don’t arrange it properly.

So Jamie goes from step 1, which is undoubtedly true, to step 4, which is undoubtedly good, via step 2 and 3, which are undoubtedly BS.

I can’t decide if I’m impressed, amused, or offended.

…and another note before I finish with Jamie Oliver. At one point in the same episode he was completely appalled that American children aren’t given knives with their food. Apparently, in Britain even kindergarteners are given knives. It makes me happy to know there’s a place in the world where children are taught to eat with a fork and knife :).

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