British cookbook author and food personality Jamie Oliver, who has turned his quest to bring better food to American schoolchildren into the television show Food Revolution, has marched into a roadblock in the form of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Oliver, who is moving both his show and his family to Los Angeles for Food Revolution's second season, has been turned down by LAUSD.
The first season of Food Revolution was filmed in Huntington, West Virginia, the city with the highest obesity rate in the US. Season two is set in L.A., perhaps not the fattest city in the country, but not exactly a shining example of healthy lifestyle choices for kids. Now the LAUSD has declined to participate. Last week Melissa Infusino, the director of partnerships in the superintendent's office, said in a letter to Oliver's producers that budgetary and time constraints meant participation in the serious would "prevent us from committing 100 per cent of our efforts to our students." Infusino elaborated, writing that "we believe our direct work with nutrition experts, health advocates, the community, schools and students is the most effective strategy for our continued success and improvement."
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According to the Telegraph, Oliver thinks he can overcome the LAUSD's reluctance, apparently hoping that Governor-elect Jerry Brown can persuade the district to change its mind. We wish Oliver the best of luck on that count. In the meantime, maybe Meg Whitman can buy all of us who have school-age kids some Happy Meals on eBay.