LA Schools: Oliver Welcome Without Cameras

Although school district officials deny it, they are responding to Jaime Oliver’s new season of Food Revolution. They say it’s not about his ideas or goals. They blame the distortions of reality television for their refusal to allow Oliver to film in Los Angeles public schools.

According to NPR’s Mandalit Del Barco, the schools aren’t opposed to serving better food.

Spokesman Robert Alaniz says the menu changes are not in response to the reality show’s pressure. Still, he says Oliver has an open invitation. “Jamie, come in, help us put together a healthier, tastier menu, but leave your cameras behind,” Alaniz says.

School officials continue to maintain their food surpasses nutritional guidelines but face a challenge of creating meals for an average cost of 77¢ each. They recently unveiled new menu items like Pad Thai, sushi rolls and Chicken Tandoori. But many children in the district have told reporters they want healthier food and these new menu items are not it. They point to the fact that all schools receive their meals ready made from a central kitchen and then reheat them before serving to the kids.

District spokesman Alaniz says the Los Angeles schools have been burned before by reality TV. The show School Pride, which performed a make-over on one of the district’s schools, left them with a bad taste.

“What we ended up was with a bill of $106,000, taxpayer money, for work that they did — shoddy work they did,”

The question now is whether the Food Revolution will put healthier food for the children of Los Angeles ahead of TV drama.