Chicken Nuggets

Check out the video below, from 3:40. Jamie Oliver makes chicken nuggets for elementary students in Marshall West Virginia, the fattest city in the fattest country in the world.

The kids go “EWWW! GROSS!” until the chicken puree looks like a nugget. Then they all eat them. The bone, gristle, skin, and salt, they watch it go into the pan and then eat it. Ask to eat it even.

Now, I’m all about using the whole animal and reducing waste. Chicken feet, tripe, pigs tails, if you’re going to eat an animal, eat it. Don’t just cut off a bit and throw away the rest. (This is the reason I’m not down with shark fin soup, as delicious as it is.) But this? This is gross. The chicken nuggets are only filled with the parts that can’t be sold and aren’t good for you. And the kids eat them every day.

A couple of things I want to say about this video:

1. The things that they show are so far removed from my own reality it’s hard to imagine them: are there really children in the United States that can’t identify a tomato or potato?

2. Jamie Oliver, and his show, are really very excellent. It’s encouraging to see someone who really wants to use his talent and influence to create positive change (check out his restaurant Fifteen, which helps train disadvantaged youth to become chefs). And he’s realistic about saying what’s failed.

3. This metaphor of the chicken nuggets. I see something I know is disgusting. Not good for me. Pretty much harmful. And I want it anyway. How far can we take the metaphor?

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