Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tom Colicchio To The Rescue

I loved Tom on CNN this morning, talking about Hunger in America. He was addressing the topic in general, but it’s also a documentary that his wife, Lori Silverbush, made. (I thought she was a goat cheese farmer. Oh no, sorry, that’s Mario’s Mrs.)

We saw a clip of Tom testifying before Congress in July, where he mentioned his mother, the lunch lady. According to Tom, she used to say that “the cheapest food contracted out to the lowest bidder was usually the food that was on the menu”. It’s shocking how little things have changed, even though I know a lot has.

This documentary should be out in November and it sounds like it would make a great companion to Waiting for Superman. Tom said school children need nutritious meals as much as they need books and desks. And he would love to see free school lunches for every child.

His main message (which was cut from the clip on CNN.com) was that we should contact our Congresspeople to show our support for school lunch legislation. He may not be Superman, but he sure is trying his best.

6 comments:

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Can Tom be any more successful than poor Jamie Oliver?

Someone posted an article on Facebook this morning that we should make Congress eat a few school lunches and then they would start funding better ones.

The lunches at my school were pretty bad (spaghetti and french fries anyone?) I graduated over 20 years ago. I can't imagine how it could be worse. *shudder*

Sue said...

Hiya Rach,
Maybe it takes both of their approaches to make a difference. Tom can work to get more money for school lunches and Jamie (AND Tom) can give the menus an overhaul.

The lunches in my school were so bad that I gave my lunch tickets away. Other kids had no problem eating them.

At the end of the Tom's interview, Kyra Phillips said it was too bad that Tom's Italian grandmother couldn't just make lunch for every school child in the country. I second that!

Tom said...

I hate to say it, but neither Tom nor Jamie are the most persuasive advocates for school lunch reform. I don't doubt their sincerity, but they are more than a little removed from reality. With the risk of dissolving too far into cynicism, perhaps Tom should all that Diet Coke money he earns to the cause.

Sue said...

Tom,
Great point about the Diet Coke. I forgot about that. But Tom still spends a lot of time lobbying for change. During the Gulf BP oil crisis, for instance (isn't it STILL a crisis?), he went all over the place helping local chefs to spread the word that most restaurants were still open and seafood was still good.

But you're right, that famous food people like TC and RR should watch what products they push. It does affect their credibility.

Tom said...

I was feeling a little snarky when I made the Diet Coke comment. It comes from my days in environmental advocacy when you'd spend a lot of time working on an issue only to see a celeb testify before congress and get a lot of media attention for another enviro issue -- that would completely suck the air out of what you were doing and put you back to square one. The probleme with Tom and Jamie's activities isn't that they don't mean well, but that they should be working with the local and national groups who do this work every day -- unless they have that underpinning there will be a brief media splash and then nothing will get done. Those organizations should be right there on camera with Tom and Jamie.

Sue said...

Tom,
I hear you! And there's nothing wrong with snarkiness! I love to practice it myself and people should be called out for inconsistent stands.

BUT I think Tom does donate a lot of time and effort to good works, including Share Our Strength and City Harvest. And probably CNN (and Congress) would rather make time for a celebrity (chef, in this case) than a "regular" person. As Pollyanna would say why can't we just all work together?!!