My Suggestions for New Reality TV Shows
Apparently Americans are transfixed by the reality show Undercover Boss, a show in which a boss goes "undercover" to find out what average employees' lives are like on the job. In one show, a boss finds out that a woman who works on a garbage truck has to pee in a cup because the job doesn't allow for any breaks - not even to pee! As I heard this, I realized something. I've long wished more people would read the book Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in Americaby Barbara Ehrenreich, which tells of her experiences trying to make a living by working minimum wage jobs. But if you really want the American people to pay attention to something, I guess you have to turn it into a reality TV show. No doubt they are getting a good taste of what Ehrenreich says in her book as they watch Undercover Boss.
With this in mind, here are a few shows I'd like to see in the near future:
Farm Swap: Where an unsustainable farmer trades farms with a sustainable farmer. Imagine what would happen when a guy who farms 2000 acres of corn and soy in Iowa (and maybe owns a nice hog confinement with about 8000 hogs to go with it) trades farms for a week with someone who grows 40 acres of organic veggies and raises chickens on pasture.
Undercover Farmworker: In which people who eat foods go undercover and work in the fields alongside migrant workers picking tomatoes or strawberries. A spin-off version of this show could also feature international locations in which consumers go undercover among coffee and cocoa growers. Sadly, it would probably be illegal to have American children who love chocolate go undercover among child slaves on cacao plantations in Africa.
Ultimate School Lunch Makeover: In each episode, a school cafeteria that serves vile, unhealthy food will get a makeover to serve healthy, delicious, sustainable food to the kids.
Trading Lobbyists: In this show, two opposing sides of an issue will trade lobbyists (and lobbying budgets) for one week. Biotech and pesticide companies will find themselves stuck with no money and nothing more than a few homemade websites and blogs, while sustainable food advocates will suddenly find themselves armed with millions of dollars, corporate jets, the best PR firms in the nation, a full team of skilled lobbyists, access to powerful politicians, and front groups through which they can coordinate their campaigns.
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