Food for thought@The Standard


It’s strange to hear of a chef fighting against food but that is just what Jamie Oliver is doing. The English celebrity chef is not against food per se – just the wrong kind of food.

“Last year was the first time more people died from eating too much of the wrong food than from not having enough food,” he says. That is why he is pushing for people to be more aware of what they are eating. “Food education is at the heart of it.”

The seed of his healthy eating campaign was sown 10 years ago, with Jamie’s School Dinners.

“Ten years ago, six million kids [in Britain] were eating school food from the age of four to 18. Those were bad times. The food was all processed, all low quality. As a parent, that was an upsetting documentary to film,” says the father of four.

The documentary caused much consternation among parents, educators and the British government. Since then, Oliver estimated that standards for school dinners have been raised by 30 percent.

But he is not resting on his laurels. Not content with just changing the food they eat, he wants students to learn more about what they are eating.

He believes that healthy eating is possible from a very young age. “People think that children are born to only eat nuggets but of course they’re not.”

In the Oliver household, there is always something new in the middle of the dining table for the children to try. “Don’t think about what they don’t like, concentrate on what they do like and what they might like,” he advises parents.

Oliver’s own experience working with school kids has shown that children are more willing to experiment especially when they grow the food themselves. Hence, his latest project: Food Revolution. “It’s not controversial. All we are asking for is for our children to learn how to plant a seed and grow their food.”

Last year, the campaign was all about creating awareness of healthy eating but this year, he wants to do more. “We don’t just want a big noise, we also want to have action,” he says,

May 15 has been designated Food Revolution Day. Oliver is urging people all over the globe to sign a petition to show their support for compulsory practical food education in schools across the world. “It’s essential that we arm future generations with the life skills they urgently need in order to lead healthier, happier, more productive lives. I passionately believe this is every child’s human right,” he says.

Oliver is hoping to present the petition to the G20 summit later on in the year.

Source: The Standard

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