Everyone’s favourite do-gooder Jamie Oliver is at it again, taking on the government and important people of the world to try to implement change. He wants to ensure that every child has access to decent, healthy food and put an end to both malnutrition and obesity. You have to hand it to Jamie, he uses his fame for the good of others, to influence people and make a difference. For that I have huge amounts of respect for him and look to him as one of the most inspiring voices of the food world and beyond.
I thought I wanted to be a teacher a few years ago (yeah, clearly not!) so I volunteered to do some work experience in a primary school. As is my obsession with food, I would always speak to the kids about what they had for lunch. I was absolutely horrified to see that some of these 8 year old children were being sent to school with sausage rolls, chocolates, biscuits and cakes with no nutritious fruit and veg in sight. Now, I’m not a parent and would hate to judge those who are when I know we all lead busy lives, but surely the health of your child should take top priority and throwing an apple into a lunchbox instead of a chocolate bar doesn’t exactly take up any more time. I’m not perfect when it comes to my diet, in fact I’m far from it, but I’ve been bought up to eat fruit and vegetables and I always make sure I have plenty of them. The sad truth is that kids can’t choose for themselves and if parents fail to make the right choices they are going to have a negative impact on their child’s wellbeing. That is sad. And worrying.
Jamie’s mission is to educate people on how to better provide for future generations. He has already worked wonders with school dinners and his Ministry of Food campaign has been helping people learn how to cook for ages. Unfortunately one man can’t change the world and he needs normal everyday people to back his ideas and plans and be part of this revolution. I’ve signed up along with thousands of others, and you can too by visiting http://www.jamiesfoodrevolution.org.
Don’t just sign up and leave it there though, start making changes. Whether that’s at home, in your workplace or school, or in your local community, there’s plenty you can do to help stop food waste and provide better nutrition for yourself and others around you.
- Get cooking! This is the simplest way to ensure you are eating well and getting all the nutrients your body needs. Even a homemade cake will be better for you than a store-bought one, packed with preservatives and additives that your body just doesn’t need. Jamie’s Ministry of Food book is excellent if you are a novice in the kitchen as it covers all the classic family dishes you will already be familiar with eating.
- Set up an office fruit bowl, or just have one in a prime location at home. If healthy food is easily accessible, you will eat it. Fact.
- Teach your kids to cook! Like I said before, I don’t have children. At least not the human kind and my cat really isn’t interested in helping out around the kitchen. I do, however, know that kids love getting involved in the cooking process and will be much more likely to eat foods that they have helped to prepare, so get them involved!
- Limit food waste. Simply put, don’t buy more than you are actually going to eat. I find the best way to limit food waste is to spend time each week planning my meals and to create a shopping list with everything I need. If you do end up with more food than you are going to eat then donate it to a food bank or a neighbour in need.
Food is an amazing thing. It brings joy, comfort and happiness to so many people for so many different reasons. My whole life revolves around food. I go to bed planning the next day’s breakfast, I meal plan in the shower and I read cook books the way others read novels. Unfortunately, food is often taken for granted and we forget that there are some who don’t have access to all the choices we have in the Western world. Even in the UK, there are people who can’t eat well, if it all, due to poverty. That is a sobering thought. I consider myself very lucky to have such an abundance of choice surrounding me, and the means in which to have, within reason, what I want. The Food Revolution wants to help give that choice to so many more people and for that I truly support it, and everything that Jamie is doing to help our next generations. So get involved!