Famous British chef and restaurateur Jamie Oliver has been changing how we look at food for decades. Now, through a full-scale Food Revolution, he intends to improve the health and happiness of children internationally, and invites us to join him.
As a Brit myself, if you told me you didn’t know who Jamie Oliver is, I would probably (definitely) think you were joking. The words “I came, I saw, I conquered” are a fitting description for Oliver – he has bestselling books and recipes, a successful Italian restaurant chain, grocery stores and numerous popular TV shows, to name but some of the accolades that see his name printed everywhere. Jamie’s Food Revolution is one of Oliver’s more recent endeavours and yet, with its potential to impact millions of children worldwide, it’s his most important to date.
What is Jamie’s Food Revolution?
Initially launched as a US TV show, Jamie’s Food Revolution saw Oliver reforming school lunch programmes to help American society tackle obesity and poor eating habits. While the platform of the Revolution is no longer primarily TV-based, it includes other countries and now aims to reform things beyond just kids’ lunchboxes, its end game remains the same – for our children to live healthier and longer lives. Oliver has been using his celebrity influence to spread this message’s importance, developing a set of issues and skills, launching projects, campaigns and programmes, doing a TED talk“¦there’s even a Food Revolution Day! But without our combined efforts, the Revolution’s impact will fail to reach its full potential – therefore, it’s important that we are aware of the issues/skills that Oliver has highlighted, and involve ourselves in the cause that Jamie’s Food Revolution champions.
The 6 Issues/Skills You Need to Be Aware Of
Below are the 6 issues and skills Jamie’s Food Revolution notes as being of particular importance.
1. Food Education
Good food education enables people everywhere to develop a better, more understanding and balanced relationship with food, in turn empowering them to make responsible, healthy, sustainable food choices.
If you and your child are aware of the different foods available to you, then finding healthier options (e.g. switching out McDonald’s nuggets for home-roasted chicken) becomes much easier.
Ensuring children have access to good, nutritious food is”¦Understanding food and nutrition and the dual role they play as part of a healthy lifestyle is essential.
The importance of nutrition in early childhood development is not to be underestimated. Read a comprehensive insight into this issue here.
3. Food Waste
Not only is food waste immoral, it’s unnecessary.
Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted, with fruits/vegetables having the highest wastage rates. Hold off on getting that third carton of orange juice in the ‘3 for 2’ deal and teach your child about sticking to the two you’ll actually drink.
4. Our Planet
To sustain nutritious food for now and for the future, we need to care for the planet that produces it.
Don’t let anyone tell you that sustainability doesn’t matter (it does) or that global warming is a myth (it’s not). Teach your child the same. Without efforts to reduce pollution, our planet is at risk of the irreversible effects of climate change that could see our food sources become less varied at best and severely depleted at worst (think the movie Interstellar).
Knowing how to cook from scratch empowers people to appreciate the value of food, to understand what they are putting in their bodies and, therefore, to nourish themselves and their families with fresh, nutritious food.
Cooking is a vital skill. Although we won’t all be the next Jamie Oliver, it’s time to hide our takeout menus and start putting our culinary skills to use. If you don’t know how to cook, take some classes. Start involving your children in the kitchen too.
6. Ethical Buying
Supporting food that has been responsibly produced, with the environment, animals and people in mind, supports a healthier, more sustainable food system for now and the future.
Ultimately, it all comes down to how much we value our children’s future. Taking your child to local food markets and teaching them the values of supporting local and sustainable produce will revolutionise how future generations consider food and bring about long-term benefits.
Join the Revolution
Whether you choose to donate, become one of the 700,000+ revolutionaries, participate in one of the Revolution’s projects or simply teach your child the values they preach, it’s important that you join Jamie’s Food Revolution. While the short-term benefits are not always apparent, the long-term ones are clear. If Oliver himself doesn’t thank you, your child sure will.