The statistics are so incredibly alarming that if something isn’t done about the health and diets of this generation of children, it is likely they will lead shorter lives than their parents. The number of children affected by diet-related diseases is at an all time high and more than 42 million children worldwide, under the age of 5 are considered overweight or obese.
This cannot go on any longer.
Who is to blame?
Is it the parents, the children themselves, the marketing guys or is it the fault of the food manufacturers, who feel the need to stuff our foods full of sugar, salt and other nasties? Perhaps more importantly we need to stop looking at who to blame and instead take action ourselves; after all it is the future of our children that is at stake here. It has never been more important than now to teach our children about food. They need to know where it comes from, how different foods affect their bodies; both physically and mentally and perhaps most importantly they need to get involved; to feel food, smell, touch, taste it and to help prepare meals or bake cakes.
Celebrity chef and all round good guy, Jamie Oliver, launched a campaign last week called Food Revolution, which aims to put compulsory practical food education on the school curriculum. Oliver says, “My wish is to create a strong sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity. Our mission is to shape the health and wellbeing of current and future generations and contribute to a healthier world, by providing better access to food education for everyone”. Food Revolution Day was officially held last Friday, 15th May 2015, but will be an annual event, which will use the power of Oliver’s celebrity status to alert people about important food issues. The aim is to encourage both individuals and businesses to take part in a dramatic change and to push governments into improving their food policies. To help promote Food Revolution Day, Oliver gathered together a somewhat diverse collection of his celeb friends to compile a song, which has since gone viral.
Stars including: Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney, Jazzie B from Soul II Soul, Alesha Dixon, Professor Green, George the Poet and perhaps most randomly, Hugh Jackman, collaborated together to produce a catchy little number that urges watchers to sign the petition at the end. Oliver said, “I kind of ranted at Ed, he turned it into a song. He gave it a riff and a structure and a shopping list of jobs to be done. Paul McCartney was the first to jump on, and I hit up Jazzie B from Soul II Soul. Hugh Jackman was filming at Pinewood and I really wanted to get him in, ’cause he’d just done a bit of singing on the last film he did. Alesha Dixon representing the girls. Then I wanted to take it a bit more urban with George the Poet and Professor Green, so it’s a catchy little tune. It’s basically a viral video… it’s really about pointing people to the petition. We worked with the London Youth Choir so it kind of makes you feel a bit goosey at the end”. To sign the petition and to find out more information about how you get involved visit www.facebook.com/FoodRevolutionCommunity
The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation was founded in 2002 and has three food projects under its belt:
- The Kitchen Garden Project – to educate primary school children about growing food and cooking from scratch.
- The Ministry of Food – to encourage people of all ages to give cooking a go.
- The Fifteen Apprentice Programme – to inspire and support young children, particularly those who are considered socially disengaged, to follow a career in the food industry.
These projects are held across the UK in schools, communities and at Oliver’s food academies. Oliver believes, “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 and I hope you agree”. What he says makes perfect sense and he is certainly making a huge difference in educating our children to ensure they lead a much healthier and tastier life. But, he needs our help, without everyone’s support there can’t be change, so sign up, make changes and join the Food Revolution today!