On May 19th, the famous British chef asks you to join his healthy-eating crusade, a.k.a. Food Revolution Day. “I’m not anti burger or anti pizza. I’m anti shit food,” he says.
Chef Jamie Oliver has devoted his career to fighting unhealthy eating—and you can see why: Global obesity has more than doubled since 1980. Each year, 2.8 million adults around the world die as a result of being overweight.
On Saturday May 19th, the British TV star launches his latest effort, Food Revolution Day, a global campaign that asks you to think about eating right: host a food event serving organic foods, or a locally-sourced dinner party, or start a campaign at work or school. Check out foodrevolutionday.com for more ideas, and events in your city.
Here’s Oliver on why you should join:
So…the obesity crisis: How did we end up here?
JO: The main issue is the western diet: it’s single handedly more responsible for damage to global health than anything else. In so many western countries, we have three generations of people who were never taught how to cook at home. Both parents were at work, food education at school is so shit, they can’t learn there. I’ve been in houses where kids only hydrate on fizzy drinks and show no interest in tap water.
And technology, freezing techniques and processed foods have only made things worse.
Will the world ever get healthy again?
JO: I actually think that multi-nationals and fast food companies are the best people to lead the change. If they chose to get behind healthy eating, they would do a better job any other government or individual. If you thought the oil and petrol industry was complicated and causing wars, think again. The food industry is on another level. The problem is the corruption between food industries and governments. We need to address smaller issues like chicken farming or pink slime. Stop these products from ever being registered. How fucking dare they?
And how will the Food Revolution Day help?
JO: I’m not anti burger or anti pizza; I’m anti shit food. With Food Revolution Day, I’m trying to get as many people as possible to stir the pot. We all need to become a little fussier about what we put in our gobs [mouths]. When you put something in your mouth, it’s a very personal thing that affects you straight away.
We think Europe; we think fresh ingredients—the French, the Italians, the Mediterranean diet. What’s the biggest challenge here?
JO: It’s a question of being mobile, balanced and embracing all the millions of great recipes across Europe. Some of the areas with the highest life expectancies eat loads of fatty foods, but they also eat a shit load of fruit and vegetables.
Should the European Union not just focus on merging economies, but lifestyles too?
JO: 100%. But the problem in the EU is that people want food to be localized. Passion for local produce is the key to healthy eating.
Which European country do you think should set the example for good eating habits? And which country really needs to get their act together and change?
Europeans need to throw all their eggs in one basket. All the solutions are out there. Governments need to provide long-term solutions and keep rolling out good habits. But politics is very short sighted. People come and go and sadly the structure of this thing we call democracy is short-term and wasting our money.