Can Jamie Oliver Launch a Food Revolution?
Jamie Oliver is a celebrity chef that has launched campaigns across the UK and the United States to eliminate processed foods from school cafeterias. His latest action involved declaring May 19th “Food Revolution Day.” He is calling for “an international community of foodies, chefs, parents, educators, companies, activists and celebrities to arm people with the knowledge and tools to make healthier food choices.”
Over 600 events in 58 countries have already been planned. The goal is to help anyone interested in building healthier food habits. Local events and social media meet ups were set up and everyone from restaurants to schools to businesses participated in a Twitter feed (@FoodRev) and a Google+ hang out.
So can this lifestyle movement really make a difference? In the U.S, Big Ag (the industrial farming industry) and lobbyists almost entirely control what Americans eat on a large scale. The project has been well received, but some critics point out that small efforts like this cannot create real change in policy or legislation. The point was not to induce policy change though; Food Revolution was aimed at shifting mindsets. Judging by the reception the project has received, it is safe to say it has definitely achieved its goal. And once mindsets are changed, it is much easier to change policy.
Once again, Oliver’s target audience is children and Food Revolution works hard to get schools involved. They are also trying to get kids more in touch with their food and where it comes from. Education projects in the U.S, the U.K and Australia will be funded by all the money raised through Food Revolution Day.
This project debut is perfectly timed, coming out at the same time as the HBO mini-series The Weight of the Nation which highlights nutrition-related health problems, the rise of obesity and other issues that stem from unhealthy eating.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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