The British chef Jamie Oliver is the face of a new campaign to raise awareness and educate the public about the problem of obesity and proper nutrition for children.
The contradictions of our millennium seem endless. And in the MilanEXPO year, the paradoxes of the food we eat has become the focus of attention.
On the one hand, we are discussing how to produce food for all those people suffering from hunger; but on the other, we are also talking about people in the richest countries suffering from diseases related to poor diet.
Worldwide, there are more than 42 million obese children under 5 years of age – and not just in the United States, where fast food rules. To take an example closer to home, Italy ranks third in Europe and fifth in the world for childhood obesity. That’s not a result we should be proud of.
The contradictions continue: every year in Italy, we bin 10 to 20 million tons of food, valued at about 37 billion euro. That’s equivalent to 450 euro per year for each family.
To foster a culture of healthy eating and to combat waste, “Food Revolution Day” was recently established as is being promoted by British TV chef Jamie Oliver, the forty-year-old owner of a chain of 29 restaurants. His business philosophy is, perhaps, unique: teaching proper nutritional habits and helping the disadvantaged young people who now work in his kitchens.
“With the increase in problems related to being overweight and the exponential growth of medical costs to national health systems, it has never been more important and urgent to educate children about food, explaining where it comes from and how it affects their bodies,” Oliver said in a recent interview.
A host of musical celebrities have joined the international campaign launched by the British chef to persuade the governments of the G20 countries to introduce nutrition education into schools with a petition, a song and a video. The rap song was written by singer Ed Sheeran and the video features superstars such as former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, Jamie Cullum, Alesha Dixon and Professor Green.
The message of the song is obvious: there is a desperate need for a revolution that would give children the cultural capacity to choose healthy foods. Music is a really powerful way to spread the message about the global importance of good nutrition.
Let the food revolution begin!