A few years back, everyone (or almost everyone) watched Jamie's debut "The Naked Chef".
The concept was new and fresh.
It attracted people who didn't like to spend too much time in the kitchen, probably because recipes where easy fast without fuss.
There was that special touch which brought the ultimate cool thing to do with friends on weekends.
Then Jamie Oliver became more famous; started to publish books about food of course.
He got married and became a Dad as well, with four children.
After opening a few restaurants, He decided to speak openly in various TV and radio programmes about school dinners and the importance of revising what children are eating and the quality of all ingredients. Some pupils don't even know that a chip comes from a potato or that baked beans don't grow in trees!!! Alarming, isn't it?
Sadly, it has been announced that what Jamie wanted to achieve has not worked out. Why? Probably because of our Society.
It is simple though: health and food are directly related.
However, what we see is a mega birth of take-away and fast-food outlets. What is available is generally processed and saturated with salt and sugar in order to minimise wastage.
Winners are all these corporations who want to monopolise our High Streets.
Consumers are becoming sheep: following the trend. A bit like if everybody goes there it must be good. In fact, it is not that good. Portions are huge and people see that they are getting a good deal out of what they get in their plates (or boxes)!!!
Quantity does NOT mean quality! We know this, but it seems that the visual impact is stronger than common sense. Eat more but all of it is not that good for your organs.
So, Jamie has failed to convert parents, teachers, children about his healthy school dinner project!
"...A 500ml bottle of cola has 131/2 teaspoons. What? Half the sugar you consume is hidden in foods. The single largest amount of calories consumed by our children is in sugary soft drinks..." Source
There are two issues:
- easy to buy ready meals which take a few seconds to be hot by using a micro-wave oven,
- lazyness of parents who are too 'busy and tired' to spend time in the kitchen to prepare fresh vegetables based meals.
Whatever the County Council allows, it could well affect our health. In other terms, how many pizza, burger places and other greasy spoons do we need?
Jamie didn't certainly go to too far about trying to change (bad) eating habits. It has just been incorrectly received by families.
As he said himself: ...eating well is a 'posh and middle class' concern...
However, local markets can be cheap and bring very good quality ingredients on our tables. Of course, this requires an effort...and even this seems to be 'complicated'. Of course, calling or online ordering a pizza - bucket of chicken wings with french fries and have it delivered is the easy option, without actually caring about sugar and salt intake!
No wonder that the UK Government is worried about obesity of young children. More food and less exercise is what makes the nation fat. Technology such as game consoles and social media are making the future generations lazy.
It will (eventually) change but even more efforts and patience will be required... or is it already be too late?