Last summer I spent a week in London during the summer Olympics and I saw firsthand just how ubiquitous Oliver’s brand is in the British food and culture scene. No less than 3 television channels played his various cooking shows. His enthusiasm for cooking, especially with natural and home-grown ingredients sourced from what’s portrayed as his backyard garden (so beautifully wild and expansive that it makes me question if it’s more set than actual space), is infectious. One of my friends watching Oliver’s show with me one day actually went out to pick up the ingredients at the local butcher and market for a delicious steak sandwich we’d just watched him whip up, and made us an amazing lunch courtesy of that recipe.
What was so remarkable about that act, is the power of Oliver’s message. We can eat amazing food, prepared by our own hands, with just a little bit of imagination and determination. It doesn’t take much to nudge people in the right direction when it comes to food, as long as you provide them with something tasty and easily accessible. My friend who prepared that lunch wasn’t a chef or owner of a Michelin-star restaurant. He was just a regular guy who felt inspired to have what he saw, to taste it for himself, and to share that with those around him. Why can’t we all do the same for ourselves, our families, and our communities?
Jamie’s Oliver’s Food Revolution campaign is a global effort to answer that question. Much like Food Day in the fall, the key to this movement is motivating the masses to act locally by supporting individual events targeting school lunches, sharing healthy recipes, workplace nutrition, and educating people about food quality and security in order to reverse the obesity epidemic. This micro approach means that everyone can join. Everyone has the power to inspire tangible change by just reaching out and sharing this message. There are no boundaries to this movement which makes this an accessible campaign with the potential of far-reaching impact.
The revolution aspect marks the vital importance of this event because we’ve reached a critical tipping point in our food policy and health. Our children are facing a stark future filled with a rising risk of disease brought on by malnutrition via poor food quality and eating habits both in school and at home. We’ve been made accustomed to go for the fast and easy by choosing foods designed to keep us hungry and unsatisfied while pumping unhealthy preservatives and additives into our systems. Our children are inheriting those habits and many have little to no exposure to healthy foods, made at home and shared at the table with their families.
Instead of waiting for our leaders to take a stand at the national level to repair our broken food system, it’s time to revolutionize our homes, our workplace, our schools, and our communities.
How can you take part in the revolution?
Fill your carts with produce, visit farmer’s markets (many take SNAP and WIC benefits!), raise your awareness by learning more about where your food comes from, read nutrition labels, practice making one of the millions of healthy recipes available online with your kids and plant the seed in their minds that it is possible to have healthy food at home by your own hands. Include your children in this revolution and encourage them to develop a healthier standard for their food choices now, while they’re still young and looking to you for guidance and proper nourishment.
This is just one day. The events of today will fade. Tomorrow it will be up to you to take the lessons of today into your homes. I make each day revolutionary. My kitchen is a battleground. My family and I are on the frontlines, standing up to the pressures of unhealthy foods by choosing to listen to our bodies and understanding that quality food does more than sustain. It breeds happiness. It breeds appreciation for the natural resources that provide us with quality food. It breeds love for each other as we share in the process of cooking together in the kitchen.
If you’re looking to get involved with one of the many events taking place today, please visit the Food Revolution website and search the map to see what’s happening nearby. Sign the petition to put pressure on our politicians to improve the quality of school lunches and to put the health of nation first with a stronger food policy.
Become an activist in your home today. Keep fighting for good health and good food for yourself and for your families everyday. Why? Because you deserve more.