Jamie Oliver calls for a global food revolution

20 May 2016 | Cancer Prevention, Policy

Jamie Oliver is a phenomenon in the world of food. He is well-known as one of the world’s best-loved television chefs and restaurateurs. Jamie’s passion for healthy food has led him to tackle global childhood obesity and undernutrition.

Last year, you lovely lot supported my global day of action, Food Revolution Day, shouting about the need to teach every child about good food, in turn helping them to be healthier and happier. On Friday 20 May, we’re again making a big noise about the global Food Revolution, with our fifth annual day of action, Food Revolution Day, and I wanted to briefly update you on what we’re planning in order to ensure that 2016 is a breakthrough year.

Firstly, rather than focussing all our efforts on a single day, we’re using the Food Revolution to launch an ongoing, global campaign to provoke debate and inspire positive, meaningful change in the way we access, consume and understand food. We want to inspire and encourage people all over the world to make better, more informed decisions around food, and in turn, empower them to support and push for positive change in the wider food industry.

So why are we here? In a world where 41 million kids under the age of five are overweight or obese, while another 159 million are too undernourished to grow properly, something has to give. Unless we address global malnourishment now, our children will continue to grow up at risk of diet-related disease. World Cancer Research Fund have recently shown that about one-third of the 13 most common cancers in the UK alone could be prevented through improved diet, more physical activity and a healthier body weight.

I’ve been campaigning for better food and nutrition for more than 15 years now, and while I’ve never been more concerned about the state of global child health, I’m also absolutely positive that we can reverse the tide. Together, if we speak out now as one united, global voice, we have the power to make meaningful, lasting change in the way our children access, consume and understand food. Never before has it been so easy to spread and share information, to provoke debate, to lobby governments and to harness our buying power as consumers in such a way that big business and industry have to change their practices for the better. We’re facing an exciting, but scary time ahead, and the health of future generations really is in our hands.

In essence, the Food Revolution is about each and every one of us taking a stand. And that doesn’t mean we all need to make radical changes – we all have the power to contribute to the bigger picture simply by making the effort to act positively in small profound ways, whether that’s cooking with our kids, reading up on current food issues, sharing what we learn with those around us or buying a better product that supports a fairer system – it all counts. It’s about building a community of people – experts, parents, communities, policy makers, activists, scientists, you, me – and turning that collective noise into a powerful movement, harnessing technology to elevate our voices into one loud, united choir. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t try to make a difference, and the fact that you’ve taken the time to read this, suggests that you feel the same way.

At the heart of our ongoing campaign is a new hub - jamiesfoodrevolution.org. Here we’ll shout about both the joys of cooking and the ugly truths of the food industry. We want to strike a balance between celebrating the incredible artisans, activists and communities who are already out there making a real, positive difference, and bring to light the food issues that urgently need to change to allow us to create a better, healthier, happier world.

So WCRF readers, please sign up now and join the revolution. Access to good, healthy food is a basic right for every child – let’s make that a reality. The time to act is now.

jamiesfoodrevolution.com | #foodrevolution | Photo credits to David Loftus

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Jamie Oliver | 20 May 2016

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