Jamie Oliver declared May 19th, Food Revolution Day, calling on “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.” So far they’ve planned over 600 events in 58 countries to answer the celebrity chef’s call.
So what is it all about really? According to Oliver, Food Revolution Day is open to anyone in the world who is interested in taking a step towards a healthier lifestyle. Food lovers, chefs, schools, businesses, restaurants, and everone from all over the world participated in local events and social media meet-ups. There was even a Twitter feed @FoodRev and a Google+ hangout.
The timing of the Food Revolution coincides with HBO’s mini-series The Weight of the Nation that aired this week. The series highlights nutrition-related health problems and the rise of obesity and related problems that come from unhealthy eating.
However, can this small, localized lifestyle movements like Food Revolution make any real difference?
Big Ag and lobbyists still have massive control over the way Americans eat and what they consume on a large scale. Although the response has been positive, critics feel that such small-time movements cannot hope to achieve much. The point of Food Revolution however, is not to change food policy but to change mindsets of people and it can be said that it has achieved that with the response it has received. Once this is achieved, changing political policy might become much easier.
Jamie Oliver’s work with school lunches is well known and it is natural that he is now setting his sights on the bigger issues. His primary target audience remains children, with the Food Revolution focusing heavily on schools getting involved. He is also trying to get children more in touch with their food and where it comes from. Funds collected through the project will go towards education in the U.S., UK, and Australia.
Image Credit: ZooFari, Wikimedia Commons