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Akhila Vijayaraghavan headshot

Can Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Hope to Achieve Food Policy Change?

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 

Akhila Vijayaraghavan headshot

Akhila is the Founding Director of GreenDen Consultancy which is dedicated to offering business analysis, reporting and marketing solutions powered by sustainability and social responsibility. Based in the US, Europe, and India, the GreenDen's consultants share the best practices and innovation from around the globe to achieve real results. She has previously written about CSR and ethical consumption for Justmeans and hopes to put a fresh spin on things for this column. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she is a voracious reader and enjoys photography, yoga, travelling and the great outdoors. She can be contacted via Twitter @aksvi and also http://www.thegreenden.net

Read more stories by Akhila Vijayaraghavan