Jamie Oliver is back on our screens again and in the news. His new TV series and campaign, Ministry of Food, is aimed at encouraging people to cook proper food with a view towards curbing obesity and improving the health of the nation.
His campaign starts in Rotherham where over the past year he has been encouraging people to learn to cook one recipe and then pass it on by teaching two others. He has also set up a local Ministry of Food Centre where the public can drop in and learn basic kitchen skills and how to cook simple but tasty meals.
The original Ministry of Food was set up when World War II broke out to educate the public about food and nutrition and help families make the most of wartime rations.
Jamie has been quoted as saying
“It’s such a shame that it takes a bloody world war to focus people’s attention on health, but we have a modern day war on our hands now and it’s over the epidemic of bad health and the rise of obesity. We eat more ready meals than the rest of Europe put together and have the highest obesity levels,” he points out, predicting: “This will be the first generation of British children to live shorter lives than their parents.”
It might just be that the recession and current obsession with, ‘beating the credit crunch,’ might help Jamie in his cause provide the catalyst towards a healthier nation as World War II did.
Sadly despite modern day intelligence and communication I feel that the Jamie style Ministry of Food has a much bigger job to do than the original Ministry of Food in teaching cookery skills which for some are a long lost art. Unless we can encourage people to cook from scratch using fresh ingredients, obesity and ill health will prevail and Aldi’s present logo, ‘Don’t change your lifestyle, change your supermarket,’ isn’t the answer.
I wish Jamie well in his quest and will be watching the TV programme with interest.