March 24, 2010
Posted: 07:54 PM ET
Jamie Oliver is a world renowned chef, and host of a new TV series: "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" which premieres Friday on ABC. The series focuses on the town of Huntington, West Virginia, recognized recently as the unhealthiest city in the US. His crusade is to change that.
Oliver gave us a few moments to play 5 Questions. Here are two of the 5, and CHECK THE BLOG TOMORROW for the rest.
Oliver: We’ve been watching and monitoring what they’ve been doing for the last year now, and they’re proactive, they’re doing a great job. I can only compare it to what was happening back home in the same situation, and it wasn’t as much.
To me the biggest worry isn’t Michelle Obama, it’s congress doing its job. I think largely their heart's in the right place. They get the vision, they get that it has to be across the board. It can’t just be about fixing school dinners, it needs to be about the workplace, it needs to be about the fast-food industry, supermarkets, food producers, you know everyone trying to have a better impact on the world. But she’s talking about something that no president or president's first lady has gotten close to in 40 years. This is new territory for them, for her, and for politics. I think it’s so exciting to see what unfolds.
LKL Blog: What do you see as the governments role to encouraging more healthy eating? Can the government legislate people into eating better?
Oliver: Well, let’s reverse the question. The environment is obviously not doing itself any favors without it. You’ve got an environment at the moment where companies want to self-police their own packaging. But you’re in a country where packaging’s probably the worst in the world. You can baffle people with bull&%$t left, front and center. You can express with pictures or words things that aren’t true. Obviously there needs to be some interjection because it ain’t working.
You can’t be a government or a country that on the right hand says, “we’re in a health epidemic, first generation of kids expected to live shorter lives than their parents.” Then on the left hand, with military precision, have free commodities that are basically processed junk, with lots of additives and other things that don’t need to be in the food. The government doesn’t necessarily need to lead the charge, but if they did, it would give signals to companies, retailers, the fast-food industry, producers, supermarkets, parents and schools, that we have to start to care. You can do a little bit.
There is certainly a lack of clear standards. Everything is complicated and nothing is safe. Even milk has as much added sugar as fizzy pop. So you’ve got that getting poured on some cereal in the morning, which is also riddled with all sorts of sugar, and flavoring and things, and it’s just not great for the kids.
So politically, making legislation is always argued against, and there are always people that don’t like it. I don’t think it’s radical for me to say that the dollar is far more powerful than the kid, because there’s lots of proof. Kids can’t sway things to change, but the dollar can. I just think it’s interesting times and there needs to be some controls in place.
READ MORE on the LKL Blog tomorrow!
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