March 25, 2010

Oliver: If you don’t understand what’s in the ingredients, don’t buy it

Posted: 06:31 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.  Yesterday, we brought you part one of our Q&A.  Click here to catch up.

Now, here is the rest of our conversation…

LKL Blog: Americans are fascinated by chefs like you, yet Americans eat out frequently and don’t cook at home.  Why do you think there’s that disconnect? 

Oliver: It’s basically because the landscape, 7,8,9 times out of 10, offers you the same crap.  If you’re busy and don’t have time to cook, and the only thing in the high street is s*%t, then you’re going to eat s$%t, if it tastes all right.

If you’re poor, and have never been taught to cook at school or at home, and you’ve got kids screaming all around the place and you’ve got to feed them, they’re going to get the same pre-packed, pre-bought crap from the supermarket.  There’s nothing, as I’ve said, not even the milk escaped being played with.  The sugar is in there to make more people drink it.  It’s colored and flavored to do the same.  If you take salad dressing, it should have 3 or 4 ingredients in it, not 10 or 20.

The reality is people are getting ill.  Diet related deaths are the biggest killer in America.  You hear about murder and gun crime all the time; it’s not even on the radar in comparison as far as numbers are concerned.  Obesity, diabetes, drugs, all the cancers are massively impacted by lifestyle and diet.  I do think now is an incredibly important moment in time.  It’s a time when a great country that can put people on the moon, with people that are working ever harder, and paying for yet ever more stuff, I believe need to recognize and have help to recognize, the simplest thing of knowing how to cook, or shop.

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Filed under: Jamie Oliver • LKL Web Exclusive

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LKL BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Seacrest on childhood obesity

Posted: 04:52 PM ET

Programming note:  Tune in tonight at 9pm ET / 6pm PT when Ryan Seacrest and chef Jamie Oliver speak to Larry about their new show, “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” and how they are trying to help one of the unhealthiest cities in America. 

Below, Ryan shares his thoughts on First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to take on childhood obesity.   It's a Larry King Live web exclusive...

By Ryan Seacrest

I think it is so fantastic that First Lady Michelle Obama has launched a campaign against childhood obesity. Countless statistics have shown that childhood obesity is a national epidemic and demonstrate that today’s kids need to eat a healthier diet and live a more active lifestyle.   It’s shocking that the current generation of U.S. children could be the first to live a shorter lifespan than their parents. 

I hear concerns from parents everyday through my radio and television shows.  I believe that if you want to be successful in life, you have to give yourself the proper fuel, which means eating well and exercising. This is how I keep up my pace. I support and applaud all of Mrs. Obama’s efforts on this issue and the 'Let's Move' campaign, which aims to educate both parents and kids about the importance of exercise.

I recently teamed up with U.K. Chef Jamie Oliver, who is a champion of health and nutrition programs, including improving community school lunches in his home country, in an effort to further the dialogue on this issue. I stand behind Mrs. Obama and will do my part through my platforms to help further the national conversation.

Editor's note: "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" premieres Friday March 26 on ABC.  Click here to view a clip of the new show...

Filed under: Jamie Oliver • Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive • Michelle Obama

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March 24, 2010

Jamie Oliver: The Dollar Is More Powerful Than The Kid

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.

LKL Blog: What do you think of Michelle Obama’s efforts combat childhood obesity and promote healthy eating?

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!

Filed under: Jamie Oliver • LKL Web Exclusive

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