Jamie Oliver, leave a child’s diet alone

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This Christmas I sat down, flipped on my TV, and engulfed myself in the guilty delights of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food series. As a trickle of drool anointed my chest, I watched caramelized onions pleasurably swim in sizzling butter and huge steaks detox their glistening fat while generously smothered barbeque sauce.

Of course, the loud and excitable Oliver didn’t highlight how the resulting steak and onion sandwich, if eaten on a regular basis, may hail adult-onset diabetes and a myriad of other diet-related diseases that are, for lack of a better term, inducing population control. Why would he? He’s an international public figure with a corporate reputation to uphold, and this is delicious comfort food.

This is why I find it so ironic that Oliver has involved himself in a campaign to teach children how to grow and prepare their own ‘nutritious food.’ His campaign website quickly rambles off a couple of unfortunate health statistics and proclaims its goal to “create a movement powerful enough to force all G20 governments” to make food education in public schools mandatory.

To clarify, yes, fast food and other packaged goods permeate Western food industries. While cooking skills diminish as ubiquitous ready-to-go meals flourish, it’s a shame (though not surprising) that 42 million children under age five are unhealthy. Yes, I believe that governments should make more efforts to ‘get kids while they’re young’ and teach them about what ‘food’ really is. I just find it an enormous shame that it may take a celebrity campaign to instigate such a widespread change.

Jamie Oliver should stick to doing what he does best: cook comfort food.

Jamie Oliver, whose loaded “insanity burgers” boast “ultimate indulgence,” is really a trademark fraught with irony, capitalizing on some of the most severe health issues of today.

To worsen matters, CBC recently posted an article outlining Oliver’s plan to call upon Canadian politicians to join the movement. He claims that “he’s not political, but the issue of healthy food [is] a politically charged one.”

Buddy, if you’re blatantly not political, why are you making such a bold statement about how politics should run? Is this what your manager asked you to do? I’m definitely not political, but I’m going to “force governments” to plaster my face over 42 million overweight children and call it change. You’re welcome.

I guess it doesn’t help matters to find out that Oliver launched his restaurant chain in Toronto last year. Yum! More steak sandwiches for everyone. But please don’t visit his restaurant; grow and make your own nutritious food. Didn’t you hear we’re having a global health crisis?

Maybe Oliver should stop pretending he knows politics, and do what he does best: cook comfort food. And maybe wealthy governments should think for themselves and cook us up some common sense. That way we all have a better chance to live well, without a trademarked tongue sampling our salty global stew for hints of butter and cash.