There is a large following that is very appreciative of Jamie Oliver. I was for a long time unsure about the man. I do not mean that in any negative way, I just didn’t know the guy. Literally, my only knowledge of him in the beginning was this ad (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPiNeIV_WY8). I thought it was funny, I was doing consultancy in the UK for a while and that is what I saw, I would remain unaware of his actions for a few more years until I saw one of his cooking shows. It looked nice, and tended to make me hungry watching it. So I reverted to my famous Bambiburger (whilst watching Bambi, because that’s how I roll) and switched to another movie afterwards. I had noticed a few of his cooking books and they looked OK, but beyond that I moved on, no negativity implied here.
My first real exposure to the man was when I was introduced to his McDonald crusade, or perhaps better stated the fast food crusade. A sample is shown in the Rubin Report (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSoJzuUgO6c, as well as CBS at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC0jMeGTJmA), so when I was aware of just how bad it was I stopped going there, I haven’t set foot into Macca’s for a long time, I might get a lemonade on a hot Sunday morning, yet that is as much as I got. I stopped going to Macca’s. He showed a part I never stopped to ponder. He became a silent hero, like my University friend and fellow student Jerome Doraisamy, how started the Wellness Doctrines and showed to be a true visionary. With his second book The Wellness Doctrines for High School Students, he is showing the younger students the path that every young person should read. With “self-help guide for secondary students struggling with academic rigours, vocational concerns and teenage issues“, we see a path that allows those who had given up, that there is a path, there are options and they can make it, there can be success. As Jerome attends to the mind of the younger person, Jamie Oliver has the physical side in mind. In the Guardian we see the goods (at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/apr/29/jamie-oliver-criticism-affect-me-childhood-obesity), with “His transformation from cheeky-chappy Essex boy chef to single-issue crusader, facts and figures to hand, about to appear in front of a select committee, is complete. You would think he would have enough going on – he closed several of his restaurants recently and restructured his business“, in all this Jamie Oliver is focused on the issue of childhood obesity. Two silent hero’s making the world a better place, because if they can tend to the upcoming generation, we would as a humanity move forward too. Now even as we, at times might question “It is not only the food industry that Oliver has targeted. He also champions better nutritional training for GPs and other health professionals“, there is a spoken truth that we ignore, we seem to go to the GP for every useless flu shot, and really useful vaccines, but the setting is that the GP has a narrow focus, he needs to be, he might tell us to see a dietician, yet will we? I know that I eat reasonable healthy, less and less Bambiburgers (the price of venison is near murder nowadays), yet I have my decent mixes of greens, pasta’s (with fresh greens) and the optional spinach stew with beef, all easily made and full of the good stuff. This came with the revelation that even as I am still the size of Dwayne Johnson (yet not in the chest section), I eat a lot better for a long time now and I walk nearly everything I do every day. I also noticed that I eat a lot less, so there is that benefit too, but overall, I could still eat better and that is where Jamie Oliver is making the difference “Oliver seems to be coming at obesity principally as a diet problem, rather than a social one, although it may be too much to ask even someone as energetic and ambitious as him to fix society. Obesity disproportionately affects children in deprived areas“. You see, even when we accept that the lifestyle choices in places like London for some is massively limited, where most are still relying on their daily fish and chips, of if fish is too expensive friend spam, we need to acknowledge that the two people are working pre-emptively. If the children are heating healthier, it could reduce NHS needs by at least 10%, which is a massive saving, when we consider the counselling and other issues that some children face in the light of pressure the writings (the second book) of Jerome Doraisamy could also impact the NHS in a positive way, as well as avoid a whole range of other issues, so making sure that every secondary school in the UK (Australia and Canada too), has at least a few copies of this book (as well as some of the Jamie Oliver solutions), we could set the next generation much better equipped on a future path, one that is healthier and ever so likely pointing towards personal success. In that we have seen so little for such a long time that the visibility of these two crusaders (not caped ones, because I still claim the title of Batman), is becoming more and more essential. Yet Jamie does not proclaim to have all the answers and all the solutions, one would be very unfair to demand that. When we see “he does not entirely understand what it is like to live in relentless, grinding poverty: to be unable to afford fresh vegetables (healthy food is three times more expensive, per calorie, than unhealthy food – Oliver has suggested that the government should subsidise healthy food); to be too tired to cook from scratch every night; to take the financial risk on a lentil recipe that your kids may refuse to eat“, now we can go that children who are really hungry will eat nearly anything, is only partially true, the addictiveness to some foods (read: food groups), especially sugar loaded ones is too tempting as the short term sugar rush is there, so it is like getting them to fight a sugar addiction seems to be more and more prevalent. Yet as it is not a narcotic, the large brands can push sugar onto everyone until it quite literally kills them (usually via some form of diabetes). This gets us to the timeliness of it all. You see, when I was young (I know a really long time ago), diabetes was something almost unheard of. Now in the US, the CDC reported that 9.4% has some form of diabetes. That is up from 8.3% 5 years earlier, so the statistics are screaming danger. Yet we remains unable to act and the fact that Jamie Oliver is pushing for larger changes so that the UK (actually the whole world) improves the stats so that we can avoid a nasty and expensive trap is more than just good thinking, it is the stuff of well-deserved knighthoods. It is in that same range that we should see the efforts of Jerome Doraisamy. The body and the mind are two parts of us, needing equal attention and the fact that we get the next generation on top of it all is massively needed, because the mind can too often work out that the rope to hang yourself with versus the rope that will snap under the weight of the 17 year old as he/she weighs 17 stones takes a mere 25 neurons (speculative), me making fun of this is how it needs to be seen, but in a very deadly serious way. Some issues we can avoid, but if healthy food elevates your mood, makes you feel more energised, and thus empowers that person, making changes to your lifestyle on both the physical and mental front become increasingly important. Not because you are saving the NHS thousands of pounds, but because the next generation could suddenly end up having worked and lived for decades in a healthy and happy way only to receive a letter, to which that person asks “What on earth is the NHS?” They didn’t know, because they were never sick. That is what we hope we could strife for and these two crusaders are making it an optional future. So even when we see in the Guardian “he will be accused on Twitter of being the “fun police”; a column in the Sun will call it a nanny-state initiative that penalises poor people“, even as we see the taken step “It calls on the government to ban junk food advertising before 9pm and unhealthy buy-one-get-one-free offers, among other things. Oliver is proud of it. He looks relaxed, sitting on one of the sofas in his industrial, vintage-styled head office – although he knows the attacks will come“, we see that there is a lot to be done, but he has started the path, and even when we recognise that “addressed to the prime minister and signed by Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and other party leaders” those undersigning is are not in government, yet when we look back to 2005, we see “In a response to the plea from TV chef Jamie Oliver for a ‘school dinner revolution’, the Prime Minister will say that school kitchens will be rebuilt and equipped so dishes can be cooked from scratch, while dinner ladies are given ‘culinary skills’ to help them create appetising menus“, it was a success as the Telegraph reported “A £280 million initiative to improve the nation’s school dinners was unveiled by Tony Blair yesterday following a campaign by Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef. Mr Blair and Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, produced the money just as Oliver arrived at Downing Street with a 271,000-signature petition demanding better meals“, so what happened to that initiative, the fact that there is a second round, how much success did the £280 million get the UK schools, what was achieved and what was not is also equally a question. You see throwing money at a problem does not make it go away, it merely gets the front page for a week at the most, So when we look at briefing paper 3336, Obesity Statistics called SN03336, attached, we see that the increase from 53% to 61%, and from 15% to 26% is shown on page 3, yet it also shows that the curve on overweight or obese is also leveling from 2005 onward, so there is a shown success, what is less shown is the improvement rate among the young population, we see the statistics and total statistics, but as we cannot see if the those obese have become less obese cannot be determined in such an aggregated state.
Another path shown is that when we compare to the mindset in Japan, where only 4% has obesity, we see that studying the Japanese culture on healthy foods is becoming a lot more interesting. I did see an excellent video by Joanne Lumley on Japan, where we actually get to see two culinary sides, the first is that Japanese prison food is better looking and healthier than anything we can get in any fast food place, second was a visit to a primary school having lunch. They were eye openers, so there is still much to be learned for all the dietary players in the world. The one fact that we do clearly see is on page 12 with “obesity rates in the most deprived areas have risen by almost five percentage points but were unchanged in the least deprived areas“, we could go by the need of income, but more importantly we need to find other ways to solve the food system on a parental level, because giving in the screaming kids demanding sugar and chips will not work. Some might want to give in, but the price down the line will be extremely high. Some have no means to afford decent food and when we see that £36 a day is needed when you are on the basic standard, yet this includes rent, utilities, food and clothing. So when we consider that number, we get a lot less to live on, so when we consider rent increase, energy price hikes and other elements not much is left and that amount is actually decreasing. That is part of the ballgame and even as Jamie does not have all the answers, he is giving us a path to consider. If the school kitchens become better equipped and gives better food, the health risks will decrease as they decrease and the children’s physique improves through sports and actual activities (we don’t all like sports), we get to consider a lot more options and now we merely have the mental option remaining, but that is part of Jerome Doraisamy’s The Wellness Doctrines for High School Students, which is not part of this discussion today.
We can argue on how good or how bad Jamie Oliver is doing it, but the one part that no one can deny is that he is actually doing something and that he is at least on the right path and trying to work on the solutions that could work is why he is one of several silent heroes of choice. A crusader who is not playing Don Quixote, he is trying to do good, not chasing windmills. when I see the Guardian article, I see there is plenty of mentions of failure, his failures, yet in all that there was not one mention of greed, or of some basic exploitation setting, merely, as I personally saw it, he tried too much in too many directions and seemingly all at nearly the same time, I am partially amazed that he was able to avoid a heart attack and a stroke in the process. So when it comes to trusting the health of your children, would you listen to Jamie Oliver or to the Marketing CEO of a fast food chain? Now consider that one of the two will get your child killed 20 years earlier, now who do you trust? Are you scared yet, you actually should be!
That is becoming the ballgame, because when there is no NHS, which with the current crises is not merely a speculative possibility, how will you get treatment for your child when diabetes becomes a fact of life? Oh, and in addition, when you are still on that £36 a day (if you are that lucky), how will you afford the medication and other needs?
These few steps alone show that not only is Jamie Oliver on the right path, we need to think the long term impact that are limiting the options we remain to keep, because the list of those options are falling faster than you think. When we accept that in the most deprived areas where child obesity went from 27% at the age of 5 to 41% at the age of 10, when you consider that danger for a mere 2 generations, how will you see the economy where part of the labour is no longer being done because those jobs can no longer be done in 3 generations because the health of that workforce will not allow that to be done, so who will do those jobs? Perhaps the kids who are currently growing up in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire or Ascot, Berkshire? You have got to be joking!
We must accept that the previous labour did make steps and we need to see what was not done, why it was not done and what needs to be done, not just done as a mere ‘because we have to‘, but because we desperately need to move away from the downward spiral that too many nations are currently on in the first place.