Saturday, 12 May 2012

Countdown to Food Revolution Day - 19 May 2012

Saturday 19th May is Food Revolution Day. The brainchild of Jamie Oliver, it is a day for increasing awareness of global food issues. Known for his very public campaigning for healthy food in Britain's schools, Jamie Oliver is hoping for widespread support. The trigger for this event is the rise of obesity levels around the world. Jamie Oliver is hoping everyone wants to do something to curb this worrying trend, and that they will support his brave new initiative. However, in his article in The Sun on 1 May 2012, he was aware that he may have his detractors. He says, with typical frankness:  "Some of you may like and trust me, some of you may find me annoying, but whoever you are, and wherever you’re from, I hope you’ll identify with what I’m saying."

So what is Food Revolution all about? 
It is about getting people together with the purpose of spreading the message of nourishing yourself and your family through food which is nutritious and, if possible,, we homemade. Jamie Oliver wants people to "share information, talents and resources; to pass on their knowledge" and "to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone." This sounds like a mission which is up the street of any food loving individual in Britain, doesn't it?

Let's be honest, many of us are busy, hardworking and with our busy schedules, we are tempted to cut corners. I remember when I first started working, the idea of coming home and cooking a whole homemade meal seemed like too much to ask. So Him Indoors and I ate a lot of pre-prepared oven and microwave meals and we relied on a lot of take-aways. Eventually, however, we got bored of what we were eating. The flavours of the pre-prepared food seemed bland and muted. The takeaways started to all meld into one. And we started to realise they were expensive and not particularly healthy.

So we made a promise to ourselves to have, wherever possible, homemade dinners. We resolved to share cooking and preparation duties to achieve that aim. We found that this was a great shared experience; it encouraged us to co-operate, to chat whilst working, with the reward of a tasty meal at the end of the process. 

I know what some of you are thinking: "Tasty? That's arrogant!" Well, it may sound that way, but honestly, almost ANY homecooked meal tastes better than pre-prepared. Whatever your level of skill, it is using fresh ingredients and cooking just before the time of eating makes such a difference. Pre-prepared food and ready meals have been knocking around for a while. As a result, the flavours are already dulling. And often, preservatives have to be added, causing even more muting and degradation of the taste. 

It's true, when we first started our personal home cooking revolution, we weren't always turning out fantastic meals. To be honest, we have the odd 'kitchen disasters' even today. But a small amount of perseverance will pay off amazing results. Our cooking evenings have turned into a regular bonding experience, and it comes as no surprise that many workplace 'teambuilding' events are based around cooking together.

Now is the time for us all to start really thinking about what we eat.As yourself some of these question:
Is what we eat as healthy as we would like? 
What simple changes could we make to improve our diets? 
How much are we spending on food? 
Is it too much?
Could that be because we are spending too much on takeaways and ready made food? 
How can we cook at home more often? 
Can we share the tasks involved?
Is it time to make sure the whole family has the skills to prepare a simple meal?
How can we make sure the next generation eat healthy, homecooked food and use takeaways and eating out as a treat?

If you want to support Food Revolution Day there are lots of things you can do.
You could:
Have a dinner party on Saturday 19th May.
Ask you company to pledge its support.
Ask your children's school to pledge its support.
Hold your own food event.
Support a local food event.
Make a donation to the Jamie Oliver Foundation (visit, check the top right hand corner, click on 'donate' and then select where you are in the world to make your donation).
Follow @foodrev and #foodrevolution on twitter.

If you are in London:
There is an Indian Street Food Supper Club at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen. 
The apprentices of Fifteen Apprentices will be running a stall at Borough Market and selling flatbreads from 11am. 
You can book at place for the following:
Community Feast: Eat Better, Waste Less Event at St Marys (Secret) Garden, 50 Pearson Street, London, E2 8EL
The Cake Table bake sale at Hackney Homemade FOOD market at St John's Church Gardens (off either Narroway or Lower Clapton Road)
Stoke Newington Farmers Market Taster Event 10am to 2:30pm in front of St Paul's Church, Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 7UY

What are you doing for Food Revolution Day?


  1. Amen Snig's. I find him very annoying, but its a necessary message and shames me (again) into a weekend stocking up my freezer with real food rather than pre-prepared rubbish!

  2. Dear Sake Bounce,

    Thanks so much for posting a comment.

    I personally admire Jamie for doing all he can to try to demystify cooking and encourage people to have more awareness about what they eat. It was his early TV shows which helped me build my confidence at cooking, so I owe him a great debt.

    But then I am well aware that a lot of people find him annoying or irritating. Thanks so much for looking beyond the messenger to the message. It is totally a worthwhile one.

    Well done for stocking up on real food. You can feel good for the rest of the week now when you tuck in!

    Peace and best wishes