Jamie Oliver’s latest push is to bring basic food skills to the masses who have none. He named the CH4 series and it’s subsequent book, Jamie’s Ministry of Food. The first programme showed a family with two kids all eating kebabs out of styrofoam with their fingers.
With the world and its cat destined to be obese by Christmas you’ve got to admire him. Sure, he’ll make money from the project but there’s definitely a philanthropic side to Mr Oliver. Previous projects, as well as this one, have given him masses of completely avoidable stress and some very vengeful PR.
I recently visited a doctor’s surgery four times in a week with my very unwell daughter. The surgery is a vital hub for the community and employs eight doctors who all have daily queues outside their doors. But the waiting room couldn’t be more sombre. No radio, no TV (perhaps a blessing if Jeremy Kyle et al had been on), but the walls are littered with posters of good intention that appear completely ignored: stop smoking, don’t let your husband beat you, etc. You get the picture.
Well here’s my idea: why doesn’t the local authority follow Jamie’s example (using his name with permission) and have the local college, which is just 1.5 miles away, put on cooking demonstrations? Not fluffy five star stuff, energised five-a-day stuff. The surgery gets a new lease of life; the students get some real consumer contact; the lecturers get a massive reward; the patients get inspired (hopefully) and the area promotes healthy eating without a government press release. Costs could be largely met be sponsorship – maybe the Tesco cook along, or perhaps a pharmacy company?
Sounds like several wins to me. Now, where are those forward-thinking college deans and doctors?