Jamie Oliver admits school dinners campaign failed because eating well is a middle class preserve. He has said that his school dinner campaign has not succeeded because eating well is still viewed as an indulgence of the middle class.
Jamie Oliver, the chef, has admitted his school dinner campaign has not succeeded, saying eating well is still viewed as an indulgence of the middle classes.
Oliver, who has campaigned to change the nation’s eating habits, said feeding children healthily remained the preserve of the wealthy, leaving working class communities suffering more. Saying he has not yet won the battle for school meals, the chef argued other parts of Europe produced its best food from poorer communities.
But while much of Britain has jumped on the health and wellness food bandwagon, it is still considered as something for only the “very posh” and middle class.
Speaking to the Radio Times about his school dinner campaign, Oliver said: “I admit I haven’t succeeded, mainly because I haven’t single-mindedly gone for it. In Britain, eating well and feeding your kid right and being aware about food is all considered very posh and middle class, but the reality is that in most of Europe some of the best food comes from the poorest communities. Our harder-to-reach poorer communities are suffering more.”
He has now embarked on a new project to rid children’s diets of excess sugar, as he argues its effect on public health today is “extraordinary”.
He has previously argued for a sugar tax, and clear labelling to show parents how much sugar is included in fizzy drinks.
“It’s ten years on from School Dinners but it’s absolutely part of the same thinking about love, care, abuse and what we eat,” he said.
“Sugar is such an innocent molecule, and yet its power and how it’s affecting public health is extraordinary."
He told the magazine his own four children were not allowed any sweetened drinks at all, with their mother Jools “much stricter” than Oliver himself. “We need to make fresh food more affordable than processed food because the most at-risk people right now won’t be my kid or yours,” he said, speaking of lower income families.
“They will be five- to 11-year-old deprived kids who are four times more likely to be overweight or obese than ours.”
He will soon explore the problems with sugar in a one-off Channel 4 documentary Jamie’s Sugar Rush.
By Hannah Furness, Arts and Entertainment Correspondent “The Telegraph” 24 Aug 2015