Maybe Not Everyone Likes What Jamie Oliver is Doing
Friday, August 18, 2006 | posted by Mike
I’m sure you’re all devastated by the lack of an Ace of Cakes review. Well, I was busy last night and flat-out missed it. Sorry. I’ll get off my Duff (pun intended) and catch it at some point. Expect a short review then. Of course, if there is an enterprising guy or gal out there saw it and wants to submit a review, send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post it. (Be sure to let me know how you’d like to be credited)
We linked to those charming photos of Jamie Oliver in the fat suit the other day. If you didn’t check them out, be sure to look at the new ones that the Daily Mail has, including the one with the Vespa. Was that really necessary?
We’ve been taking it for granted that The Naked Chef’s program to improve the diets of British schoolchildren has been a good thing. Silly us! According to Claire Fox, who is the Director of something called the Institute of Ideas has a different take on what Oliver is doing. From a speech to the Showcomotion Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield, England:
Oliver’s Channel 4 programme has been a convenient - if unwitting - Trojan horse for pushing Department of Health messages. Oliver and other broadcasters have proved to be an invaluable asset for a government keen to launch a mass campaign of behaviour modification.Oddly, Fox makes no mention of the threat posed to our precious bodily fluids by fluoridating water.
…Likewise, when Oliver proclaims to the nation’s children that processed food is bad and organic food is good, are children fully informed that the evidence for this claim comes from the Soil Association, the main advocacy group for organic farming in the UK?
OK…Fox does have a point that we don’t know with certainty the long-term effects of processed foods or “unhealthy diets.” And, in many instances, those with a financial incentive are the ones supplying the evidence that is being put forward.
But the clinical and anecdotal evidence certainly points to unhealthy weight and diet issues, and it’s not like everyone is getting fat off free-range chicken. I don’t know Fox or the Institute, but these are the same terrible arguments put forth by John Stossel here in the U.S., which strike a chord with the viewer because they imply that you should go ahead and do whatever makes you feel good…why should “they” to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong? And who do you think is pushing that line of reasoning? Hint: McDonald’s and Archer Daniels Midland’s lobbyists are better funded than the organic food lobby.
Is this issue one that requires personal responsibility? Of course, but if kids are going to see Ronald McDonald four times a day on television, they need someone giving them a different perspective. And, in schools, kids have a very limited amount of choice when it comes to their lunch diet. If that means that governmental agencies use the support generated by the campaign to justify new, stricter regulations on unhealthy foods, how is that any different than food-handling regulations that came out of the writings of Upton Sinclair?
Labels: Jamie Oliver