Nutrition advocates campaign to make healthy food education a mandatory part of elementary curriculums around the world.
Childhood obesity and poor nutrition are endemic in low-income communities in the US and elsewhere. Solutions based on healthier school lunches and better access to grocery stores have helped, but progress has been slow. Now, nutrition advocates are turning to a new tool: education.
Outreach tools in this new movement go beyond the classroom, from celebrity chef campaigns to non-profit restaurants. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has become a spokesperson for the cause, spearheading the Food Revolution Day project, a campaign to make healthy food education a mandatory part of elementary curriculums around the world. The first event, which took place on May 15, 2015, was just the beginning of an ongoing campaign.
In London’s disadvantaged Tottenham, epicenter of the 2011 riots, a planned restaurant called Chicken Town will help to substitute healthier food in place of unhealthy chicken shop fare at a cost of just £2 per meal. Secondly, it hopes to encourage young people to think more about their food, while partnering with local schools to host cooking sessions in the restaurant.
Food education has been devalued in recent decades, thrown out along with quaint, sexist notions such as mandatory home economics for girls. But the tide is shifting as concerns about public health grow. As brands are expected to play a larger role in solving social problems, could they sponsor non-profit restaurants and use them for education? If so, the idea could ultimately be a win-win for consumers and brands.
Image credit: Chicken Town