International foodies worldwide saw the launch of Food Revolution Day on Friday, 20th May 2016 amidst a fanfare of celebrities, live cooking events, a flurry of social media activity and, of course, the British celebrity chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver, who launched the campaign. Jamie and his army of revolutionaries staged a series of live events on Facebook to encourage governments at the World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva on 23rd May to tackle the child nutrition crisis.
Now in its fifth year, highlights included chefs and celebrities streaming live on Facebook on 20th May during a seven-hour cooking marathon, calling for people around the world to sign up to the Food Revolution. In India the campaign’s Global Champions – Bollywood A-lister Jacqueline Fernandez and judge and host of MasterChef Kunal Kapur – were the hosts of the live event on Facebook which took place at Pali Village Cafe in Bandra West. Food Revolution Day also partnered with The AkshayaPatra Foundation, the world’s largest free midday meal programme, to serve its 2 billionth nutritious meal at a school in Guwahati, Assam. The AkshayaPatra Foundation serves nutritious food to over 1.5 million children every school day, in 11,000 schools across 10 states in India. On Food Revolution Day, The AkshayaPatra Foundation served its 2 billionth meal.
Jamie Oliver said:
“The last 15 years have been tough at times. There were a few of us out there asking questions, wanting answers and making a lot of noise but it often felt like no one was listening. But recently we’ve started making headway, governments are beginning to change policies. This Food Revolution Day we’re going to give governments that extra little nudge by running longest-ever Facebook Live campaign, getting millions of people involved from all around the globe. The World is crying out for action and there has never been a better time to make changes to save millions of lives.”
Food Revolution Day, which is saw Jamie joined by a host of well known chefs and personalities, all of whom carried out Facebook Live broadcasts from the around the world to help make history. Some of the notable names included: Jacqueline Fernandez and Chef Kunal Kapur (Mumbai, India); Chef Gennaro, Chef Clodagh McKenna, Charlotte Crosby, Alfie Deyes, Tanya Burr and Jim Chapman (London); Kris Jenner, Wolfgang Puck and Cody Simpson (L.A. USA); Chef Donna Hay (Sydney, Australia); Chef Ali and Juliani (Nairobi, Kenya); Chef Tim Malzer, Chef Steffen Henssler and Janina Uhse (Hamburg, Germany); Chef Ana Luiza Trajano and Chef David Hertz with guests Marina Person and Felipe Solari (Sao Paulo, Brazil); cookery personality Marion Elias and Ali Kiba (Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania); Chef Eros and Waje (Lagos, Nigeria); Chef Lynn Crawford (Toronto, Canada); and Bart Van Olphen and Miljuschka Witzenhausen (Netherlands).
As part of Food Revolution Day, Jamie also took an International Omelette Challenge global to get people, young and old, experiencing first-hand how super-quick, easy and delicious healthy grub can be wherever you are, and encourage more noise on social media for the Food Revolution.
Jacqueline Fernandez said:
‘Started my day discussing my favourite topic health and nutrition! Jamie Oliver has started a global food education campaign to eat better. In a country like India riddled with problems like starvation and obesity this was an important discussion. Let the Food Revolution never stop!’
The aim of Food Revolution Day was to encourage people to join them in a full-scale, global Food Revolution – a major part of which will be giving people power to lobby their own governments to fight diet-related disease. It aims to provoke discussion and inspire positive, meaningful change in the way we access, consume and understand food. Starting in kitchens at home and moving up to the highest levels of business and government, Jamie believes people must work together to empower children with the nutritional knowledge and resources they need to live healthier, happier lives. Currently 41 million children under five are overweight while another 159 million are too undernourished to grow properly: we are in the middle of a global health crisis.
Chef Kunal Kapur said:
‘Jamie Oliver’s food revolution is so important because it promotes healthy eating using local, fresh produce. India needs to discuss the importance of healthy eating and nutrition and this event was just the stepping stone. The Food Revolution has to continue and spread globally!’
In India, the government is trying to reduce the number of malnourished children by launching initiatives like the ‘Infant and Young Child Feelings Counseling Centre’ in certain states. At the same time, it is beginning to tackle the obesity crisis by raising awareness of the negative impact that poor dietary and lifestyle choices can have on health, with programmes like the ‘National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke.