On Food Revolution Day this Friday 20th May, Jamie Oliver and numerous famous faces, including the campaign’s Global Champions Bollywood A-lister Jacqueline Fernandez, and judge and host of MasterChef India Kunal Kapur, will be calling for people around the world to sign up to the Food Revolution. Jamie and his army of revolutionaries will be putting pressure on governments at the World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva on 23rd May to tackle the global child nutrition crisis.

In a move that Jamie Oliver has called a “game-changer”, he and numerous other well-known personalities will take to Facebook Live on 20th May for a 7-hour cooking marathon. The aim is 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.

Jamie Oliver commented:

“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 the 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.”

Credit: Karl Garbor
Credit: Karl Garbor

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.

Food Revolution Day, now in its 5th year, 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.

Jacqueline Fernandez had this to say on the project: “It’s great to be involved in the Food Revolution this year. It’s particularly important to us here in India because we’re in the middle of a child nutrition crisis – as millions of kids suffer from being severely under-nourished, whilst last year over a quarter of Indian children between the ages of 13 and 18 were classed as obese. If we’re going to combat the nutrition crisis we have to do it as one.”

Chef and TV host Kunal Kapur told us that: “As a father myself, I understand the vital importance of good nutrition and a balanced diet to aid a child’s physical and mental development. I jumped at the chance to be involved in this worthwhile and unique initiative. It will be great to bounce off some of my cooking skills with Jacqueline and to demonstrate just how easy it is to cook nutritious meals.”

Supporting the Food Revolution in India is The AkshayaPatra Foundation, the world’s largest free midday meal programme. The foundation will tomorrow serve its 2 billionth meal in a school in the Guwahati, Assam.

Started in 2000 at a kitchen in Bengaluru, The AkshayaPatra Foundation serves nutritious food to over 1.5 million children every school day, in 11,000 schools across 10 states in India. With 23 kitchens all over India that provide nutritious, vegetarian India staple food like daal (lentils), rice and delicious vegetable preparations, The Foundation believes that no child should be deprived of education because of hunger; for many children in India their daily cmidday meal in school is the only proper, nutritious food they receive. Their mission is to feed 5 million children by 2020.

The partnership with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is led by AkshayaPatra UK. Dipika Khaitan, Executive Director, AkshayaPatra UK says: “It’s an exciting partnership between AkshayaPatra and Food Revolution Day on a doubly momentous day, with AkshayaPatra serving it’s 2 Billionth meal and Jamie launching his Food Revolution day programme in India. Together we endeavour to not just tackle hunger, but to serve a healthier, more nutritious meal to every child in India and across the world.”Akshaya Patra LOGO

In India, the government is trying to reduce the number of malnourished children by launching initiatives like the ‘Infant and Young Child Feelings Counselling 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’. However, still more must be done.

That’s why Jamie together with film actress Jacqueline Fernandez, host and judge of MasterChef Kunal Kapur and partners such as The Akshaya Patra UK Foundation are calling for people in India to sign up and join the Food Revolution and ask their government to:

  • Make a new SMART commitment this year to tackle under-nutrition
  • Help to make 2016 a breakthrough year on child nutrition
  • Ensure Indian leadership is present at the World Health Assembly meeting on 23rd May, at the Nutrition for Growth Summit in Rio at the time of the Olympics, and at the UN General Assembly in September

The World Health Assembly is the annual meeting of all the world’s health ministers in Geneva. This is a great opportunity for India to tell the world what it will do to tackle child obesity and child malnutrition. Jamie Oliver will also be there to encourage ministers to take strong action.

Jamie and thousands of others across the globe are asking for people to call on their governments to commit to action on nutrition and sign up to the Food Revolution (www.jamiesfoodrevolution.org) and use #foodrevolution in social media posts to show global leaders that this is an issue that can’t be ignored.

As part of Food Revolution Day, Jamie will also be taking 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.

Chef Kunal Kapur and Jacqueline Fernandez will be cooking live on Facebook at 3.30pm IST on Friday 20th May from the Pali Village Cafe.