Cooking for life.
There are loads of initiatives out there to make our society healthier, but I think a huge opportunity is being missed.
Food is an intergral part of us. We are after-all what we eat.
There is much sounding off these days about:
- how bad our diet is,
- who is to blame
- and what should be done about it.
In my opinion the answer, whilst not a quick fix and not free, is simple.
We need to engage people, starting with the next generation of adults (16 – 20 year olds) on the joys of food.
What not to do:
- Don’t call the project a project.
- Don’t call it healthy eating.
- Don’t make it compulsory.
“It”should be designed in such a way that most people, from all sections of our society, want to belong to “it”.
Ultimately it appears that to engage people a carrot is needed – a carrot that feeds into the psyche of young people is required.
How can this work?
Well, how about all educational establishments having as part of their week a session (or sessions), where all members can participate in a “gathering” which cooks and eats.
This should be led by a person who can be inspirational about food from the most basic level and with a good knowledge of nutrition.
The idea is to cook a meal (which happens to be mostly healthy) as a group and then eat together.
During the “session” conversation would be directed around ideas for food, cooking and eating .
The educational establishments should have an allotment garden running alongside this initiative, to educate people about where their food comes from and what it looks like (ie all carrots not identical).
This allotment should be run by students and staff from the establishment (again, not compulsory, but willingly).
These sessions should have a competition element to them. The groups within an establishment could have a competition (seasonal / annual?) and each establishment could compete against like establishments (obviously with set competition criteria).
The winner(s) could have their dishes/menus published in a high profile book/website, and receive “royalties” for it, thus tapping into the “I want to be famous” part of young peoples philosophy.
Well I know we are in a period of austerity,but unless a philanthropist wishes to put his name to this then I feel it would be money extremely well spent by the government (perhaps the NHS). Unless we do something huge about the way we eat and soon, we are going to cost the world.
The way we eat is not only good for our physical well being, but hugely beneficial for our mental and social well being!