Monday, November 15, 2010

Started the ball rolling for you in Oz, Jamie Oliver with "Food for Thought"

As you all know I am a big Jamie Oliver fan, I love his passion for food and cooking. I also love the work he is doing in schools all over the UK, USA and soon Australia, with his Food Revolution. He is trying to educate, well in most cases, re educate children, cooks and food producers, on a what is a simple, healthy diet.
I am also a fan of Michael Pollan's work. He is a best selling author, who has written a number of books on food, eating well and the problems in the western diet.
Michael also was one of the main contributors to the brilliant movie
"FOOD INC", which has now been released on video, if you haven't seen it yet.
Michael's catch cry is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants"
In the introduction to Michael Pollan's latest book "Food Rules" published by Penguin Books, he says
"Populations that eat the so-called Western diet-generally defined as a diet consisting of lots of processed foods and meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lots of refined grains, lots of everything except vegetables, fruits, and whole grains - invariably suffer from high rates of so-called Western diseases: obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Virtually all of the obesity and type 2diabetes, 80% of the cardiovascular disease, and more than a third of all cancers can be linked to this diet. This diet, for whatever reason, is the problem."
Last Wednesday, I had a great privilege and opportunity to go into my son's primary school on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and speak to the Year 6 classes, of 100 plus students. The fourth term science topic for Year 6 is "Food for Thought", where they learn about food, nutrition, processed food, food labelling & packaging, healthy diet etc.
In the 45 minute interactive session with Year 6, I talked with the children about What Is Food? Why do we eat food? Did you know you are what you eat? How valuable is your body to you? What is a wholefood?
This photo below is the unexpected reaction I received, when I asked the students to put their hand up, if they would like to try some wholefood, as in a raw carrot stick!!!

What is nutrition? What is processing, refinement & preserving of food? Why do we try to preserve food? What is a highly processed food? What are some examples of highly processed foods? Food labelling. What is the difference between conventionally grown & organically grown produce?

As well as Five Top Tips they could do, to help your body every day:
Drink more Water, Eat more Fibre, Read the Labels on what you eat, Eat less highly processed foods, Cook from Scratch.
It was a fun morning with lots of interaction, questions and amazing answers from the students.

We also did some practical stuff, comparing highly processed food products to food products cooked from scratch (by me!) using wholefoods. We did some tasting of raw carrots, home made pizza & Oat, Raisin & Chocolate Cookies. Believe it or not, there was equal enthusiasm, from carrots to cookies, coming from most of the students for all these foods!

Finally, after the students got to guess the ingredients, in the cookie they were eating, I gave them all some recipes and encouraged them to start doing some cooking at home themselves.
Since then I have received two photos via email from students of their cooking results, as well as countless thank yous from parents, whose children were really impacted and excited by the session.
What a thrill for me to hear and see, such positive feedback.
Thanks Year 6 for having me, for listening well and for being willing to eat my carrots and cookies!

If you'd like janeCOOKS to come and do a "FOOD FOR THOUGHT" session in your school in 2011, contact me at


Ali said...

Love it Love it Love it!!!! Jamie eat your heart out - we have Jane!

Anonymous said...

Jane you're unstoppable!
You go girl!
Jenny P.