Emerging Foodie

WARNING: Foodie geek about to blather on. But I promise there’s content more than “mmmm, grilled eggplant” and “mmmm, balsalmic strawberries” and “mmmm, grilled Moroccan meatballs.” Really, I promise.

So today my son and I swung by the library a) because it’s Thursday and I thought we could see how long we could sit in storytime (the answer is half of a book and half of a song) and 2) because I had holds in (it’s so convenient to place holds online, but the librarians do sigh as they remove a shelf’s worth of items for me). Today I was especially excited because three cookbooks came in, one of them being Jamie’s Dinners by Jamie Oliver, a.k.a. the Naked Chef.

This is his most recent publication, one that is near and dear to his heart: he has been filming a documentary looking at the food being served in public schools in England, and what he’s discovered hasn’t been pretty. So he decided to do something about it with his Feed Me Better campaign:

Jamie’s School Dinners is all about making radical changes to the school meals system and challenging the junk food culture by showing schools can serve fresh nutritious meals that kids enjoy eating.

What we eat affects everything. Mood, behaviour, health, growth, even our ability to concentrate. A lunch time school meal should provide a growing child with one third of their daily nutritional intake. But the processed junk foods served in most school dining halls these days don’t.

The father of two adorable girls (named Poppy Honey and Daisy Boo – I wonder if they’re friends with Apple Martin . . .), he’s been motivated to find create and share recipes that are healthy, tasty, and economical to make for the sake of his daughters’ generation and beyond. His compassion extends to the meals eaten at home with families: “All the major factors that are needed to make a good affordable school lunch also apply to a mindful, clever cook at home.” Many of these recipes have been served at his restaurant Fifteen: “The purpose of Fifteen is to inspire disadvataged young people to believe that they can create for themselves a career in the restaurant business.” He trains people to be chefs and then helps them find employments – 37 people have completed this program, and round 4 is in the works.

Talk about taking your talents and gifts and putting them to work to better the world! His passion and his compassion collided. True, he does make quality money, but he doesn’t spend all of his time on his career as some chefs do. He probably could have been much more of a Food Network personality, but he stepped back to focus on these works. He didn’t have to have any special “social work/non-profit” type training: just his knives and a desire for healthy, simple meals for all. Now that’s a post-modern/emerging foodie if I ever saw one.

What skills and gifts have you been blessed with? How are you called to use those in your daily life for the sake of others? These are questions the whirl in my head on a daily basis, so maybe I can get some answers by hearing your experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *