Jamie Oliver Slams Michael Gove for Wasting Children's Time

July 4, 2012 5:23 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver has a quick 1-2 for Michael Gove, British Secretary of State for Education (Photo: Creative Commons)

Across the pond on July 4th, while most Americans were just getting their barbecues rearing to go, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver had a few choice slams for conservative British Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove. Chief among them was an expressed concern that Gove's latest ordered inquiry into school food reform is a needless one: a delaying tactic that he believes wastes precious time and will be overlooked once the bigger picture comes into focus.

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In keeping with Jamie Oliver's strong track record as the most winsome nutritionist there is, this is one food revolution that will, in fact, be televised. No stranger to the world of politics or controversy, his successful call for public school food reforms in America have, in spite of their good intentions, been criticized by Republican detractors for an alleged partisanship, perhaps due to a conservative anxiety that such a popular figure could use his influence to align himself with both Obama's "Nanny State" and the mission of current Democratic First Lady Michelle Obama to end childhood obesity. This is akin to all those misguided souls with unhealthy bodies who cried out that government sanctions prohibiting the consumption of trans fats was a limitation on American freedoms.

Like him or not, Jamie Oliver's policies are not only consistent, they span the politics of two nations with conservative powers aimed at delaying school food reforms. Mr. Oliver mourns the lameness of the minister's inability to approach school food reform in what the chef believes to be a severe and necessary way, lamenting that a "government which listens and which sees the ill health of [its] country's children as a major challenge to be met with important, sustainable policies to actually solve the problems..." is nearly impossible.

Oliver also slammed Gove over his choice to choose the Lauriston primary school in Hackney, east London, to make his announcement. Though the school is a prime example of healthy eating, with its chicken coop and gardens filled with fruits and vegetables, it is an outlier in England. Oliver criticized that it was "ironic that this morning's announcement by Mr. Gove was given at a lovely school with a kitchen garden, and with a dedicated school caterer creating freshly cooked meals on site."

Let us hope that Gove does not continue to stretch the truth of the situation as Britain's children continue to stretch their waistbands.



 

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