CELEBRITY chef Richard Corrigan has said there is a "very high level of ignorance" about how to eat properly and has called for more educational measures in schools to deal with the problem.
Families often do not have the basic skills of being able to cook, he said, and claimed organisations such as the Irish Countrywomen's Association should be brought back to the fore to help people improve their diets.
However, new research has shown that recipes by TV chefs, including Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, are "less healthy" than ready-meals.
Meals randomly selected from books by top TV chefs – including 'Ministry of Food' by Jamie Oliver, and Nigella Lawson's 'Kitchen' – contained "significantly more" fat, saturated fat, energy, protein and less fibre per portion than supermarket ready-meals, the UK study reported in the British Medical Journal found.
Neither the ready-meals or the recipes complied with all of the nutritional recommendations by the World Health Organisation.
Mr Corrigan, who runs three restaurants in London and hosts RTE's 'Corrigan Knows Food', said: "I think it is time now for more education, more food education, more nutritional information on a school level. There is a real ignorance of how to cook well, how to live, how to sustain yourself with proper nourishment."
The chef urged people to stay away from supermarkets.
"Spending £300 (in a supermarket) is not my idea of how to live or how to shop or how to live your life. I would say to people just wake up, leave your superstore out, for one month shop locally and see how much money you will save."