Opinions of an outspoken chef
Published 28/08/2013 | 10:36
Jamie Oliver’s attack on families who eat fast food and buy expensive TV sets is not the first time he’s had a controversial opinion.
Jamie Oliver said he found it hard to talk about modern day poverty.
He said: "The fascinating thing for me is that seven times out of 10, the poorest families in this country choose the most expensive way to hydrate and feed their families. The ready meals, the convenience foods."
The celebrity chef is prone to controversial opinions. Here’s a round up of Jamie Oliver’s soapbox:
On British kids
In February 2011, the celebrity chef said that British children are “wet” compared to the Eastern Europeans he employs in his restaurants.
He said: “I am an employer of 350 chefs, and when it comes to the 16- to 20-year-olds we see at the moment, I've never experienced such a wet generation. I'm embarrassed to look at British kids. You get their mummies phoning up and saying: "He's too tired, you're working him too hard" – even the butch ones.
"Meanwhile, I've got bulletproof, rock-solid Polish and Lithuanians who are tough and work hard. Physical graft and grunt is something this generation is struggling with."
He has also portrayed England as a wealthy country where materialists spend money on lavish TVs.
He said: “The people I'm telling you about have huge TV sets - a lot bigger than mine! - they have state-of-the-art mobile phones, cars, and they go and get drunk in pubs at the weekend - their poverty shows in the way they feed themselves.
"I found the cooking of the inhabitants of the slum in Soweto in South Africa a lot more diverse than ours. It's true! I'm going to be harsh, but I think a lot of English people's food lacks heart. It's bland."
Alcohol has already come under attack from Oliver. When an interviewer suggested that the English can’t food because they drink too much, he said: "It's true. Historically we've never produced wine. We have a culture of alcohol and we're more beer orientated: the only people who drink more than us are the Irish and the Scottish."
Oliver has championed the condition, calling it “a total bonus.” He said: “The people who I admire and love who get me going, Richard Branson, Paul Smith, they're all dyslexic."
On school dinners
The original campaign will always remain close to Jamie Oliver’s heart.
He said: “School food has come a long way since my original campaign, but more needs to be done to improve standards and teach kids about food. We can’t underestimate the importance of investing in our children’s health and productivity at school.”
On packed lunches
Although he said we shouldn’t monitor packed lunches, Oliver has criticised unhealthy packed meals parents give children. "I'd say some are close to child abuse”, he said.
On academy school meal standards
Oliver attacked Michael Gove over plas to allow academy schools to opt out of national school food rules.
He said: "I think parents need to tell Mr Gove that the standards are there for good reason, and actually not everything that the last government did was wrong. They did a lot of good stuff and he shouldn't touch them.”
On the health secretary
When then-health secretary Andrew Lansley said that there had been a drop in the number of children eating school dinners following the healthy eating drive, Jamie Oliver hit back.
He said: ''To say School Dinners hasn't worked is not just inaccurate but is also an insult to the hard work of hundreds of thousands of dinner ladies, teachers, headteachers and parent helpers who strive to feed schoolkids a nutritious, hot meal for 190 days of the year.”
On farmed chickens
In one episode of Jamie’s Fowl Dinners, male chicks with no use for egg production were put in a container and deprived oxygen.
He said: “I don’t think it is sensational to show people the reality of how chickens live and die at the moment. It may be upsetting for some people, but that’s how things are.”
“Sometimes I think of myself as a chef, but really I am a professional s*** stirrer.”