Published on 16 May 2014 Sections , ,

Jamie Oliver’s kitchens ‘would close’ without foreign staff

“If I took the Polish, Hungarians and the Lithuanians out of my kitchens, my kitchens would close tomorrow:” celebrity chef Jamie Oliver tells Channel 4 News.

Video: Social Affairs Editor Jackie Long interviews Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver has warned it is “morally, socially and financially unacceptable” that children are becoming unhealthier as he attacked politicians for failing to tackle the problem.

The TV chef said he was making it his own personal goal to reduce childhood obesity in the UK by at least 5 per cent in the next five years. And he said he was “deeply offended” that none of the nation’s politicians, regardless of party, had made the same pledge.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s Food Revolution Day, TV chef Jamie Oliver has warned it is “morally, socially and financially unacceptable” that children are becoming unhealthier, as he attacked politicians for failing to tackle the problem.

I won’t ever stop demanding positive change that gives the next generation a brighter future. Jamie Oliver

He said he was making it his personal goal to reduce childhood obesity in the UK by at least 5 per cent in the next five years, and said he was “deeply offended” that none of the nation’s politicians had made the same pledge.

“I know to some of you I’m like a broken record. You’ve heard me talking about food and its impact on the health of our nation for many years. But you’ve got to hand it to me, at least I’m consistent – I won’t ever stop demanding positive change that gives the next generation a brighter future,” he said.

“It’s a sad fact that our children are getting unhealthier and they’re expected to live shorter lives than their parents. This is morally, socially and financially unacceptable, which is exactly why this record will carry on playing.”

Read more: Jamie Oliver on Michael Gove, eating, ranting - and Ukip

Making the right choices

Oliver said decent family food does not need to be pretentious or expensive, but is about being aware of the option and knowing how to make the right choices to enjoy a varied healthy diet.

“I hear loads of cynics saying that I’ll never be able to change anything,” he said.

“They say that junk food marketing and the ready availability of fast food is just too powerful.” He continued: “I know that most people, if they’re really honest, are fed up with the same old rubbish.

People do want better for themselves, their kids and their communities. Jamie Oliver

“People do want better for themselves, their kids and their communities, and this is why I’ve given myself a personal goal to try and reduce childhood obesity in the UK by at least 5 per cent in the next five years.

“It deeply offends me that there isn’t a single politician from any party in this country that has personally committed to the same challenge, and that the CEOs of every supermarket in this country haven’t either.”

The chef said that it is every child’s human right to learn about food at school, and called on governments worldwide to make the subject a “fundamental must” in every school.

“Whether it’s Britain, the US, Zambia, Australia or Sri Lanka, or any of the other 95 countries taking part, they’re all getting involved this year to shout about the need for food education in their countries.”

Among the events taking place today is a bid for a Guinness world record for the biggest-ever cooking lesson.