Jamie Oliver's plan to banish boring food
JAMIE Oliver is on a mission to banish boring food.
The popular UK chef and TV personality, who rose to fame as The Naked Chef, had already taken on fast food, added sugars, poor school lunches and food education.
Now he's setting his laser focus on so-called super foods and the world's most nutritious diets to help people live longer, happier lives.
"Super food is a hot word; it is faddy but in a weird way fads are important," Oliver tells APN's The Guide.
"They can often be wrong, but they are important to get people talking when no one's talking about stuff and then hopefully some sense and balance comes in."
In his new series Super Food Family Classics, Oliver travels to Sardinia, South Korea and Switzerland to learn about local foods responsible, at least in part, for the world's longest living people.
"It's not about eating quinoa," he says.
"The carrot is a super food. No one thing is a golden bullet. There's a cluster of amazing things that not only look and taste great but are nutritious.
"The reason I did this show isn't just because I came up with a great idea... it's because I think I could make better choices and I don't want boring food."
Inspired by his work on the new series, which features three nutrient-packed meals in each episode inspired by his travels, the father-of-five is currently studying to become a nutritionist.
"I'm seven months into studying my masters now and it will take me another three years. Already my qualifications are more than most doctors in the UK in regards to nutrition; that doesn't seem right," he says.
"In the current crisis of one in three kids being overweight or obese (in the UK), the days of it being optional are gone."
He recommends "trade ups" at the supermarket, such as whole wheat pasta, bread and flour rather than white and "real" dark chocolate rather than milk or white.
"These things sound boring but the health upsides are huge, and often they taste better," he says.
So what are some of his food and nutrition bugbears?
"I read thousands of comments on social media every week... are carbs bad for us? Is it OK to throw coconut oil in everything?" he says.
"If you wanted to sum up the whole super food movement and the things I've witnessed over the past two years, then it's about more veg, more fruit, more seeds and more beans.
"It's as clear as daylight. Slightly more controversially, most of our ancestors would eat meat two to three times a week, not six or seven. And definitely the next big thing and revelation in science is going to be around the gut and gut health and how that's connected with all aspects of health and how you feel... you are what you absorb."
Jamie's Super Food Family Classics premieres on Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel 10.