Sustainability: It’s What’s for Dinner

This May 19, celebrity chef and food activist Jamie Oliver is promoting Food Revolution Day, when communities around the world come together to focus on real food and its health benefits for kids and adults. What bears noting is that more than childhood obesity is at stake: human health, environmental health and social justice all collide on our dinner plates.

In this video introducing Food Revolution Day, Oliver touches upon a piece of wisdom that holds us back from progress: the need for certainty and easy answers before we take action.

As the video says, “it took us 50 years to get into this mess, and it’s going to take some time to get out of it.” Oliver has highlighted a key issue around sustainability — it’s incredibly complex and there are no silver bullets. No easy solutions? That makes many of us very uncomfortable.  Our need for simple, yes/no answers (local or Fair Trade? calories or carbs? Mediterranean diet or Neanderthal?) gets in the way of progress.

Despite this complexity, Oliver and his team have hit upon some ways to move people to healthier eating habits: eating real food, especially fruits and vegetables; sensible portions and learning to  cook from scratch.  Making real food a priority and making thoughtful decisions, even if the perfect thing to do is not always clear, can only help us attain a healthier food system and a more sustainable world.

Think eating sustainable, healthy food is easy? Consider the issues that complicate our food choices, but that nonetheless require urgent attention. Here’s just a partial list:

Our “modern” food system was created by greed, ignorance and apathy. A new system can be based on community, education and mindfulness. Maybe May 19 will be a milestone in this new creation.


Photo credit: Is eating a revolutionary act? Still from Food Revolution Day video


nicola w.
Jane H.4 years ago

Wow - read that list and we really have some massive problems with the way we grow, invent , sell, trade and eat food.....

Julie H.
Julie Hoffman4 years ago

Great article

federico bortoletto


MarilynBusy ForCharities
4 years ago

If you want to clean up our food supply, please sign and share the needs more signatures in order to be please help it along....

Don Schneider
Don Schneider4 years ago

One of the larger groups of people suffering from type 2 diabetes are Vietnam Veterans,( also Guam, Thailand and Okinawa Veterans of the Vietnam era) who were exposed to Agent Orange. These folks are not the typical type 2 diabetics who can, through diet change, alter their conditions. To assume that all type 2 diabetics are over-weight over indulgent victims of their own excesses is ignorant, cruel and inexcusable. Of course no apologies will be forthcoming, after all, we are Vietnam or Vietnam era Vets, not the "heroes of todays all volunteer forces", we were citizen soldiers ! BIG difference !

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Mercedes P.
Mercedes P.4 years ago


Susan S.
Paul Stephan4 years ago


Winn Adams
Winn Adams4 years ago


Sandi C.
Sandi C.4 years ago