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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

Let me eat my pizza in peace

Sorry Jamie, I will always choose cake over carrot

by Sam Gowans

On the outside, Jamie Oliver appears to be a family-oriented man with a passion for cooking easy, affordable, healthy foods. However, after lobbying MPs, Oliver has further stripped us from our ever-dying free choice via the Sugar Tax and banning products. After being put in place earlier this year, the outcry began: it is a tax from the rich that will only really affect the poor.

This isn’t the first time Oliver has affected people’s day-to-day life. After his Feed Me Better campaign, Oliver came off victorious, banning several fast food items from school lunch menus and stopping us from feeding our children their favourite foods. My favourite food as a fussy 7-year-old child was Turkey Twizzlers. I’m sure you can imagine the tantrums and crying that resulted when my mum told me the nice man from the TV was the monster behind this.

A man who punishes his own children by rubbing viciously hot peppers on his children’s treats should have no say on what is being given to our kids. His reign of terror doesn’t just affect children - as a grown adult I am still being affected. Oliver successfully lobbied First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to pledge to ban ‘Buy One Get One Free’ pizzas and other promotional deals for some of our most treasured foods. It’s worth noting that Oliver’s policies affect the poor far more than the wealthy. The poor are significantly more likely to entertain the prospect of a Dominos over using one of Oliver’s cookbooks or preparing their own meals.

When he tells you his aim is harm reduction for a nation with growing childhood obesity, he is being incredibly hypocritical. Some of the recipes in his coobooks are loaded with six times the daily amount of sugar. Burger King’s executives are Satan incarnate for not promoting his push for healthy food, but it’s just dandy if he sells a burger with twice the fat limit recommended by the NHS, and double that of a Whopper.

What is the point in banning and increasing prices of food we all know is unhealthy? It just means that shopping is an unnecessary hassle for those with real work to do. More than that it is increasingly expensive and for students, every penny really does count.  

Why should I have to pay an additional 30p to drink my favourite beverages? Where is our free choice when it comes to food?

When a friend and I decide we want pizza, we’ll have to shell out some extra cash - because our patterns won’t change, it is just more expensive now. Jamie Oliver is so detached from being a regular, working-class human that perhaps he is genuinely convinced these changes are good for the country.

I have been counting calories for many years now and I don’t believe that reducing or taking away sugar from products will reduce obesity in the way the government claims it will. Oliver may be happy living his life in his bubble blaming products for making people obese, but us millennials should fight for a better solution rather than trading up our favourite drinks and snacks.

If Jamie really wanted to help reduce obesity in Scotland, perhaps he should make all his recipes healthy or vegan; make healthy meals tastier and more affordable. Perhaps he could lobby for something legitimately useful—better access to sports for adults, open gyms with reduced or free memberships for young people? Instead, Jamie wants me to be slightly less content whilst I’m gorging on overpriced comfort food.


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