World-saving chef Jamie Oliver is adding "clean water crusader" and "fast food fighter" to his lengthy resume this year. According to The Sacramento Bee, he has teamed up with the California Endowment — a private health-focused foundation — to launch a new initiative in California with the goal of "install[ing] new water filtration stations in communities and schools around the state." According to the organization, 2.5 million students do not have access to clean drinking water at school meals. Often, they substitute "junk beverages" like soda for water, which increases "their risk of diabetes by at least 26 percent." The project will kick off at the end of this month when 120 clean water taps will be installed across California.
Oliver has also joined forces with legendary chef Alice Waters and fellow school lunch activist chef Ann Cooper to launch a coalition for children's food education. According to a press release, the coalition's mission is "#foodtruth" or educating kids about "real food truths and Fast-food falsehoods." Oliver explains, "Children today live in a Fast Food world, where their understanding... of food is often manipulated by big food companies... As a result, many kids believe that food is a packaged product that comes off a shelf or out of a drive-thru window." Together the three chefs, and their respective healthy eating foundations, are "working on a number of awareness initiatives" to save kids from the evil fast food empire.
The trio even took to Reddit to do an Ask Me Anything to explain their coalition. The post started off oddly: "If Ann Cooper is the Yoda of healthy food for kids, then Jamie Oliver is Luke Skywalker and Alice Waters is Princess Leia?" It did not go over well.
Oliver has put his involvement in food activism into overdrive already this year. Just last week, Oliver declared war against sugary beverages in the UK, announcing that sugar is "definitely the next evil. It's the next tobacco." Oliver wants the government to begin taxing sugary drinks like they do tobacco.