London Community News
By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
Michelle Clermont is convinced modern foods, complete with their additives, artificial colours and preservatives contributed to her daughter contracting a disease most often found in alcoholics.
Clermont’s daughter, Megan, is 15 now, but three years ago she was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. As a 12-year-old, Megan certainly wasn’t an alcoholic, so Clermont began investigating possible causes for her daughter’s chronic illness.
Her conclusion was food additives, such as high-fructose corn syrup and all the convenience and fast foods modern North Americans rely upon, were the root cause.
“I believe the chemicals in our foods triggered it. High-fructose corn syrup is one of the worst evils out there. There is the added salts, the MSG, all the colourings, all the additives that are in basically everything,” Clermont said. “The problem is, our bodies don’t know what to do with it. They impact everything from the heart, liver, pancreases, kidney, thyroid, it all just creates havoc with the body.”
Her interest in healthy food choices is what would lead her to becoming co-ordinator and ambassador for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Day, which is taking place in 319 communities across the globe on May 19. Oliver is an English chef, restaurateur and media personality, known for his food-focused television shows, cookbooks and more recently his campaign against the use of processed foods in national schools.
In London, Food Revolution Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Covent Garden Market. The program for the day will feature children’s events put on by Growing Chefs, seminars for parents on nutrition and making lifestyle changes, along with how to create a budget and set up a healthy kitchen.
For Clermont, the opportunity to share her own philosophies with the global branding that Oliver brings, is one not to be missed.
“Jamie Oliver is trying to get people back in the kitchen, cooking their meals, not relying on convenience foods and fast food to feed their families,” Clermont said. “The more we can be eating what grows from the earth, from animals that walk the earth, the fish that swim in our waters, the healthier we are going to be.”
Christine Taleski agrees with Clermont, which is one reason she has volunteered to help. A self-described fan of Oliver, Taleski said she had to get involved after hearing London was getting a Food Revolution Day.
“I think there is a lack of food education in our generation, in our children’s generation. I think it is very important we become more aware of what is going into our bodies,” Taleski said. “I have been following Jamie Oliver’s model for year. The thought we could do something locally, something that could impact the lives our children, is exciting and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Clermont wanted to get involved with Oliver’s Food Revolution Day so she contacted his organization through his website, www.jamieoliver.com. When they responded, they asked her to organize a London event. It took a while to set up the local event, but she is quite pleased with what has been brought together.
Taleski is also quite impressed with what Clermont has helped create.
“I think it is going to be a really exciting day. I don’t think we have had anything like this in London before,” Taleski said. “It covers all the bases, we have awareness for children with the help of Growing Chefs, we have education for parents, there is entertainment, something for the whole family. And it is absolutely free, which is good as well.”
Clermont is also excited about the possibilities of Food Revolution Day. While she hopes the day provides people with a lot of fun, she is most hopeful participants will take away one important point from the day.
“All I want people to do is walk away learning one thing, just one thing they didn’t know about food,” Clermont said. “I am not expecting people to turn around and change their whole lifestyle. But pick one thing, stop drinking pop, and replace it with a healthier choice.”
For more information or to register for events, visit www.foodrevolutionday.com.
Find us on Facebook: London Community News