2017 marks fifteen years since I opened my first restaurant, Fifteen, and I did it here in London – where else! Food brings prosperity to London, it strengthens our communities, it lets us express our creativity and it sustains and binds our cultures. London’s food is a wonderful and powerful thing.
But here’s the problem – we’re not consistent. Our city’s food environment is also compromising our health, shortening our kids’ life-expectancy, reducing productivity, costing taxpayers billions of pounds, crippling our healthcare service, and widening the gap between the least and most disadvantaged people in our society.
It’s time for us to do something together – it’s time to make a difference.
This is about working in our own backyard before we look further afield. It’s about harnessing the incredible creative, influential, passionate minds in our city and giving business owners, consumers, schools and communities the tools to make a difference. It’s about using the powers we have, to their full potential. At the same time, the UK government needs to do all it can to support London to up its game.
Right now, Londoners don’t have enough clarity about the way our food is made, sold, advertised or marketed. And that’s why we’re in trouble.
The ideas I’ve put together below – some big, some small – are about giving us true choice, not imposing limits. We’re not building a dam, we’re simply changing the quality of the water.
Crucially, London needs to make it easier and cheaper for its businesses to sell healthy food so that consumers have a choice. We’re seeing this happen in other cities – take the deputy mayor’s brilliant policies in Amsterdam, which saw a 12% drop in the rate of childhood obesity. This is totally achievable, come on Sadiq, let’s make sure London is next!
This letter calls on Sadiq, the Mayor of London, to put food at the heart of his health inequalities strategy. He has a real opportunity to change the way Londoners eat, cook, sell, buy, advertise and enjoy food. For Good.
I hope you guys will help me make some noise! Please tweet and post this to show the Mayor of London that food should be at the heart of all health policy.
@MayorOfLondon I care about the health of Londoners PLS put food at the heart of your policy ideas for the future #FeedTheCity
Come on guys – let’s do this!