Jamie Oliver, well-known chef and food campaigner, went viral this week after proclaiming his vote for organic food. But it was not his announced loyalty to organic food that caught fire, it was the entire lack of knowledge he portrayed on social media about the food industry in general.
In his blog post, Vote for organic food, Oliver makes a series of claims that organic food is more nutritious, trustworthy, and grown in “naturally healthy soil, which helps control pests, weeds and disease” whatever that may mean. Oliver stated these “really interesting facts about organic food” ignoring scientific evidence that proves organic food is not better, more nutritious, or safer than conventionally grown food.
Oliver promoted his blog post on social media with the caption, “Organic food is natural food, where nature has been allowed to do its thing. Putting natural ingredients into our bodies is only going to be a good thing.” Thankfully for the agricultural industry, this post did not go unnoticed by agriculturalists, farmers, and informed consumers who were quick to jump on the misconceptions Oliver conveyed to his 4,162,895 followers.
It’s a shame that “celebrities” like Jamie Oliver have the power to influence such a significant amount of consumers with misconceptions about our agricultural industry. But on the other hand, it shows a great deal of dedication that knowledgeable experts and consumers are willing to stand up against popular icons when an industry they love is under attack.