Celebrity Chef Irvine: Cooks Can Educate the Government on Healthy Food

Celebrity chef Robert Irvine is encouraging parents to cook more with their children and schools to allow students to go outside more often.

Irvine, a Food Network host, was asked about a recent study that revealed students are throwing out the fruit and vegetables that are required as part of school lunches under the federal government’s nutrition standards.

“We blame government for everything, right, but let’s take it from where it is first of all, we have to look at how kids are at home, how their nutrition standard is. And we tend to follow our parents, so if our parents ate burgers and this and that, nine times out of 10 the kids follow,” Irvine told PJ Media at the grand opening of the newest Giant Food location in Alexandria, Va.

“They have to understand how to cook it. So we want kids in the kitchen with their parents enjoying that, then we look at the standards of food K through 12 with low sodium, low sugar, low fats – the same in the military. There’s an obesity crisis going on now. It’s up to us to make sure we can still give people pizza,” added.

Holding up one of his pizzas that are sold at Giant, Irvine explained that his food products incorporate healthier ingredients while retaining flavor.

“This is a wheat crust pizza with wheat, but we’ve taken the brown out because kids don’t like brown, but it’s still the nutritionals of wheat, whole pepperoni – 800 calories from a 12-inch pizza – better for you but without losing flavor, the money goes to the charity,” he said, also mentioning that his food line includes crab cakes and cheesecake as well.

“My whole goal in life is to give food that is good for you, nutritious for you, healthier for you but without losing the flavor. Food is not bad for you and salt is not bad for you; it’s how we use it. So it’s up to us as chefs and retailers and entrepreneurs to educate kids, their families, the military, the schools, the government and show them what can be done that they don’t think about,” he added.

Irvine recently appeared at the Fort Belvoir military base with actor Gary Sinise to feed the troops.