World-famous cook Jamie Oliver wades into vacuum-packed food debate

The Naked Chef wonders why prisoners in Denmark are better fed than the elderly

World-famous TV chef Jamie Oliver has weighed in on the debate that has been raging over the last month about councils serving a week’s worth of vacuum-packed food to the elderly.

Several councils have now opted for delivering a week's ration of the lunches to older residents rather than having home helpers make them fresh sandwiches every day.

Ugly and unhealthy
Oliver was underwhelmed when Jyllands-Posten newspaper showed him photos of the vacuum-packed dishes. Although he admitted he had not tasted the food, Oliver wondered how much nutrition could survive in a dish that sits for a fortnight before being eaten. He was also concerned about the additives required to keep food fresh for that long.

“You can reach a point where food is no longer food because there are so many additives,” he told Jyllands-Posten. “You can be sure that if E numbers are bad for kids, they are also for the elderly.”

READ MORE: Old people being served old food

Oliver said the councils should ask themselves a few basic questions, like “Should a paedophile in prison receive better food than older residents who have paid their taxes for many, many years and may have even fought for their country?”

And they look depressing
The councils claimed studies showed that the nutritional level of the food does not drop over time, but Oliver contended that there were other considerations.

“Many older people are depressed, and this does not look very appetising,” he said. “I am convinced that your country has intelligent people who can do this better.”