Canada’s biggest potluck: Sobeys Better Food For All

Regular readers will know I am passionate about teaching kids to cook and sharing my knowledge of and passion for cooking with others.  You’ll know that I’ve been a supporter of (and Toronto Ambassador for) Food Revolution Day since its inception in 2012.  Today, Sobeys is taking a stand and partnering with Jamie Oliver – encouraging more Canadians to get cooking and participating in Food Revolution Day – a global day of action for people to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills.

Recent research undertaken by Sobeys Inc. looked at how Canadians measured up in the kitchen, at current Canadian attitudes and behaviours around food preparation, cooking skills and eating habits. They conducted over 1,000 online interviews in February with Canadians ages 18 to 80, and discovered some interesting trends.  The research* released earlier this month revealed a number of interesting facts.

1. There is a generation gap when it comes to food knowledge and confidence in cooking skills.

31% Canadians under 30 are confident in the kitchenNot too reassuring, huh, if we’re trying to encourage young people to get back in the kitchen and learn how to cook…

2. Canadians are consuming too many processed or prepared foods:

Sobeys research 18% Canadians one meal a day from scratch62% of Canadians dietary energy comes from ultra processed food3. When cooking skills are passed down from generation to generation, there’s more enjoyment and collaboration in the kitchen.

Kids who cook with parents are more likely to love cooking as adultsKids who grow up cooking love to involve others in the process of cooking and share what they know4. Canadians who say they love to cook believe tasty, healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming.

From scratch meals can be cost effective and time effective tooIn light of these results Sobeys wants to get people cooking again.  According to Doug Brummer, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Sobeys Inc,  “Sobeys is on a mission to help Canadians eat better and feel better and we know cooking skills are an important element of that. It’s why we’ve partnered with Jamie Oliver who is so passionate about sharing his food knowledge and inspiring people of all ages to get cooking.”  Jamie Oliver supports the Sobeys initiative, stating that “Food Revolution Day is all about cooking from scratch and sharing cooking skills and food knowledge. Sobeys’ research proves it – not enough Canadians have cooking skills to pass down.  I’m excited to be working together to change that.”

A great way to support Food Revolution Day is to host a potluck – and hey, since the Food Revolution Day theme this year is “Let’s Get Kids Excited about Food” why not cook with your kids and host a potluck together?  Canada’s Biggest Potluck Party challenges Canadians to host a potluck leading up to Food Revolution Day on May 16th.

Sobeys Potluck When participants share a post or photo of their potluck with the hashtag #PotluckChallenge, Sobeys will donate $1 to the Cooking Toward  Independence Project. The new initiative run by the Children’s Aid Foundation will improve the lives of young people leaving the child welfare system across Canada when they turn 18 by funding cooking skills workshops and creating access to healthy food.

SobeysPotluckSnapShareSupportTo find out more about how you can get involved in Canada’s Biggest Potluck, check out Better Food For All.  Register your potluck here (note: link no longer valid). And don’t forget to involve the kids too.

So go on Canada, let’s get kids excited about food by hosting a potluck this Food Revolution Day. Plan and cook a potluck dish with your kids. Or invite your potluck guests to bring a different ingredient and teach everyone (including the kids) how to cook a meal together. Looking for some potluck ideas? Check out Sobeys Potluck Inspiration (note: link no longer valid)  Looking for some recipe inspiration? Check out the official Food Revolution Day recipes for kids, families and adults!

* About the research: In late February 2014, 1014 online interviews were conducted with Canadians between the ages of 18 and 80 years old, representative of the overall population by age, gender and region.

Disclosure: I have been compensated for promoting the #PotluckChallenge. If you read this blog regularly you’ll know Food Revolution Day and getting kids cooking are both causes I believe very strongly in and so I’m happy to promote people getting back to cooking and eating real food (especially with kids) with this campaign.

4 thoughts on “Canada’s biggest potluck: Sobeys Better Food For All”

  1. It’s interesting. I overheard two women on a train recently – both looked to be in their mid-30s and both looked as if they had careers.
    They were discussing a food show on TV and one said to the other: “When I watch those people cook, I realise that I don’t actually prepare food – I rearrange on a plate, food that has already been prepared in a commercial kitchen somewhere. Cooking is really completely different.”
    The comment struck me as it seemed as if the TV program had lifted a veil from her eyes.
    Time seems to be the enemy so, clearly, if people enjoy cooking, they will not see it as a chore.
    Good luck with the ‘Potluck challenge’.

  2. I just recently chaperoned a 10 day swim training camp with my daughter & her team mates, aged 12-16. Most of the kids had little to no cooking experience, and the conversations we had indicated that there wasn’t much variety in their diet (or exposure to new foods!). So, I created a team challenge, where the swimmers were divided into teams, given a reusable shopping bag with the ingredients & recipes to make a main dish (2 of the 4 were Jamie Oliver pasta recipes!) as well as a fun and healthier dessert. The kids had a blast learning how to make these unique dishes, and given the ridiculous number of calories that elite athletes consume, I am so glad to know that they can all make something healthy and satisfying AND gained some experience and confidence in the kitchen! It just shows that if someone takes the time to teach young people what to do, they will be excited to learn and make much healthier choices!


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