We all know that Jamie Oliver loves to take on public issues and meet them head on. But, did you know that Rachel Ray is also passionate about improving the quality of the food served in schools?

This self-proclaimed big mouthed chef says that she is using it to make her case heard in Congress. She went on a one-day tour to Washington as part of her efforts. On that day, she visited an elementary school and talked to the children about choosing healthy food. She also met with some members of the Congress to lobby her cause. Of course, a food-related visit to Washington is not complete without a visit to the First Lady’s kitchen garden.

So what exactly is Rachel Ray pushing? It is a piece of legislation that will create new standards for school food. The body behind this is the Agriculture Department. And, when we say school food, we mean ALL food that is served in school premises. Aside from cafeteria food, vending machines are also covered. The ultimate goal is to provide healthy choices to the students.

The main problem the bill is facing is the lack of funding. What is proposed is merely half of what the President recommended. Rachel Ray and other lobbyists and supporters are asking for more money to be allocated to the nutrition program.

More than this cause, however, Rachel Ray has also started a charity dubbed Yum-o! The purpose of the charity is to inform children on how to eat in a healthy manner. She’s got it right, I think – you gotta start ‘em young!

In some parts of the world, Fridays are considered to be a “meatless” day. That is, some people do not eat pork, beef, or any other animal flesh (except for fish and other seafood). I think this is because Friday is traditionally believed to be the day that Jesus Christ died. I could be wrong about the reason, but in any case, I am sure about this: Iron Chef Mario Batali has joined a cause. The Meatless Monday cause.

What’s it about? The initiative is being carried out by The Monday Campaigns, together with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The main goal is to cut back on the consumption of meat by 15% by not consuming meat on Mondays.

Now why would they want to do that? The answer is simple: eating less meat can be good for your health. Eating less meat also contributes to the efforts to save the planet.

The idea is noble, and the implementation quite simple – theoretically. For meat lovers, it might not be as easy.

Anyhow, famed celebrity chef Mario Batali, who is known for his love of meat, has decided to join the cause. It might seem ironic at first, since he has this awesome way with all sorts of meat. However, the chef himself justifies his commitment to Meatless Mondays:

“The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet, Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn’t a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet. That’s why I’m such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement!”

So how’s the chef going to go about it? All of his restaurants – all 14 of them – will be serving at least two vegetarian options every Monday. Pretty cool, although it would have been more radical if he had decided not to serve meat at all on Mondays, right?

Celebrity chefs may be in their element in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that they venture out into the unknown as well. Not that Apple (the tech company, not the fruit associated with Newton) and its plethora of gadgets and applications can be considered unknown. After all, it has revolutionized consumer electronics in the past decade or so.

Anyhow, it seems that celebrity chefs are taking the battle to the mobile scene. In the past year, various chefs have been releasing their own iPhone apps in an effort to stay current. Jamie Oliver (of course he’s going to be mentioned) released his cookery app late last year and gained the distinction of being the top-grossing app in the UK within days of the release! Up till now, it has remained in the top 5.

Recently, Nigella Lawson has decided to join the Apple fray. She released her own app last week, dubbed Quick Collection. Within hours, the app became the top selling lifestyle app in the UK. Now how impressive is that?

As for what’s going on in that pretty head of hers, this is what she had to say:

I am iPhone-obsessed and app-addicted anyway, so feel particularly excited about my own ‘Nigellapp’.

This really feels like an application that is comfortable to use, either to inspire after a long day, or give general and specific cooking tips. I am very proud of this gorgeous little greed-gadget.

Nigellapp – now that’s funny! If you’re okay with spending ₤4.99 for 70 recipes and 40 minutes of video, you should download this app now.

For quite some time, Jamie Oliver’s Italian in Cardiff has been enjoying “exclusive rights” to the area. With the opening of a rival Italian restaurant, however, the celebrity chef’s restaurant just might have to prove itself worthy.

Another celebrity chef, Antonio Carluccio has just opened another Italian restaurant in the vicinity, in fact very close to Jamie Oliver’s own. He is starting out with quite a competitive spirit, mind you. During the launch of his Italian diner at St. David’s Centre, Carluccio sent out a message to his rival saying that Oliver’s restaurant “isn’t real Italian.” Strong words, aren’t they?

And, if the feedback from the customers is any indication, Carluccio just might give Oliver a run for his money. According to Simon Kossoff, Carluccio’s partner and the managing director of the restaurant, their customers have indeed been saying that they are the “real deal.” And all this within a week of the opening!

Obviously, I have not had the honor of dining at Carluccio’s new restaurant, but I wouldn’t mind giving it a try. The prices do not seem too bad as well, with an average meal (including wine) costing about ₤17. This is another strong point in favor of Carluccio – they say that people are quite happy with the price as well as the quality of the food. With the trend in Britain shifting from a fascination with French food to Italian food, no one will be surprised to see this new place flourish. I wonder what Jamie Oliver has to say about it all?

How is that possible? This self-contained, cheerful, talented, and good-looking British chef has been reduced to tears? By his American cousins? No way, right?

If you haven’t already heard, Jamie Oliver’s latest stunt is to conquer America through his show Food Revolution. His aim is not so small: to wage a full-blown war against fat in this country of excess. Indeed, put that way, it seems that Jamie might be fighting a losing battle!

You have to say this of Jamie: he is not a coward. He headed off to Huntington, West Virginia to carry out his crusade against fat. What’s in Huntington? Well, it simply is the unhealthiest city in the country, with the distinction of having the highest rate of diabetes. Good luck, Jamie.

Despite his charms and rational approach (I think it’s pretty rational and quite inspiring, too, actually), the population of Huntington were not charmed. Not at all. Read what the Herald Sun reported:

However, the city’s adult population, nearly half of whom are considered obese, were far from keen to be preached to on the topic of healthy eating.

In one clip of the show, which ran a preview on Sunday, a talk show host at a local radio station is seen berating a stunned Oliver, commenting: “We don’t want to sit around eating lettuce all day. Who made you king?”

I’ll make him my king any day!

Anyway, the resistance and meanness of the people he encountered seems to have worn away Jamie’s chirpiness. Still, I am sure he’ll get back up and continue with his crusade. We’re behind you on this, Jamie!