In the beginning there was Netflix.

At the end, oddly, also Netflix.

Start at The Chef’s Table. This series opened my eyes to what food can be. I’ve enjoyed meals at great restaurants before, but I’d never seen behind the curtain to the force that’s making it happen.

Chef’s Table did that, beeeeeeautifully shot and with so many great stories of chefs breaking boundaries. Rethinking where food comes from, how it’s made and what it looks like. These were people creating outrage and bewilderment in some circles – reinventing iconic national dishes in Italy that that were considered off-limits, opening a vegetarian fine dining restaurant in France (zut alors!) and taking haute cuisine to new parts of the world like Brazil, Slovenia and the Artic region of Sweden.

These were people with a vision, something new they wanted to create and the determination – often at times bloody minded stubbornness – not to relent, even in the face of empty restaurants, bad reviews, bills to pay and families to feed. And the world eventually caught up with them.

I’ve worked with similarly driven creative people in advertising. Rich Flintham at Fallon stands out. Rich is enigmatic and a low-talker so he can be hard to follow. But you want to follow. You know you need to because Rich knows what he wants, it’s brilliant and you won’t find it anywhere else on the planet. Out of his mind and under his direction have fallen Sony’s Balls commercial, Cadbury’s Gorilla and Skoda’s Cake-car (name checks also due at this point to Juan Cabral, John Allison, Chris Bovill).

Rich’s thing was for ads where the camera recorded something that had actually happened. In an age where most were going mad for CGI and the ‘stuff’ it could create, Rich was headed the other direction and the results were memorable, unlike most ads.

I’d never thought of food as such a creative pursuit until Chef’s Table. But I liked it. Creativity is the most interesting thing about advertising, defining a black-and-white, rational problem and putting a colourful, emotional thing around it.

But where were the kids amidst all this culinary cunning? I’m surrounded by them (I have 3) but you could watch Chef’s Table and think that people under 20 don’t exist. Obviously a $200, 7 course, 4 hour fine dining experience and a small child are incompatible in so many ways, however kids get excited by imagination and ideas in a way that adults have forgotten. Surely some kind of overlap must exist?

We started to talk about food ideas at home. The ideas flowed. Some would be tricky to realise, like Arlo’s vision of a fully robot powered restaurant, but some are now being created at Death to Nuggets.

So far, so whimsical. There are plenty of things that are possible, but why go any further?

I started connecting the micro with the macro.

As a stay-home parent meal planning, cooking and spending lots of time with the kids you see up close that food is HARD.

The crap peddlers are everywhere in our culture and in our lives. They’re spending billions and using all the tricks in the marketing playbook.

In this environment sugar, salt and fat are almost magnetically attractive to kids – as they are many adults – and the reverse is often true for the things we want them to eat. It’s a daily challenge trying to minimise the crap and maximise the good.

Meanwhile, the good guys are hopelessly outgunned and with a message that’s way less fun….what you should do, what happens if you don’t etc.

At the macro level Team Crap is winning. Easily. The health stats are awful and getting worse, but we live in a time where information comes at us like a blizzard so it’s hard to focus on what’s important. And change is HARD. Especially when habits are formed, the negative effects are delayed and the short cuts are so cheap, easy and tasty, kind of.

That’s when the other slice of Netflix landed in the shape of Pablo Escobar (Narcos).

Pablo was having trouble with Communist Guerrillas kidnapping the family members of his cartel (hate it when that happens). It was interrupting business and a strong, clear message needed to be sent. Muerte a Secuestradores (Death to Kidnappers) announced Pablo, forming a group under the name and embarking on a gruesome rampage.

Death to Nuggets was bringing those strands all together. Addressing a real problem of our time. A clear enemy and a clear purpose (without the death squads). Use creativity to make good choices interesting and attractive.

I remember a Disney exec describing films like Finding Nemo as 4-quartile movies. There’s stuff there for both kids and adults to really enjoy. We want the same, for adults to get the positive nature of what we’re doing, and for kids to get involved because they want to, not because they’re being told to.

We need to move past this current point in our relationship with food. To make good normal and treats occasional again. There’s lots we need to do in order to bring that about.

– To understand the harm of bad choices.

– To rein in the power of big companies selling us crap

– To make good food choices interesting, not a chore

– To make time for cooking in our lives and get started

Please get involved and let’s see what we can do together.