Jamie Oliver at TED: On a Mission to Feed Kids Better (VIDEO)

This week, Jamie Oliver received a prize of $100,000 from TED, a non-profit about spreading ideas, for his efforts in bringing attention to the obesity crisis. He also gave a talk at the TED conference, which is famous for their twenty-minute videos. His talk focused on obesity in America, specifically on what kids are eating in schools. After he demonstrated how much sugar a child will consume from drinking milk alone during the elementary school years–using a wheelbarrow–he gave his ideas on improving our food system, saying “We need to re-boot.” Here are Oliver’s points of entry for change, followed by the talk:

Jamie Oliver’s ideas for changing the food system:

  • Put food “ambassadors” in supermarkets to inform buyers about cooking and to help consumers make good choices
  • Big brands should put food education at the heart of their business
  • Fast food should be part of the solution by working with government to help wean people off excess fat, salt and sugar
  • Better labeling
  • Fresh food should be cooked on site at schools
  • Every child should learn how to cook ten simple recipes by the time they leave school
  • Corporate responsibility should include a plan for making sure employees are fed well
  • Cooking should be passed on in the home as a vital philosophy
  • Re-instate local institutions like community kitchens that teach cooking lessons
  • Identify the experts and “angels” already doing this work and help them get access to resources
  • Businesses in America should support what First Lady Obama is doing at the White House

Here is the talk:

Part of winning the TED prize is the development of a “wish” for changing to world. TED actually seeks to help prize winners organize around their wish, and the audience (virtual and real) were mobilized to begin to connect a willing team of participants on all fronts, including publicity, finding office space, developing campaigns, building a website, etc.

Here is his wish:

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I wish for everyone to help create a strong sustainable movement to educate every child about food, to inspire families to cook again and to empower people everywhere to fight obesity.

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Paula Crossfield is a founder and the Editor-at-large of Civil Eats. She is also a co-founder of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Her reporting has been featured in The Nation, Gastronomica, Index Magazine, The New York Times and more, and she has been a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio. An avid cook and gardener, she currently lives in Oakland. Read more >

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