April 13, 2010

Jamie Oliver - Teach Every Child About Food

Jamie Oliver's Ted Talk about educating kids about food goes along with his current TV series Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. The talk and the show both focus on obesity problems facing young Americans. I had heard of the show (but not watched it) before listening to the talk, so I will have to check it out this week (Wednesday night on ABC).

The talk starts off with an interesting statistics about causes of death in America. Four of the top six categories are diet related. Diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Another interesting statistic from the talk was that obesity costs Americans $150 Billion per year. That is 10% of the nation's healthcare bill.

Oliver observes that the evolution of the food culture in America has been warped and distorted. He details problems with food at home, food from the grocery store and school food. Oliver even goes as far to say that society should be guilty of child abuse because the high amount of sugar in school lunches.

The talk did have some great take aways. Oliver proposed that every supermarket in America should have a food ambassador. Someone to show people what to buy and how to cook it. Something like this would create thousands of jobs across the country. The life skills takeaway for kids in school is also a great point. Children would learn to cook 10 recipes that would save their life.

What I was waiting for Oliver to address in the talk never came. I wanted him to explain why eating healthy is so expensive? I try to eat as healthy as possible, but it is hard when a green pepper costs $1.28. Healthy food is much more expensive than processed food, and many people cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars a week on fruits and vegetables. There was no mention of the raw cost of healthy groceries compared to unhealthy, processed groceries.

The talk is embedded below - give it a listen:


  1. If you feel inspired by Jamie's campaign, he has created an online petition, promoting healthy food for children, that he will present to the White House. You can find the petition here:
    http://www.jamiesfoodrevolution.com/petition. Pass it along!

  2. @Jessica - Thanks for the comment. I signed the petition. Food education is one of Michelle Obama's goals, and I believe that she is working with Jamie.