Jamie’s Food Revolution

Goodlifer: Jamie's Food Revolution

“I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.” I find it hard to refrain from nodding my head in agreement when hearing celebrity chef Jamie Oliver‘s plea, a wish that awarded him the TED Prize, given annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and, much more important, “One Wish to Change the World.”

After enjoying tremendous success with his Naked Chef television series and through his off-beat laid-back cooking style becoming a major celebrity throughout Europe in the early aughties, Jaime Oliver has taken up the battle to change the way we feed our children. “It’s all about making radical changes to the school meals system and challenging the junk food culture by showing schools they can serve fresh nutritious meals that kids enjoy eating.” When listening to Oliver’s talk, I recall one episode of his show where he went to a poor village in Italy and visited a school where they, with the smallest means, made delicious, nutritious meals for the children every day. The lunch ladies cooked everything from scratch and one dish was offered every day (none of the kids seemed to mind the lack of choice or frown at their plates). What really struck me, though, was when he quizzed a classroom of children who cannot have been older than eight, on vegetables. He stood at the front of the classroom and held up one obscure veggie after another, and the kids were all screaming the names of the veggies in response. Most American or British school children probably could not even name a turnip. This needs to change, and Jamie Oliver is making that happen.

Jamie Oliver is trying to get families back into the kitchen and teach children about the fun of cooking. Photo via The Guardian.

Jamie Oliver is trying to get families back into the kitchen and teach children about the fun of cooking. Photo via The Guardian.

The plan is to “set up an organization to create a popular movement that will inspire people to change the way they eat. The movement will do this by establishing a network of community kitchens; launching a travelling food theater that will teach kids practical food and cooking skills in an entertaining way and provide basic training for parents and professionals; and bringing millions of people together through an online community to drive the fight against obesity. The grassroots movement must also challenge corporate America to support meaningful programs that will change the culture of junk food.”

With the obesity epidemic growing globally, Oliver is using his notoriety to bring attention to the changes Englanders and now Americans need to make in their lifestyles and diet. Campaigns such as School Dinners, Ministry of Food and Food Revolution USA combine Oliver’s culinary tools, cookbooks and television with more standard activism and community organizing to create change on both the individual and governmental level.

Watch Jamie Oliver’s heart-wrenching TED talk (above). The next generation is the first expected to live shorter lives than their parents, by as much as ten years! The main reason for this is our unhealthy diets, and the fact that many people no longer cook or eat together. Says Oliver: “My hope is that millions more people will learn, as so many have already, that it is a happier, healthier life that is built around eating good food, together with family and friends.”

You can help make this happen by helping out any way you can (a list of needs is posted here), or by just signing the petition to show your support. Let’s make Jaime’s Food Revolution OUR Food Revolution. America’s health needs you!

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. Jaime,come to Billerica Massachusetts.You will meet enlightned parents,public employees,children, and get aquainted with the # 1 sports community in the USA(according to Sports IlAstraightedThere are many children with special needs and many people wonder about the cause.Please look into visiting Billerica Massachusetts(sister city Billercay England),we’ll make surw you have a bloody good time!Diane Barry

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