TED2010: Jamie Oliver’s wish to inspire a culture of fresh food

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Jamie Oliver speaks at Ted2010

TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver at TED2010, Session 3, "Action," Wednesday, February 10, 2010, in Long Beach, California. Credit: TED / James Duncan Davidson

Celebrated British chef and food activist Jamie Oliver announced his 2010 TED Prize “wish to change the world” earlier this afternoon on the first day of the annual TED conference.

Oliver, a longtime activist in the fight against obesity and diet-related health issues, wished for the creation of a grassroots movement and a new foundation working to inspire children and adults to change the way they eat and to reduce the incidence of obesity and other diet-related health problems.

In his TED Prize wish, Oliver called for the creation of a foundation to inspire a food revolution through communication, education, social networking and by challenging corporate America and the food industry to help transform the culture of junk food into a culture of fresh food and of cooking at home.

“We need to help people understand that if their kids are raised on a diet of junk food they are being set up for a lifetime of serious health problems and even a shortened life expectancy,” says Oliver. “I know we don’t want to be killing our kids.”

Oliver asked the global TED community to provide the talent, hard work and other resources needed to make the wish come true, by:

  • Establishing a foundation for the movement with funding, office space and facilities
  • Creating a traveling food theater to teach kids about food and cooking in an entertaining way, and to provide basic training for parents and professionals
  • Building and maintaining a fleet of trucks for the traveling food theater
  • Equipping and running community kitchens, and food suppliers to provide fresh ingredients
  • Harnessing education experts, graphic designers, artists and writers to develop and produce creative, fun teaching materials
  • Tapping communications and marketing expertise to develop strong and effective messages for the movement
  • Forming corporate partnerships to invest in cooking and food education for their customers
  • Creating a website and online social networks and communities to bring people together
  • Establishing a line of branded food products to generate a sustainable, self-funding income for the campaign
  • Supporting Jamie’s petition to challenge our leaders to make change now: www.jamiesfoodrevolution.com/petition.

Designed to leverage the TED community’s array of talent and resources, the annual TED Prize brings a $100,000 check and, far more valuable, the support of the worldwide TED community to fulfill “one wish to change the world.”

An acclaimed chef, restaurateur, best-selling cookbook writer and television host, Oliver has long been a champion for better school meals and food education as well as a standard-bearer in the fight against obesity and its related health issues.

“We’re thrilled to award the TED Prize to Jamie Oliver. His work directly tackles one of the most distressing issues the world faces… the obesity epidemic. In this year in which his TV show launches in the United States, we look forward to helping him achieve even greater impact,” says TED Curator Chris Anderson.

Oliver announced his wish to a full auditorium at the start of the TED2010 conference in Long Beach, entitled “What the World Needs Now.” The annual four-day TED gatherings bring together leading thinkers and doers who present 18-minute talks on “ideas worth spreading.”

Oliver has already made progress in the UK and internationally in his quest to inspire people to cook and eat more nutritious food. His School Dinners/Feed Me Better campaign prompted the UK government to invest $1 billion over six years to revolutionize school food for millions of children while his Ministry of Food series included the opening of a shop in the center of Rotherham, Yorkshire, which offers free cooking lessons to local residents.

In addition, Oliver has worked to give young people important tools to live better and healthier. In London, he created the Fifteen Foundation, a social enterprise and chef apprenticeship to help disadvantaged 18 to 24-year-olds attain meaningful and successful careers in the restaurant industry through a unique training course at Fifteen London restaurant. The foundation has since been franchised in Amsterdam, Cornwall and Melbourne, each with a successful restaurant training young people.

Millions of fans of good food around the world already know the chef side of Oliver as the host of 12 television series, which have been aired in 130 countries. He has also written 10 cookbooks, translated into 29 languages, spreading his innovative approaches to delicious and healthful eating. In 2010, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution is scheduled to premier on ABC television on Friday, March 26, at 9 pm.

For more information on the TED Prize and on past Prize winners and their wishes, please visit www.tedprize.org.

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