Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday TED Talk: Jamie Oliver on the Food That Is Killing Us

"Sadly, in the next eighteen minutes, when I do our chat [the TED talk below], four Americans who are very alive will be dead through the food they eat." Thus began British TV celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's 2010 TED PRize acceptance speech, given yesterday at Long Beach. The TED Prize, awarded each year, carries a $100,000 stipend and an unusual dividend: the recipient is asked to express "one wish that will change the world", and then the TED community undertakes to make that wish come true. Here is Jamie Oliver's wish, announced at the end of his talk: "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."

In his talk, Mr. Oliver explains how fast food diets are killing America and dooming its children to a lifespan shorter than their parents. (The footage of his visit to a family in West Virginia, depicting what they consume in the course of a week, is stunning and eye-opening.) He will be in America for the next few months to try to accomplish what he did for Britain: raise the level of awareness about the inadequacy of nutrition in school lunch programs, and bring about a transformation in what children eat every day:

You can read more about Jamie Oliver at this page, and you can download his talk from this link (the high-res version is not yet available).

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