Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food. Not to be missed…
Excerpt of Oliver’s Video:
(Minute 7:14) Home – The biggest problem with the home is that used to be the heart of passing on food, food culture, um – what made our society. That aint happening anymore. And you know as we go to work and as life changes, as life always evolves, we kind of have to look at it holistically – step back for a moment and readdress the balance. It aint happening – hasn’t happened for 30 years…
(Minute 8:26) Lets get on to schools – something that I’m fairly much a specialist in. Okay. School. What is school? Who invented it? What’s the purpose of school? School was always invented to arm us with the tools to make us creative – do wonderful things – make us earn a living, etc. etc. etc. You know it’s been kind of in this sort of tight box for a long, long time okay. But we haven’t really evolved it to deal with the health catastrophes of America, okay. School food is something that most kids – 31 million a day, actually – have twice a day, more than often – breakfast and lunch – 180 days of the year. So you could say that school food is quite important really, judging the circumstances. (Laughing from the crowd)
Before I crack into my rant, which I’m sure you’re waiting for (laughter again), I need to say one thing that’s so important in hopefully the magic that happens and unfolds in the next three months. The lunch ladies, the lunch cooks of America – I offer myself as their ambassador. I’m not slagging them off. They’re doing the best they can do. They’re doing their best – but – they’re doing what they’re told. And what they’ve been told to do is wrong. The system is highly run by accountants. There’s not enough or any food-knowledgeable people in the business. There’s a problem. If you’re not a food expert and you’ve got tight budgets and it’s getting tighter, then you can’t be creative – you can’t duck and dive and write different things around things. If you’re an accountant and a box ticker the only thing you can do in these circumstances is buy cheaper shit. Now – the reality is – is the food that your kids get everyday is fast food, it’s highly processed, there’s not enough fresh food in there at all. You know – the amount of additives, e-numbers, ingredients, you wouldn’t believe. There’s not enough veggies at all. French fries are considered a vegetable. Pizza for breakfast. They don’t even get given crockery. Knives and forks, no, they’re too dangerous! There’s scissors in the classroom but knives and forks, no! And the way I look at it, if you don’t have knives and forks in your school you’re purely endorsing, from a state level, fast food because it’s handheld. And yes by the way it is fast food – it’s sloppy jos, it’s burgers, it’s wieners, it’s pizzas, it’s all of that stuff. (He breathes a sigh)
10% of what we spend on health care as I said earlier, is on obesity, and it’s gonna double. We’re not teaching our kids – there’s no statutory right to teach kids about food – elementary or secondary school, okay. We don’t teach kids about food – right. And – this is a little clip from an elementary school, which is very common, believe me.
(Minute 11:14 – He shows a video where he asks children in a classroom what vegetable he’s holding and none of the kids know the answer. This happens with tomatoes, caulifour, beets, mushrooms, eggplant, potatoes) Immediately you get a really clear sense of do the kids know anything about where food comes from. If the kids don’t know what stuff is then they will never eat it. Normal. England and America. England and America. Guess what fixed that – guess what fixed that? Two one our sessions. We’ve got to start teaching our kids about food in schools, period.
And it gets better – he correlates treatment here to being abusive.
Then he tells of what would happen if he had a cure for cancer… really interesting.