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Jamie Oliver calls for all-out assault on our ignorance of food

Jamie_oliver_ted This brand new talk by Jamie Oliver ("The Naked Chef") at TED 2010 is one I highly recommend you watch. This topic is very dear to my own heart as chronic poor eating habits were a strong contributing factor in my father's premature death when I was a child. You may have noticed that a few slides I have used in my books and seminars feature OECD data on obesity rates across the globe. In developed countries, the increasing rates in obesity has been dramatic. Japan has a relatively low obesity rate compared to the USA, but it is unfortunately growing as younger generations have developed a taste for fast foods and refined, packaged meals. I agree with Oliver: we need an all-out assault on our ignorance of food. Watch the 20-minute talk below or on the TED site.

I liked this talk because the message is vitally important. I tend to give people a break for little imperfections in delivery style so long as their points are clear and their passion evident and sincere. Ideally, I would liked to have seen more visual displays of data to back up a few of the claims he made, and it would have been better if he did not pace as much or turn his back on the audience as much to look at the visual behind him. These are things you and I need to be concerned with in our talks, but given his celebrity and the venue, I think his talk was overall quite effective. I was fired up and inspired after this talk, but with me he's speaking to the choir. Still, there's nothing wrong with preaching to the choir from time to time. You can't change the world by yourself; you need the choir to go out there and fight the battles too.

Oliver shows the amount of sugar one child will have just from school milk in five years of elementary school — a wheelbarrow full of sugar cubes.

Causesofdeath One thing I liked is that Oliver made a strong point with the aid of a simple bar chart at the beginning. We spend our lives being paranoid about things like murder, says, Oliver "'s on the front page of every paper, CNN — [yet] look at "homicide" — at the bottom, for God's sake!" This was a strong point that surely made some people pause. We worry about the well-being of our kids — Are the streets safe? Are there enough police on the streets? and so on — all the while our youth are munching on Turkey Twizzlers and downing cans of sugary beverages.

Some may say that Oliver's delivery was a bit over the top or a little disjointed, but I think this was a great, raw, naked presentation. He got people's attention, he stated the problem, and he offered some solutions all while engaging his audience.

The wish
“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.” — Jamie Oliver

6-min TED talk by Dean Ornish on the world's killer diet
Presenting a case for healthy food (PZ post)


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