Pass It on: Jamie Oliver Won the TED 2010 Prize!

I am a huge fan of Jamie Oliver. Love him! Ages ago, the first time I saw The Naked Chef TV series, I thought, “wow, that’s a silly title. But this guy really cares about what he does and should be some type of food rock star.” Well, he has been for quite a while now, and that’s amazing!

Whether he’s transforming lunches for schoolkids in Britain, teaching people to cook and pass it on, showing what real horrors exist in animal farming industries, hosting a concert-style live cooking show, or even shocking people with how unhealthy their own bodies and eating habits are, he has a common goal that runs throughout all of his series and endeavors: To educate, inspire, and get us, the general public, to bring on some action.

By giving us the info, and showing us how fun, fresh and easy things can be when we simplify and look at what is really important, he gives us the power to change and improve the quality of our lives, in addition to the lives of others around us. The grueling and tough parts of his shows are always about when journalists bust his balls, or how difficult it can be to convince people that change is vital.

Guess what?

It is! Our entire world is basically freaking out, in crisis mode on 100 different fronts because we treat it badly and treat ourselves badly, putting greater value on status, possessions and image, rather than health and real happiness. We don’t all have to become bleeding hearts, but need to be aware of what is happening. Many of us are numb to and ignorant of our surroundings and this cannot continue! It is not sustainable!

On a related note TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) is an annual conference that I follow online. It gathers amazing people who want to change the world with innovative information. Their speeches, or TED Talks (which you can also download for free on iTunes!) range from reviving the art of letter writing (a personal favorite), to speaking about feminism, the fate of paper dictionaries, observing the frightening intelligence of crows, and a hundred ways to save the world, including a guy who invented a syringe that locks up and can’t be re-used, which costs the same as a regular needle and would prevent 1.3 million transmissible disease deaths per year.

In addition to speeches that are held for each conference (which have featured Bono, Al Gore, J.J. Abrams, Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton), there is also a TED prize, where the winner is provided with $100,000 and the granting of their wish to make society a better place. This year, Jamie Oliver won: He wants to educate every American child about food, and (eeeeeeeeee!) I’m ecstatic. He’s like a one-man army, so giving him funding and people to work with will create heaps of change. As a person who was formerly overweight from childhood to early adulthood, I agree that something needs to be done. Without having taken a health class and learning about nutrition, I might not have changed my habits and would be jeopardizing my health today.

The biggest factor in my decision to attend culinary school was knowing that the skills we are learning would benefit me for the rest of my life. Even if, for some reason I decided to I don’t know, become a Vegas blackjack dealer instead, at least I would know the fastest, most efficient, delicious, and cost-savvy way to throw a meal together when at home. Having conversations with people about food, working with ideas, and having creative input is when I really brighten up and come alive. My ultimate goal, through this blog, cooking with/for friends/family, volunteering with the school, tinkering with recipes, gardening, and everything I do in my future career, is to get to teach others one day, in as many mediums as I can get my hands into.

Too bad there isn’t a Ministry of Food opening up here! I’d be camping out with a sleeping bag to get in line and help out. I want to be a part of The Food Revolution! Congratulations to Jamie! It’ll be exciting to see how this initiative shapes up!

Eat well!


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