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Jamie Oliver’s Talk on Cooking and Obesity

February 19, 2010
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Video: http://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html

This is a talk by Jamie Oliver. He is the star of the Food Network’s The Naked Chef but in recent years has been a very effective advocate for a greater consciousness of food-related health. He has particularly focused on the negative effects of widespread eating habits. He has focused on school lunches and has led successful campaigns to improve the quality of the food served in public schools.

He is also hosting a show called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, where he goes to cities plagued by obesity and tries to teach the residents how to eat better. Unsurprisingly, as a cook, he believes that cooking is one of the best ways to reform eating habits. By taking a personal role in the preparation of our food, he suggests, we can have a better understanding of what we put in our bodies and will naturally work with fresher ingredients. To this end, he has set up free cooking schools to teach local residents how to cook because this skill is sorely lacking in modern society.

Personally I was surprised to find Jamie out of the kitchen doing this work. I had seen a few episodes of The Naked Chef but he was otherwise not on my radar. However, this talk offered a new perspective on Jamie and I certainly support his work, particularly his attempts to reform school lunches.

As I look forward to having my own kitchen starting in the summer, and become disillusioned with Fribley, these issues are drawing my attention more and more. Jamie’s suggestion that we can learn a lot by transforming fresh ingredients into a meal–rather than simply food–really resonates with me and I hope that he continues to be successful in convincing others of this.

If you have not heard of TED before, I highly recommend it. They offer informative and interesting talks in many different subject areas and are a great way to spend 20 minutes.

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