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TED Talk 2010: Jamie Oliver – Teaching Kids on Natural Food


An interesting talk on teaching kids on food given by Jamie Oliver at TED 2010. Image source:

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Some key transcripts that one needs to take note are these:-

We, the adults of the last four generations, have blessed our children with the destiny of a shorter lifespan than their own parents. Your child will live a life ten years younger than you because of the landscape of food that we’ve built around them. Two-thirds of this room, today, in America, are statistically overweight or obese.

Fact: diet-related disease is the biggest killer in the United States, right now, here today. This is a global problem. It’s a catastrophe. It’s sweeping the world.

Mexico, Australia, Germany, India, China, all have massive problems of obesity and bad health. Think about smoking. It costs way less than obesity now. Obesity costs you Americans 10 percent of your health-care bills, 150 billion dollars a year. In 10 years, it’s set to double: 300 billion dollars a year. Let’s be honest, guys, you haven’t got that cash.

Supermarkets as well. Big companies. Big companies. Thirty years ago, most of the food was largely local and largely fresh. Now it’s largely processed and full of all sorts of additives, extra ingredients, and you know the rest of the story. Portion size is obviously a massive, massive problem. Labeling is a massive problem. The labeling in this country is a disgrace. The industry wants to self-police themselves. What, in this kind of climate? They don’t deserve it. How can you say something is low-fat when it’s full of so much sugar?

Home. The biggest problem with the home is that used to be the heart of passing on food culture, what made our society. That is not happening anymore. And you know, as we go to work and as life changes, and as life always evolves, we kind of have to look at it holistically — step back for a moment, and re-address the balance. It hasn’t happened for 30 years, OK? I want to show you a situation that is very normal right now; the Edwards family.

Now, the reality is, the food that your kids get every day 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 crockery. Knives and forks? No, they’re too dangerous.

They have scissors in the classroom, but knives and forks? No. And the way I look at it is: 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 Joes, it’s burgers, it’s wieners, it’s pizzas, it’s all of that stuff.

Ten percent of what we spend on health care, as I said earlier, is on obesity, and it’s going to double. We’re not teaching our kids. There’s no statutory right to teach kids about food, elementary or secondary school, OK? We don’t teach kids about food, right? And this is a little clip from an elementary school, which is very common in England.


Things are not so bad in Malaysia – my son enjoys home-cooked food every day and he knows most of the vegetables that he eats. He may be too young to cook by himself but he already has an idea on how to vary the choice of food on his plate and he does give interesting ideas on what he wants to eat.

Still, it is an interesting and eye-opening talk from Jamie.

2 thoughts on “TED Talk 2010: Jamie Oliver – Teaching Kids on Natural Food”

  1. I agree that the talk was very interesting and eye-opening. I love his passion and although I believe it will be very challenging to accomplish what he is trying to do, I’m very supportive.

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