Have you ever been so moved by a speech that it change the very foundations of your life? I have. The majority of the speeches that moved me to create changes in my life were delivered by TED.
Last week, they did it again. After awarding Jamie Oliver with the TED Prize for 2009, in his prize speech he talked about his wish and his belief that food is critical and bind us to the “best bits” of life. Jamie confronts us all with the reality: America is the unhealthiest country in the world. That England and Australia are not too far behind. America and western culture accepts obesity as the the very thing that is killing us. The food we eat is shorting the lives of generations to come and Jamie’s wish is to change that. Through education in schools and homes.
James delivers up some powerful takeaways for the audience and viewers with innovative yet simple solutions:
– Schools have an obligation to educate the children how to cook. (As per school dinners which changed the education system in the UK last year)
– Supermarkets have an obligation to deliver food ambassadors to every store.
– The brand themselves: the food companies need to be accountable and deliver education about food and the food they produce
– Government must ‘work’ with the fast-food industry to wean us off the sugar, fats and salts
– Corporations need to adopt accountability for the food they provide to feed staff
In 2008, Jamie created a TV series in the UK powered by the concept of pass it on. Something that he is both passionate and serious about and believes that if 1 person who knows how to cook (including education on food), teaches 3 people learn how to cook and so forth. By repeating that process 25 times, the knowledge would be spread across the entire population of the USA.
If you can cook, share it with 3 people. Jamie’s story relates back to my belief that knowledge is not yours anymore. It is your obligation to share, from CEOs, to company directors to teachers. If you know something, it means nothing if you can not use that knowledge to educate.
The ability to share can change the world we live in. As Jamie states, passing it on to 3, and then 3, and then 3, can cover every person in America. That’s powerful and if the message is right, and we have the passion to effect change, then it will happen.
Jamie Oliver and TED, thank you again.