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Today's Top News
TED Prize to Celebrity Chef to Fight Obesity, Build Food Movement
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver won the $100,000 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Prize at the annual TED conference on Wednesday. Oliver, author of several books, spearheaded campaigns and TV shows to get people cooking and eating healthier food. The TED Prize is awarded to people who are passionate about a cause. The award is meant to help winners fulfill a wish for the world.
"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," said Oliver at the conference, which CNN broadcast live.
With his latest project, Food Revolution USA, Oliver is already working to make his TED Prize wish a reality. Food Revolution USA is a cooking show based in Huntington, West Virginia, where Oliver works with school cafeteria staff and local families. He wants to inspire them to enter the kitchen and cook with fresh foods. The show's goal is to change the way we eat at home, in schools, and at work.
Oliver wants to create a movement to change how people eat. He hopes to do so with a network of community kitchens and a traveling theater to teach kids about food and cooking.
In an interview with CNN, he emphasized the importance of educating children about food, "knowing what stuff is, being comfortable with it," empowering them to make good decisions. One of his campaigns was to improve school lunch programs in his native England.
The traveling theater would entertain and also train parents and professionals. He also wants the movement to bring people together online to fight obesity. He said the movement must also challenge the food industry if it is going to change the culture of junk food.
About the food industry he said business and "money will always win, and they are happy to sell you rubbish, or they are happy to sell you good stuff, but ultimately the public have to decide."
It is time America learns "caring can be commercial," said Oliver.
At the TED conference Oliver listed the help needed to start the movement to educate children about food. After his presentation, audience members at the conference stood up to offer resources from office space, to Web marketing, Web site development, food, publicity, and automobiles.
On Tuesday first lady Michelle Obama announced a new plan to fight child obesity in America. She cited statistics that one in three children is overweight in the United States. For the first time, this generation of children is expected to live shorter lives than their parents.
Working in the kitchen of his parent's pub from a young age, Jamie Oliver attended culinary school. He was working at London's River Cafe when he landed his own TV show. Since then he has hosted TV shows focused on teaching people to cook and eat healthier foods. Despite being dyslexic, he has published several cookbooks.
TED is a nonprofit organization, "devoted to ideas worth spreading," according to its Web site. The organization hosts an annual conference in California and one in the U.K. called TEDGlobal. It provides a platform for interesting and innovative speakers. The TED prize has been awarded to three people each year since 2005, people with the passion and potential to change the world in a specific way. This year the TED Prize was cut back to one winner. TED conferences originally focused on three fields, technology, entertainment, and design. TED conferences have since grown in scope.