TED talks (and Jamie Oliver)

These generally are quite nice (despite my disagreement with – unfortunately – the first one I ever saw, that of Bjorn Lomborg, which slightly prejudiced me against them).

So, in general, go and have a look either on YouTube or on the TED website. But that’s not my real opinion.

By a slight coincidence I found out that:

Jamie Oliver has won the TED prize 2010, and I think that’s just bloody GREAT!

Say and think of him what you will, but his work to get children to eat healthier and to educate them about food is amazing good stuff, and deserves all the support it gets. I watched (on TV) his efforts a few years back to get British schools to serve healthier food to their pupils, and of course I can’t watch him now trying the same in the US, and I thought it was a great effort.

It shows children willing to learn (as is their wont) and eat healthier; it’s mostly the adults doing the complaining, showing inertia in changing their ways. The industrial food lobby doesn’t help, nor does tight budgetting, more concerned with book-keeping than with raising happy, healthy children.

So, have a look at the simple ideas Jamie puts forward in his TED talk – not fancy science, no million-dollar projects, just educating and thinking about what you put in your (and your children’s) mouth.


Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food …

Oliver is using his fame and charm to bring attention to the changes that Brits and Americans need to make in their lifestyles and diet. Campaigns such as Jamie’s School Dinner, Ministry of Food and Food Revolution USA combine Oliver’s culinary tools, cookbooks and television, with serious activism and community organizing — to create change on both the individual and governmental level.

(bonus TED Talk below the fold!)

Thanks to no-one less than Bill Gates, yes, who I’m following on Twitter, and who tweeted this talk, it’s very funny and, being from one of the ‘good’ countries, makes me incredibly smug :p.


Armed with bracing logic, wit and her “public-health nerd” glasses, Elizabeth Pisani reveals the myriad of inconsistencies in today’s political systems that prevent our dollars from effectively fighting the spread of HIV. Her research with at-risk populations — from junkies in prison to sex workers on the street in Cambodia — demonstrates the sometimes counter-intuitive measures that could stall the spread of this devastating disease.

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