TED, the non-profit organisation dedicated to Ideas Worth Spreading, covering wide topics including Technology, Entertainment and Design, have awarded their annual prize of $100,000 to Britain’s very own pukka chef, Jamie Oliver, for his “wish to change the world.” Jamie will present this wish at the TED2010 conference in February.
The organisation awarded the prize based on a number of Jamie’s philanthropic achievements, including his School Dinners and Feed Me Better campaign, the Fifteen Foundation and Jamie’s increased presence in America to champion healthy home cooking in the face of national obesity.
TED commented, “At the heart of Oliver’s work is an assault on the obesity epidemic: The CDC states that one in four Americans are considered obese. It is estimated that 43 percent of Americans, or 103 million people, will be obese by 2018. The cost of this epidemic is anticipated to reach $344 billion per year. It currently accounts for almost 10 percent of the yearly US health care costs, and that rate will rise to 21 percent by 2018. WHO’s latest projections indicate that, globally in 2005, approximately 1.6 billion adults were overweight and projects that by 2015, that figure will rise to 2.3 billion.”
While Jamie has faced criticism from some of his peers, such as Marco Pierre White who once commented, “He’s a fat chef with a drum kit”, Jamie’s career speaks for itself, with twelve television series broadcast in 130 countries, ten cookbooks translated into 29 languages with 24 million sales across 56 different countries. It’s clear that somebody likes him, and it’s hardly surprising. He’s down to earth, he carries no pretentions and does not claim to be the world’s greatest chef. He’s a man on a mission to change the way that people eat and to bring the art of “delish” cooking into our homes. Long may he prosper.
More information about the prize and the organisation’s other activities can be found on their website: www.ted.com.