Jamie Oliver is taking his mission to create healthier meals for children and educate them about food on the road.
Oliver recently unveiled his Food Revolution food truck. The mega 18-wheeler mobile interactive kitchen designed by architect David Rockwell will make its way around to schools, fairs and farmers markets throughout California. Not only does it include eight cooking stations, stocked kitchen cabinets, plasma screens for demonstrations, cameras for webcasts and an inflatable stage, it can fit a class of 40 students at a time for instruction and education about preparing healthy meals.
“Jamie’s revolution has been like the shot heard around the world,” said Liz Weiss, dietitian and co-author of “No Whine With Dinner” and “The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers.” “Along with other high-profile figures including Michelle Obama and Anne Cooper, Jamie’s revolution has brought long overdue attention to the issues of childhood obesity and poor nutrition.”
The Food Revolution truck was made possible thanks to a $100,000 TED prize, which Oliver was awarded in 2010 for his long-term vision of fostering permanent change with the country’s increasing obesity epidemic. “For me, it’s a life’s work,” Oliver explained to the BBC news. Between its size and bold graphic design, the truck is intended to create an unexpected spectacle and is part of a 20-year plan to get the world eating better, starting with educating families.
“We see cooking at home as the most critical piece of the good nutrition puzzle,” added Weiss. “It’s easy to criticize food companies, school cafeterias, and restaurants for sabotaging our diets with too much saturated fat, sodium and calories and too few nutrients, but parents need to take some responsibility as well.”
Oliver has also announced a partnership with the American Heart Association to open at least five Food Revolution kitchens within the next 18 months in New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Baltimore and Dallas. These will help reach more people in lower-income communities.
Weiss agrees that fighting obesity requires a multifaceted approach. “Jamie’s revolution is not just about identifying problems, it’s about finding creative and realistic solutions.” Given the fact that American families are busier today than ever before, the knowledge of how to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals is clearly lacking. But with continued education, Oliver is determined to change this.
In a press release, Oliver said, “Before I was awarded the TED Prize, my vision for helping Americans learn cooking skills and making the switch to fresh foods wasn’t much more than an idea. But the extraordinary resources and passions of the TED community have made it a real campaign that will make a lasting impact.”
Look for the new Food Revolution truck to hit the streets this spring and summer. “I’m passionate about what we’ve done,” added Oliver. “I’m passionate about where we’re going. It’s just a bit of fun to launch the truck.”