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Jamie Oliver wins TED prize for anti-obesity campaign

One of my favourite things honoured one of my other favourite things recently – TED awarded their yearly prize to food writer, chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver.

I know it’s been the done thing for quite a long time to slag off Jamie Oliver, but I’ve always had affection and respect for him.  He is genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about his subject, and when you think about how many clueless eejits are presenting tv shows, that’s quite a rare thing.  And he has a social conscience and a campaigning spirit, another rare thing among tv personalities.  In the light of that, a mildly annoying habit of bouncing around and saying ‘pukka’ a bit too much isn’t really that much of a crime.

Some media critics levelled accusations of snobbery at his campaigning tv shows, arguing that they allowed middle-class people to smugly congratulate themselves on how they were more sensible about food than the proles. There’s some legitimacy to those claims, but Oliver’s intentions were clearly sincere, and his call for better education about food is one that it’s hard to argue with.

I also can’t say enough good things about TED – their videos are a constant source of inspiration.

2 Comments

  1. Yay I love Jamie, always have. He is great and its no harm to expose the fact that people eat badly not because they are bad or stupid but because they haven’t been educated about food or introduced to cooking and how easy and rewarding it is!
    His books are lovely and easy to follow and I love love love the jamie at home tv series .. I want his garden !

  2. Agreed on both counts. His shows are generally more watchable than most tv chefs just because he’s so obviously enjoying himself and doesn’t take it too seriously – he cooks for enjoyment rather than to impress. Nigel Slater takes this approach as well, and it’s good to see. Also, TED is probably one of the best things on the internet.