Chef Jamie Oliver has been working tirelessly to educate people, especially children, about the importance of nutritious food. Oliver went to West Virginia—consistently ranked one of the most unhealthy states in America—to have a "food revolution." Oliver believes we need to change the way we eat at home, at school and everywhere else.
Now his message has spread across America. He has several other shows apart from Food Revolution, including Meals in Minutes, American Road Trip and the globally-focused Food Escapes. He has also written several cookbooks, including his most recent, Comfort Food. He owns a restaurant, has his own youtube channel, Food Tube, and was even inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame in 2013.
He gave a TED Talk, Teach Every Child about Nutrition, that has nearly six million views. In it, he says, "I profoundly believe that the power of food has a primal place in our homes." He certainly doesn't sugarcoat the current, horrendous state of our food system. Oliver begins his talk by telling his audience that over the course of his 20-minute talk, four Americans will die from their food. "The adults of the last four generations have blessed [their] children with the destiny of a shorter lifespan than their own parents. Your child will live a life 10 years younger than [yours]."
Oliver says the media goes on and on about homicide, but it's not even close to the top cause of death in the U.S. "Diet-related disease is the biggest killer in the U.S. right now," says Oliver, "and the rest of the world is going the same way." We spend $150 billion a year treating diet-related diseases, and that number is set to double in the next decade.
Oliver believes we have to start with children. "We have to start teaching our kids about food in schools. Period." Not only are we not teaching children about where their food comes from, how to eat healthy and why it's important, but we are feeding them food that is killing them. He goes so far as to say that the government is "guilty of child abuse." If you look at what we are feeding kids in school and the health impacts this food is having, it's not an unreasonable claim.
But there's hope because Oliver says there are people doing wonderful things to start the food revolution across the country already—farm to school programs, school gardens and nutrition education classes. He ends by giving his wish: "For you to help a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, to inspire families to cook again and to empower people everywhere to fight obesity."
Watch this TED Talk to see what solutions Oliver offers to address our food crisis:
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
The growing Texas solar industry is offering a safe harbor to unemployed oil and gas professionals amidst the latest oil and gas industry bust, this one brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Houston Chronicle reports.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
This month, a new era began in the fight against plastic pollution.
- Historic Agreement on Plastic Pollution Reached by 180+ Countries ... ›
- U.S. Leads the World in Plastic Waste, New Study Finds - EcoWatch ›
- EU Bans Exporting Unsorted Plastic Waste to Poorer Countries ... ›
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
- San Antonio, Texas Unveils Largest Highway Crossing for Wildlife in ... ›
- Wildlife Crossings a Huge Success - EcoWatch ›
- Climate Change Will Be Sudden and Cataclysmic Unless We Act Now ›
- There's a Heatwave at the Arctic 'Doomsday Vault' - EcoWatch ›
- Marine Heatwaves Destroy Ocean Ecosystems Like Wildfires ... ›
By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>