Paths to a More Sustainable Future: Jamie Oliver and Food Education


Sustainability is one of those terms that has been cropping up in conversation and media more and more in the past decade. Our society is in the midst of a revolution of sorts as far as environmentalism, sustainability, and the global food system are concerned. There is a wave of change being enacted by people and organizations who are passionate about building a stronger future for our world and our children.

Part of that revolution involves saving the planet from harmful manmade disasters and another part of it involves saving ourselves from harmful manmade disasters.

Obesity is one of those manmade disasters. With obesity becoming an ever more threatening killer in society today, many intelligent and hopeful people have set out to change the way in which our food system works. It is through the way in which we produce our food, the way in which we eat our food, and the way in which we think about our food that we are slowly (but surely) destroying ourselves and aspects of our planet. Jamie Oliver, famous chef and health advocate, founded an organization set to help empower, educate, and engage the public to love and enjoy good food.

The Jamie Oliver Foundation is dedicated to educating the public about the food that we eat. He believes that the primary problem with our food system is that the majority of our society is undereducated on the effects of the things that they put in their bodies. We eat things that our bodies are not designed to ingest and we eat too much of them.

In his 2010 TED talk, Oliver first discusses just how devastating obesity and diet related disease is for our population. He points out that obesity is the number one killer in the world today. This threat is something that is completely avoidable and completely self-induced. As Oliver explains, obesity and diet related diseases will cause the next generation of children to be the first generation that will have a shorter lifespan than their parents. This means that our kids are predicted to die before we do, if a major change is not created. It is only through education and accountability that we can remedy these dire projections and find a path to a more sustainable future.

What, you may be thinking, does this have to do with sustainability? A lot of what Oliver discusses has to do with sustainability. We need to produce and consume more sustainable food. Our food system today relies heavily on processed foods that do not come from the Earth and that are not healthy for us to eat. Oliver works to educate people on this point. We need to consume food that is sustainable and rely on sustainable agriculture to ensure a more promising future for ourselves and our planet. Sustainable agriculture is a way of raising food that is healthy for us as consumers and that does not harm the environment it is produced in.

Oliver uses his foundation to educate adults and children around the U.S. and world in sustainable agriculture and methods for a healthier diet. The food industry is married to methods that are not sustainable in any way. We are accustomed to heavily processed and unnatural foods in our diets. Before obesity can be eliminated, the food system and food industry has to change. Oliver and many others believe that it is only through education that this change can truly happen.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031