Jamie Oliver visits Pittsburgh this month for the One Young World Summit
by Katie Green | Photos copyright (c) David Loftus, 2011, 2012
It’s a huge month for Pittsburgh — the One Young World Summit takes place October 18-22 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. For the second time in just over three years — we’re talking about the G-20 Summit in 2009 — our city will be on display to the world. Youth delegates, along with counselors, will speak on the same issues that global leaders deal with every day, including global business, health, education, human rights, sustainable leadership, and governance. We sat down with counselor Jamie Oliver, chef, television personality, and healthy food activist, to talk about his involvement with the Summit, the food culture in America, and his latest book, Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain, out this month. Oliver tells us, that despite filming “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” in Huntington, W. Va., not even 300 miles away, this will be his first visit to Western Pennsylvania — and he’s looking forward to it!
What are your thoughts on the One Young World Summit, and why is this something that’s important for our youth to be a part of?
I’ve been to One Young World before and met some truly inspiring young people, so I’m really looking forward to this return visit. These young men and women are the future as far as I’m concerned. If we can get the next generation to make positive changes in their diets, look to cook, give up processed foods, then we’ll get on the right track to solving the obesity crisis. It all starts with food. We have to inspire our kids to care about food.
Can comfort food be healthy?
Is that a trick question? There is a lot of delicious healthy food, and tons of food that will be unhealthy if you eat too much of it. What is important is to eat food all made from fresh ingredients, and limit processed food as much as possible. All of the recipes in this book are made from proper ingredients and so they’re all delicious. Eating a variety of foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, and sensible portions is the way to go.
How does the food culture, and food itself, differ in the UK from the food culture, and food itself, in the United States?
I think it used to differ a lot more in the past than it differs now. Americans are crazy for gastro-pub cuisine and Brits are falling in love with Mexican food. And unfortunately, both of our countries are suffering from a lack of cooking knowledge and skills, which is why I keep talking about them. We need to teach kids and adults how to care for themselves properly, and a big part of that is cooking.
How do you balance family, writing, television, and your restaurants?
I’m not sure I always do, but spending time with the family is a priority. I don’t work weekends and take seven weeks off a year to spend with them. I’m also trying to have Fridays off work, and most of the time I’m succeeding.
Why was that an important cause for you?
There’s no other cause for me. We are literally killing our kids with processed foods and lack of knowledge. It needs to stop — and food education is the key.
Do you feel that “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” changed the way that kids and adults eat, not only in school, but at home, too?
I hope so. What we’ve seen is kids bringing home lessons and ideas to their parents and asking for different foods. They are also pitching in on the cooking and shopping — really changing the way the family eats. But the Food Revolution has only really just begun, and over the next few years, you’ll see us getting bigger and more influential.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m pretty normal, so weekends, I’m spending quality time with the kids, and when they’re in bed, I’m watching a movie with Jools [Oliver, his wife]. I also do a bit of work with a personal trainer to stay in shape.
Jamie Oliver, jamieoliver.com.
The One Young World Summit features an A-list of counselors. Among them:
- Huffington Post founder and CEO Arianna Huffington
- Musician and activist Bob Geldof
- Singer-songwriter Joss Stone
- Wikipedia founder and CEO Jimmy Wales
- Former President of the United States Bill Clinton
- Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey — follow One Young World Summit @OneYoungWorld!
One Young World Summit, oneyoungworld.com.
This article is featured in the October 2012 issue of WHIRL Magazine.
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