TED Conversations

Adam Burk

Founder/ Director, Treehouse Institute


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How will you help to fulfill Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish?

Jamie's wish: “I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

At TED2011 we saw an update from many TEDprize winners including Jamie Oliver. The Food Revolution has some exciting new initiatives underway including new community kitchens and the mobile Revolution.

My full-time job is dedicated to fighting obesity, particularly through improving school food. I am currently releasing funding to 10 schools in Maine to begin or improve school garden programs and have been working with these schools to improve their wellness policies including nutrition standards.

Obesity is a large issue (no pun intended) and it takes whole communities to engage in the readily available solutions we have to end the obesity crises. So what part are you playing? What's working? What challenges are you facing? What can you offer to others to help them do more in their communities?


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  • Mar 23 2011: last night my 10 year old cooked sugar snap pea's from her own 4ft x 4ft garden -she harvested her first crop on Sunday- and the plants are thriving- she has 3 other veggies planted that are comming up underneath the pea's --and it's thrilling to get the plants through the 2 frosts that we had (covered her raised bed garden, for those nights). She has also harvested cilantro from the yard, and rosemary to use in her cooking. -her school had a farmer raising fresh veggies to use in the school cooking -so, she started with pulling weeds there with her class sometimes- and has graduated to having her own garden at home provide fresh ingredients. --Perhaps it helps that we are in the Real South Texas near the Rio Grande River, and the Gulf of Mexico. -at least it gives us three growing seasons.
    My wife and I signed Jaime's petition a while back after his TV episodes -that he showed here in the TED Talk air'd -and the change will need a massive push from society- Schools -even Charters like the one my daughter goes to -are resistant to any change.

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