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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  • Apr 5 2011: Hello! My sophomore year at Vanderbilt University, I founded an organization called Healthy Head Start that promotes healthy and active lifestyles in elementary-high school classes in the Nashville Community (www.healthyheadstart.com). Each year, we hold "Healthy Thanksgivings Feasts," lead gym classes, teach healthy lessons, and promote other events to show that eating healthy can taste good and living actively is fun and easy! Currently I am studying at Columbia University to receive a masters in molecular nutrition. This fall I am returning to Nashville to work for Vanderbilt's Center for Health Services to get back into the Nashville community not only promoting nutrition and healthy lifestyles but also partnering with Nashville's Brand NEW "Nashville Mobile Market" (http://www.nashvillemobilemarket.org/) helping to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables in low SES communities that are typically considered 'food deserts.'

    I think what everyone is doing is amazing and I'm just happy to be apart of this food revolution that is sweeping the nation. Good luck to everyone in their endeavors! I hope one day we can all join forces and solve this nation's growing obesity epidemic and prevent these growing health care costs from consuming our disposable income for us and future generations.

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