Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution won an Emmy this past Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmy Ceremony in Hollywood. Oliver, a British celebrity chef turned health activist, has used the success of his show to publicize the launch of his petition to change the menus in public school lunch halls and reign in the obesity epidemic.

Oliver tweeted, “I can’t believe we won the Emmy! Thanks to everyone that signed the petition, 650,000 of you.”

His show defeated the likes of Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, and Antiques Roadshow to claim the title of Outstanding Reality Program.

His show focused on changing the eating habits in Huntington, West Virginia, which has deemed the most obese city in America by the Federal Government.  He centered his fight on the school lunch program and infamously tried to explain to local officials that French fries don’t count as vegetables. 

He also showed his 7.5 million viewers what plus-size coffins look like and opened up a community kitchen to continue teaching local families about alternatives to fast food and TV dinners. He made parents and school administrators aware of unhealthy ingredients in the food their children were consuming. The program included extensive coverage at Huntington High School and Central City Elementary School, where most children couldn’t identify a tomato.

Even though his show only consisted of six episodes, it gathered a significant following. He won the prestigious 2010 TED Award earlier this year. TED is a non-profit community of some of the world’s most influential “thinkers and do-ers”.  Past award recipients include Bono and Bill Clinton.  With the award, he won a $100,000 donation towards his current projects as well as one “wish” that the TED community pledged to help make a reality.

“I wish for the TED community to create a movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again, and bring people together everywhere to fight obesity,” said Oliver. “My hope is that millions more people will learn, as so many have already, that it is a happier, healthier life that is built around eating good food, together with family and friends.” He laid out a number of different steps towards making this a reality. These include mobilizing a theater group to travel around the country and teach children about eating healthy.

Part of Oliver’s revolution includes a petition he is circulating around the nation that he hopes will eventually improve the U.S. school lunch system.  It has already garnered support from celebrities such as P. Diddy, Wendy Williams, Randy Jackson, Dr. Drew, Heidi Klum, Kate Goslin, Heidi Montag, Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Beiber, Whoopie Goldberg, Larry King, Adam Lambert, and Jennifer Aniston. The petition can be signed here.

Oliver’s website includes details of the petition, his successful school lunch overhaul in England, and his efforts in Huntington.  He advocates for healthy home cooking, and a revamped school lunch program.

While promoting fresh home cooking, Oliver also emphasizes the importance of food safety precautions. He has published numerous articles and videos on his website that are designed to teach people about the importance of cooking safely in the home. Some of these include articles on how to safely freeze homemade food, how to prevent cross contamination, and directions on how to prepare meat safely. 

In an article titled “Chopping Boards” he says, “I can only speak from my own personal experience but I use wooden chopping boards for all my fruit & veg and only ever use a plastic chopping board for meat & fish. The reason for this is the plastic board does not absorb like wood and can be cleaned better.”

Additionally, his website includes healthy sample lunch menus and home cooking guides.

Oliver’s supporters hope that the recognition that comes with this Emmy award will only progress his efforts to bring about change to America’s food system and general eating habits.

  • I would like to thank Jamie for his bold stance on school lunches in the USA. That took guts.
    I would also like to thank Madame First Lady Michelle Obama, and her husband the President, for standing up to big ag and poisoned food from big ag, from the most high risk cattle i.e. dead stock downers, going to our children all across the Nation, and going the extra step to make the food for our children safer and more nutritious.
    Thanks !
    Considering what the NSLP and the USDA have done in the past, I would welcome any new standard. So I applaud these new standards.
    However, feeding those dead stock downer cows to children for over 4 years was something they should never ever be able to forget about. dead stock downer cows are the most high risk animal for mad cow disease, and they knew this when the feeding to our children of this product was taking place. the USDA et al via the NSLP fed our children all across the USA, from state to state, the largest beef recall in history, they fed our children DEAD STOCK DOWNER COWS, the most HIGH RISK CATTLE FOR MAD COW DISEASE, they fed them to our children, and hid the largest beef recall in USA history, hid this recall under the guise of ‘animal abuse’. then told the parents not to worry because none of the kids had been sick or died from it to date. CJD can incubate for decades. anyway, just wanted to tell you about this, and thank you for what you are trying to do…
    NOW, we have this new prionpathy, prionopath, or what i call it prionbaloney, and the fact it’s killing young and old, onset of symptoms to death is LONG now too (like nvCJD), and clinical symptoms are like nvCJD as well, and to add, PATHOLOGY IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE g-h-BSEalabama mad cow, but none of it is related $$$
    Tuesday, August 24, 2010
    USDA Encourages Schools to Take the Healthier
    US School Challenge to Help Improve the Nutrition of School Children Nationwide

  • MartyK

    Congratulations to Jamie’s show for winning for Outstanding Reality Show. Hopefully, this will form a template for reality shows that are based on sensible, positive change rather than stupid human tricks! http://organicconnectmag.com/wp/2010/08/jamie-olivers-food-revolution-wins-emmy-award/

  • Colleen

    Will Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution be back for a second season? As an anthropologist concerned about food habits, sustainability and the environment, I found this show to be dead on. I hope it will be back!