Art Smith: Happy Birthday – Love, Oprah

What do two chefs, a politician’s wife, and a talk show host have in common?

The desire to take on the American obesity epidemic.

It seems Jamie Oliver (that’s the first chef) recent TED Prize wish might just come true:

My wish is for you to have a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, to inspire families to cook again and to empower people everywhere to fight obesity.

To be successful, the $100,000 TED prize needs to attract more money.

Michelle Obama (the politician’s wife) launched a similar, initiative Let’s Move, that aims to tackle childhood obesity, with better school food and access to better information.

Art Smith (the second chef) takes it from there.

It turns out that Art’s non-profit organization, Common Threads, based in Chicago, was just the kind of movement that Jamie had in mind. It educates children about food and cooking to help fight obesity and malnutrition in inner cities. It draws on a large number of prominent chefs to support the organization and its work. Art happens to be Oprah Winfrey former private chef. He also has worked hard to loose 90 pounds, backing up his message to children in own life.

For his 50th birthday, Oprah handed him a check for $250,000 for his charity. It will go far to help educated more kids about food and cooking choices. But without more money, more government demand for information to consumers, and more access to fresh food, the epidemic will rage on.

With any luck, Oprah’s generous gift will encourage others to treat this national epidemic seriously and step up with more money, help, and time to tackle the problem and make Jamie’s wish come true.

Happy Birthday, Art!

Related article:
Food Flick: Art Smith’s Common Threads

(Photo: courtesy of Associated Press

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