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Food Binds Us, It's Social And Inclusive

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Delegate from Ireland, Iseult Ward on the Food Revolution Session at this year's One Young World Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Obesity and hunger are major global problems, and this Special Session at the One Young World Summit 'The Food Revolution' focused on what can be done to save the next generation from the diet related illnesses that we face today. Educating children on food should be a priority. In some families there are three generations that don't know how to cook with children who can't even recognise cauliflower. In Australia, 20% of children think pasta comes from an animal.

For Jamie Oliver, focusing on children in their schools and communities is the best solution to this global problem. Children pass on what they learn to their parents, how to feel better and how to be happier through the food that they eat.

Paul Lindley, CEO of Ella's Kitchen, emphasised that if children have a better relationship with food now, it will stand with them for the rest of their lives. It's not just about the food, but about the experience. He advises getting children involved in the preparation of food from a young age. His message was how food binds us, it's social and inclusive.

There is an overall understanding that there is a need for some control to be put in place because of the large companies who focus solely on profit with no real purpose. There were global targets set at the world assembly. To reduce salt intake by 30%, to reduce blood pressure by 25% and to stop advertising unhealthy foods to children. Chile have enforced a ban on using toys in advertising food products to children. In France, a sugar tax has been implemented.

Jamie Oliver has created a Food Revolution with 670 Ambassadors in 87 countries. There are different problems in different countries, the food revolution brings all these different issues together. On one day, 16 May, these issues will be a primary focus, Food Revolution Day. Jamie said 'what I've learned is that there are many people doing wonderful things', he followed by saying that trying to create change can be lonely if you're one person asking for change in your community. At One Young World we can learn and be inspired, but we can also gain power, strength and confidence to make noise, especially on the 16 May.

Kelsey Weisgerber who attended last year's Summit, began a Food Revolution in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh created more access to gardens, nutrition education. It encouraged family meals, employee wellness programs, and began to teach cooking in schools. They developed a partnership with university MBA programs to run a social awareness campaign throughout Pittsburgh and held dinners and events to fundraise.

It was continuously highlighted that food is more than nutrition, it is a way to bring people from different cultures together. Food is a powerful thing. Food is life. Food is culture. Food represents how we feel. But it all boils down to the education about what we eat and how it affects us and our future.

I have no doubt that after One Young World, Jamie Oliver will have Ambassadors in 190 countries, inspired and motivated delegates that want to be a part of The Food Revolution.