If Ann Cooper is the Yoda of healthy food for kids, then Jamie Oliver is Luke Skywalker and Alice Waters is Princess Leia. Together we make up the #FoodTruth Coalition. A rebellion against the evil empire of fast food and sugary drinks. We've spent a full day talking about healthy eating, clean water, sugary drinks, and school lunches to lawmakers and kids in California and now we're here to answer your questions about our food revolution.

Jamie Oliver, Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, renowned chef and food activist.

Ann Cooper, Chef Ann Foundation, chef and advocate for healthier, more accessible school foods.

Alice Waters, The Edible School Yard Project, chef, author, restaurant owner, advocate for sustainable and humane agriculture.



This was amazing, thank you all so much, we are thrilled you were all so interested and the questions were great. We'll try to answer more of these questions in the future, but for now we bid farewell.

Comments: 237 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

JOFF_USA39 karma

What is food truth?

JOFoodTruth-31 karma

AW: Food truth means looking for the people who have honesty and integrity who speak about food and not lying that something is healthy when it's not. And understanding that the real truth is in the land, how the land is taken care of and how the food is grown, how quickly we can get it to children and everyone.

JO: Not lying, honesty. If it says healthy and it has 4 ingredients that are chemicals and only 2 or 3 that are good food, that's not healthy. That's food truth.

snuffy25332 karma

What do you think of the controversy currently surrounding First Lady Michelle Obama's school lunch program? Do you like it, what would you change about it?

JOFoodTruth37 karma

AW: I think she didn't ask for enough. We need a completely free school lunch, she's asking for too little cause she doesn't believe it can go through congress. Many people in the country believe school lunch needs to change dramatically

AC: I think she's been blamed for many things she had nothing to do with but in our country we have little knowledge of how the government works and that changes people's image of her. Another thing, the national school lunch program is many years old, we've never seen so much progress in the past 6 decades as we have seen in the past 6 years.

JO: She raised the conversation

AlterMudd26 karma

Since you started advocating against sugary beverages have you felt any pressure at all from "Big Soda"? What are their arguments? What you say seems like such common sense, i'd like to know how that lobby even argues against you.

JOFoodTruth27 karma

AC: They argue choice, that we're taking choice away. They argue there are no good or bad foods, and they argue that all foods can be part of a healthy diet, none of which makes sense.

JO: Exactly the same, anyone generally working or advocating for soda companies or fast food are incredibly good, well paid, at the top of their game. On a big level they are often quiet because they get more publicity by causing trouble.

SuperScate24 karma

Thanks for doing the AMA.

As a parent, I find so many sugary and fatty foods aimed at kids, which have little nutritional value. I don't even buy the "kids" food anymore. Even eating at a restaurant, the "kids meals" don't even include vegetables. They are an extra dish to be ordered.

What can I do to make my kids more interested in eating a variety of foods and being the next new generation of foodies?

Thanks muchly.

JOFoodTruth32 karma

AC: You know, If they grow it, if they cook it, they're going to want to eat it. Make them part of the process, they have to go shopping, they have to grow it, they'll want to eat it.

JO: Take your child to the farmers market 15 minutes once a week, you don't even need to spend anything, and that child will have a much different knowledge, so much food knowledge. People feel they have to spend but you don't, just go, enjoy it.

Who-the-fuck-is-that21 karma

What do you do for kids' lunches to keep them excited? I have a feeling the cafeteria pizza and chicken-fried steak I longed for as a child is a thing of the past LOL

JOFoodTruth24 karma

JO: Good cooking, good training.

AW: It's about children cooking themselves, growing themselves. When kids grow it and cook it they eat it.

AC: For schools that aren't that far along, we do rainbow days where everyone gets to pick a salad and pick different colors, we do tastings and they get to vote. We involve them in the process, there's an educational component. We serve tamales and pot stickers, all kinds of different things.

JO: I had young and teenage kids tell me that good school food saved their life. They're eating good food and they're clearing their plates clean.

elmono3112 karma

Jamie - Amazing work you do in the kitchen and also pioneering healthy eating!

If there were one thing (product, a type of food, a particular processing or cooking technique etc) you could remove from the world to benefit people's health, what would it be?

JOFoodTruth3 karma

JO: High fructose corn syrup

AW: Soft drinks

AC: Additives, colors and dyes

JO: The pink meat slime, you know, it will be renamed and remade and put back into the market.

OfficialBLLR12 karma

How do you feel about fruit juices and flavored milk? Is there a good juice versus a bad juice?

JOFoodTruth-6 karma

JO: Fresh fruit juice is not empty calories, there's trace elements, minerals, vitamins that are essential. At the same time, it has sugar and if you don't do anything that sugar will turn to fat. I always cut orange juice with water. Eat real orange juice, not from concentrate, etc. To strategically flavor milk and add sugar and color... I don't like the way that flavored milk has successfully been interjected in schools. I think french fries in school every day is wrong. You can negotiate.

AC: I would add one thing to the flavored milk discussion. The big companies have found ways to cut calories by cutting sugar and adding chemical sweeteners. We shouldn't have flavored milks at schools at all.

JO: Adding fruits into milk is fun, colorful, seasonal, it's great. Flavored milk is not honest, it's not food truth, they're tricking you.

eiselein12 karma

Who's at your dream dinner party?

JOFoodTruth22 karma

JO: Elvis, Ghandi, and these two, and Epic Mealtime Boys just to mix things up a little bit.

Marmite507 karma

Hi guys, thanks so much for doing this AMA!

Do you think the street food movement of the past few years has helped the cause against fast food, or made it worse?

Any examples would be a bonus but not expected!

JOFoodTruth5 karma

AW: Well, in one way it has given people independence and a little bit of a creative moment in terms of starting their own restaurant, if you will, and I know there are some people buying locally and doing it right, but there are a lot of people that are kind of just going into the trend of it. There are moments where it can bring people together, but it's again using kind of fast food principles and there's a lot of debris that comes with it. We're talking plates, dishes, all of that.

lucyness6 karma

out of jamie, ann and alice who takes on the entree, main and desserts?

JOFoodTruth16 karma

AW: I'll take the grill!

JO: I like to supply alcohol and make sure I provide hydration at the right temperature and everything

AW: I always take on the salad course, I always volunteer for the salad

AC: In this case I would take the tapas style meal

JO: You don't need dessert if you have tequila

toneyeah5 karma

What does the ultimate victory of the food revolution look like for you? A tax on sugary sodas? Kids that loving kale more than french fries? No more happy meals at McDonalds?

JOFoodTruth0 karma

AW: Free school lunch from organic, local people who take care of the land and nourish the kids. Let's make that global!

AC: People, planet, prosperity. That everything that we eat and grow takes care of all the people that eat it, all the people that grow it, and the prosperity of all the people at large

JO: That a young parent no matter what age, wealth, color, knows how to cook a delicious meal for their family that nourishes them without monetary burdens

FoodJusticeJon4 karma

Greetings from NYC! With parents who have been on the cusp of hypertension and pre-diabetes, you have all inspired me to make more positive food choices and to cook more at home. Thanks for all that you do!

Question: I teach free nutrition education and cooking skills workshops to kids in Seattle and New York City. What is one piece of advice you would pass on to my 4th/5th graders so that they can make healthier food choices for life and keep the food revolution going?

JOFoodTruth10 karma

JO: Learn to cook, learn to grow, and you will have more fun, live longer, pull more beautiful women or boys or both, and it will make their children live happier and more productive lives

AW: And eat together as friends. That's something that's so important, we've been taught to eat on the go. It matters to be able to sit together and eat, we want to bring children back to the table, back to the senses. I'm telling you, when they get in the garden and they get their hands in the earth, they want to go back, they connect to the rhythm of nature and it makes them feel good.

FoodJusticeJon4 karma

A topic not usually mentioned in public school nutrition curriculum's are harmful food additives (food coloring, preservatives, sweeteners).

How can teachers, families, community members, and other important stakeholders bring light to these food ingredients that run rampant in the processed foods kids eat?

JOFoodTruth1 karma

AC: Teach kids to read food labels. I mean, it's really that simple. In curriculum, get them to read labels, go to grocery stores and read labels. If they don't know what it is and can't pronounce it, they probably don't need it.

JO: After mortgage, the average American spends the largest amount of money on food. The importance of being good at shopping is such an important skill. I've never met a kid in any country who wants to get ripped off or punked, and that brings us back to food truth. The amount of money made off of lack of food truth is a lot of money.

AW: And there are a lot of apps right now that can help you find an organic store, a farmers market, help you read labels. You can be informed on your cell phone and a lot of kids are learning that way. The great thing about what we are doing, we're bringing people back to their senses and pleasures. This is not a hard thing to do, it's easy, you just have to make a trip to the farmers market.

JO: When I had no money I ate really well. Everyone else should as well.

AW: It's knowledge but it's the kind of knowledge that is not written, it's sensory. You're going to the market and you're sensing things, you're smelling things, you're touching things. It's not in your head, it's in your senses, which are the pathways into your head. It's like falling in love, watching a sunset, you want to go back and do it again.

gottahavemyPOPPs3 karma

Hey guys. Thanks for doing this AMA. Jamie I have been watching you a lot lately, specifically your cooking segment with the high school boys and girls. What was the most difficult/ most fun thing about teaching them. Also can someone please answer my oldest condundrum? To put oil in pasta or to not put oil in pasta? Thanks!

JOFoodTruth7 karma

ALL: I don't put oil in the water

AC: It's not something you really do, just put the pasta in the water, not too much pasta.

DaydreamKid3 karma


JOFoodTruth5 karma

JO: I don't have a midnight snack but if I did I would choose cheese and toast. If I'm eating late I usually eat a salad.

AC: I'd just rather be sleeping at midnight!

Frajer2 karma

Do you think fast food/soda etc is okay in moderation or should it be avoided?

JOFoodTruth0 karma

JO: Anything is alright in moderation, but the food truth is about the fact that the playing field is not fair or even. Every bargain for a Nestle product at the market isn't matched by a fresh food product.

AW: If you're going to buy chips, buy organic chips. If you're going to drink a soda, drink a real soda, not a Coke.

AC: And not all fast food is the same. I think Chipotle isn't the same standard of quality as--

AW: Maybe... maybe not on everything. They're given credit cause they're better than others.

JO: There's some fast food that is healthy.

marzstr1 karma

Where does your motivation for advocating #FoodTruth come from? Did you grow up with heathy food options or is it something that you came to love as an adult?

JOFoodTruth1 karma

AW: I grew up with parents who had a garden and we never went out to eat. Very sadly, my mother wasn't a good cook, but nonetheless I did fall in love with tomatoes and corn and all the veggies that grew in the summer. I was a very picky eater. I had the luck of going to Frances when it was slow food culture in the 60s. I went to the markets every day, I absorbed what was going on, and I learned from the French. I brought that back with me. I'm always looking for taste. A perfectly ripe peach!

JO: People say to me "I just started cooking, it's incredible, it's amazing, I can't believe I waited so long." That's a lot of years of being okay with horrible shit. The look on their face is like they've been missing out. I'm talking body builders, metal heads, famous musicians, everyone. It's never too late.

AC: I realized that big companies were putting profit over all else and the government was supporting it. Kids were getting more sick and the government was supporting it and I felt that everything was stacking up against our children.

princess_snark1 karma

Thanks so much for doing this AMA!

It's a well-known fact that, at least in America, unhealthy food is often the cheapest, and families living at or below the poverty line struggle to even afford that. In your opinion, what is the number one thing people can do to drastically change their eating habit without spending more money?

JOFoodTruth12 karma

JO: There are families that cook all over the world good, healthy food at half the price of fast food.

AW: When something is cheap, that means someone is missing out and 9 out of 10 times it's the farmer

AC: And cheap food means an expensive health care system.

JO: There is a connection