Jamie Oliver
Photo: Chris Terry
Jamie Oliver wants to change the way this country eats—and he's starting in the most overweight city in America. Watch how Jamie's changing minds and saving lives on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC.

Read a Q&A from Jamie about Episode 4 of his fight to eat right.
Q: Do you think you need to be up against tough challenges in order to succeed?

A: In a way, I do think it's necessary. If you ever do something like this and feel comfortable, then you know you are not doing a good enough job because in order to make big changes, sometimes you need to be uncomfortable, you need to be pushing the boundaries, you need to be feeling like you are a bit vulnerable, and we did for sure.

I think if you are really passionate about a project, you have to get to know the people who are going to stand in your way, so hopefully you can work with them and try and change their minds. No one likes change. I've really learned that over the years and am quite used to going into situations where people are not that partial to me. Ultimately, I really believed in what I was trying to do in Huntington. If I hadn't, I would not have felt as confident going in there in the first place.

Q: It seems like Rod the radio DJ's opposition to what you were trying to do turned out to be a blessing in the end.

A: Rod definitely didn't like me being in his town, but the fact that he was against what we were doing turned out to be quite helpful because it means the public get to hear another view and choose which view they agree with. There will be people who agree with Rod strongly, and there will be people who agree with me strongly. That's all good for the campaign, and that's all good for the TV show. As long as it gets people debating this subject, I'm happy. Hopefully the fact that he starts to come around will encourage other naysayers who feel the way he does to change their minds too.

I had a very strange job to do in this project: I needed to get in there and make changes, I had to promote the campaign element locally and federally, and then I had to make the actual TV program. For the TV program, I didn't have a presenter's job, as I had to tell a story by actually going through the ups and downs with the town.

Despite what people may think, this was not a scripted series—this was an observational piece of factual TV. We didn't know what was going to happen, I didn't know who was going to like me or hate me, we didn't know if anyone was going to change their minds and join us, we didn't know if the council or the local authorities or the senator would support us. We didn't know anything. We could have ended up with nothing and having made no difference at all, so if you look at what we achieved, it was phenomenal.

Q: The flash mob looked like lots of fun. How long did it take for the crowd to gather?

A: The crowd just came out of the blue really, and it was just a bit of fun to spread the word. Obviously, everyone was thinking, "What is going on?" I think that all the guys who got involved did a great job. The whole point of a flash mob is to create a bit of a scene and get people talking, whether it is online or in the local community. It served its purpose really well because we ended up getting loads of interest as a result. The papers were going mad; the radios were going mad—it was perfect.

Q: How did it feel when you arrived in the kitchen on the day when people came to cook and make up the 1,000?

A: Huntington is a community of 50,000, and I needed to get 2 percent of them coming in to do this, so it was quite a big ask. I was relieved more than anything when everyone showed up. To be honest, I have been relieved through this whole process. None of those people had been organized to come; they were just local people who were interested. It was brilliant.

Learn more about Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution


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