Most revolutions don’t get started in a garden – let alone a green rooftop edible garden.  But that’s where the call to action in Pittsburgh was made this morning during the first official event of the 2012 One Young World Summit, which brings 1,000 up-and-coming leaders from 190 countries to Pittsburgh for a weekend of probing issues of global concern and creating resolutions to help guide change.

Surrounded by beds of fresh herbs and vegetables at Phipps Conservatory  and Botanical Gardens, oft-called “green Pittsburgh under one roof,” internationally renowned chef and founder of the Food Revolution Jamie Oliver, alongside Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and other community leaders, today challenged Pittsburghers to join the revolution to make the city healthier and even more food-conscious – especially at the family level – over the next year.

Chef Jamie Oliver speaks at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to promote “Food Revolution” in Pittsburgh PHOTO CREDIT: Annie O’Neill

This challenge would make Pittsburgh the first city to commit to a 12-month program to kick-start a Food Revolution.

Recognizing that obesity levels are soaring in America and causing manifold health problems – even as starvation plagues many other parts of the globe from which One Young World delegates hail – the Food Revolution aims to educate individuals and families about what’s in the food they’re eating and encourages them to make better choices.

Oliver’s ambition, as he described it today, is to create a healthier world by prompting community leaders, businesses and schools to work together to promote food education and provide more families with access to great food.  “Pittsburgh is not a city that’s broken.  There are already so many wonderful things here – people, programs and places, including Phipps.  You’re doing great things; now let’s just push it a little more [with the Food Revolution],” he said.

In response, Let’s Move Pittsburgh – a collaborative of organizations, parents and caregivers committed to making the region one of the nation’s healthiest places for children to live – launched 10,000 Tables, a pledge encouraging area households to prepare and eat at least one homemade, television-free meal together each week for one year. As part of the pledge, Let’s Move Pittsburgh will equip participants with helpful resources for making smart shopping choices, growing healthy ingredients at home and cooking more nutritiously for kids. “We’ve launched 10,000 Tables in support of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution because we know that kids in families that eat home-cooked meals – with the TV off and the conversation on – are healthier and have better chances of developing good habits that last for lifetimes,” said Richard Piacentini, executive director of Phipps and director of Let’s Move Pittsburgh.

Local ambassadors of the Food Revolution in Pittsburgh will be tasked with monitoring and reporting on a number of goals relative to the city’s evolution toward being “even-healthier” and “more food conscious” throughout the year ahead.