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  • Writer's pictureTamanna Mohapatra

24 TED Talks That Will Help Save the Food System (from foodtank)

Updated: Apr 24, 2018

Below is an article from the amazing food think tank website  highlighting 24 TED talks specifically around food issues that they find compelling and worth sharing. Please check out and watch as many of these as you can.

1. Roger Thurow: The Hungry Farmer – My Moment of Great Disruption Thurow,author of The Last Hunger Season, explains the profound “disease of the soul” that hunger represents, and how empowering smallholder farmers can bring long-term sustainable health and hope to the people of Africa.

2. Mark Bittman: What’s Wrong with What We Eat Bittman, a food writer for The New York Times talks about the impact our food choices have on our health and the planet’s health. He suggests that we eat meat in moderation because agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas pollution than transportation.

3. Anna Lappé: Marketing Food to Children Lappe, author of Diet for a Hot Planet, questions whether multibillion dollar corporations should be marketing unhealthy foods to impressionable children, especially considering the rise in food-related health issues among young people.

4. Ellen Gustafson: Obesity + Hunger = 1 Global Food Issue Food Tank co-founder Gustafson talks about the American food system and how it has changed dramatically in the past 30 years; agriculture has been consolidated, new and cheap processed food have gained popularity, and U.S. agricultural aid abroad has decreased. She believes now there is hope of a new change taking place in the next 30 years..led by all of us.

5. Tristram Stuart: The Global Food Waste Scandal Stuart laments how  food producers are creating unnecessary food waste–the majority of which is fit for human consumption, but has been discarded for many frivolous reasons. He offers a radical solution: “freeganism,” a movement in which food that would normally be thrown away is eaten instead.

6. Brian Halweil: From New York to Africa: Why Food Is Saving the World Halweil, publisher of Edible Manhattan, was on track to become a doctor until he realized that repairing the global food system could help to conserve people’s health and wellbeing more. Halweil believes that the local food movement is a truly powerful medicine.

7. Fred Kaufman: The Measure of All Things Kaufman, from the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, heralds the rise of a “Great Greenwash.” He further questions whether Wal-Mart and other corporations participating in the Sustainability Index are living up to their claims.

8. LaDonna Redman: Food + Justice = Democracy Redman, a long-time food activist, examines how the root causes of violence and public health concerns experienced by her community are strongly connected to the local food system, and are best addressed by making changes in that system.

9. Jose Andres: Creativity in Cooking Can Solve Our Biggest Challenges Chef Andres highlights the power of cooking. He urges everyone to turn simple ideas into big solutions–something we’ve been doing for centuries. Creativity and cooking are what he claims can give us hope for feeding the world.

10. Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize Wish: Teach Every Child About Food Celebrity chef Oliver has waged a revolution to combat the biggest killer in the U.S., diet-related disease, through food and cooking education. He shows how the power of information can defeat food ignorance and obesity.

11. Dan Barber: How I Fell in Love with a Fish Barber tells a humorous love story starting with every chef’s predicament: with the worldwide decline in fish populations, how are we going to keep fish on our menus? Barber tells of one farm in Spain utilizing a revolutionary, yet basic idea: ecological relationships.

12. Carolyn Steel: How Food Shapes Our Cities Steel, an architect, explains how  intoday’s cities, our relationship with food is misshapen–it is disconnected. Steel suggests an alternative to urban design in which we use food as a tool to reconnect and interconnect.

13. Ann Cooper: Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children Cooper, the “Renegade Lunch Lady,” wants us to get angry about what kids eat at school. She wants kids to eat healthy, sustainable food; but first, we all need to care why this should happen.

14. Ron Finley: A Guerrilla Gardener in South Central L.A. Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central Los Angeles — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, and along the curbs in order to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

15. Tama Matsuoka Wong: How I Did Less and Ate Better, Thanks to Weeds Wong describes the path she took to discover that weeds are not only nutrient-rich, environmentally sustainable foods, but can also be quite delicious.

16. Stephen Ritz: Green Bronx Machine: Growing Our Way Into a New Economy Through his Green Bronx Machine project, he has taught his students the business of installing edible walls and green roofs. He has empowered his students to make a real difference in their own lives, in their communities, and beyond.

17. Angela Morelli: The Global Water Footprint of Humanity Morelli, Italian information designer helps consumers visualize the enormous expenditures of water that occur daily in the food system using graphic design. In this talk, she explains the concept of the “water footprint”.

18. Birke Baehr: What’s Wrong With Our Food System Baehr, at just 11 years old at the time of this talk, presents the most glaring problems in our food system with the directness that, truly, only a child could do. “Now a while back, I wanted to be an NFL football player. I decided that I’d rather be an organic farmer instead.”

19. Graham Hill: Why I’m a Weekday Vegetarian founder Hill is not a vegetarian. In this short talk, he explains his choice to become a weekday vegetarian, instead, and outlines the many benefits of choosing such a lifestyle.

20. Joel Salatin: Thinking About Soil Salatin, the “Lunatic Farmer,” decries the modern farming practices that destroy necessary insects, create chemically engineered plants, and breed sick livestock, resulting in a “dead food system” based on a “mechanistic view of life.” He calls for a return to organic, natural farming and processing practices.

21. Roger Doiron: A Subversive Plot Gardening is a subversive activity. Food is a form of energy, but it’s also a form of power.” This sums up Doiron’s persuasive argument as to why everyone should undertake the project of a home garden, and control their own access to fresh, hyperlocally grown produce.

22. Britta Riley: A Garden in My Apartment Riley struck out to plant a garden in her tiny New York City apartment, and ended up developing an environmentally sustainable window garden – that yielded delicious results. Riley describes her method as “R&DIY – Research and Develop It Yourself.”

23. Arthur Potts Dawson: A Vision for Sustainable Restaurants Dawson has designed two environmentally sustainable London restaurants, Acorn House and Water House, that work toward eliminating waste entirely and using only clean energy.

24. Ken Cook: Turning the Farm Bill into the Food Bill Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group, explains how farm subsidies are being placed into the very wrong hands; specifically, those of farmers producing corn only for fuel. His talk is a call to change the federal incentive system that is directly threatening the food on our plates.

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Jul 22, 2020

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