TEDx Manhattan

If you missed the TEDx Manhattan event on Changing the Way We Eat, you can catch the videos from the three sessions here.

  • Session 1: Inform
  • Session 2: Educate
  • Session 3: Empower

As you might imagine, some speakers were better than others. Here are some of my notes and observations, by no means exhaustive.

  • One of our issues is that governmental health departments do not have the kinds of resources that fast food companies do. Unfortunately, when we “shrink government,” our protection gets shrunk, not waste and fraud.
  • With respect to advertising and metrics, Anna Lappe told junk food corporations: “My kids, all our kids, are none of your business.”
  • Agreed with and loved Annemarie Colbin (of Natural Gourmet) until she said “Good food should be fresh and natural–not canned or frozen” (because they don’t have the right chi). No putting by?! Annemarie, this is how we have local fruits and veggies in the Northeast throughout the dark days of winter, chi notwithstanding.
  • We should insist that industrial producers pay for their damage!
  • People (eaters) need to be willing to pay what food is worth–really worth–without subsidies.
  • Shout out to our own Michel Nischan of the Dressing Room and Wholesome Wave.
  • Check out Founding Gardeners

a fascinating look at the revolutionary generation from the unique and intimate perspective of their lives as gardeners, plantsmen and farmers.

For the founding fathers, gardening, agriculture and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating.

  • Steve Wing, in his talk about factory farming, said we “We have to change policies to help local residents near factory farms. Not just eat local.” He probably didn’t mean to say “just” in that tone. Eating locally DOES matter and an achievable first step for many. In fact, if everyone did it, factory farming would be out of business! I believe (and hope) that his point was that we can do more. P.S. Locavores DO eat global food–just not the items that grow well in our local or regional food shed.
  • Farm to Freezer is an incredibly fabulous idea
  • With respect to food banks, Jeff Bridges astutely noted that, “Charity’s a great thing, but it’s not the way to end hunger.” As he pointed out, we aren’t funding the military through charity.
  • David McInerney of Fresh Direct brought out his farmers!

Overall, it was a positive event and we have much work to do.

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