TED is a non-profit devoted to “ideas worth spreading” and you can find literally thousands of free–inspiring and awesome–talks from experts and innovators around the world. Food Tank has highlighted 24 TED talks specifically around food issues.
1. Roger Thurow: The Hungry Farmer – My Moment of Great Disruption
Roger Thurow, author of The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change, talks about the smallholder farmers of Africa and the potential for good news in agricultural development.
2. Mark Bittman: What’s Wrong with What We Eat
In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what’s wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it’s putting the entire planet at risk.
3. Anna Lappé: Marketing Food to Children
Author and activist Anna Lappe takes on the billion-dollar business of marketing junk food, soda, and fast food to children and teens. With diet-related related illnesses alarmingly on the rise, pervasive marketing of junk food to kids is downright dangerous.
4. Ellen Gustafson: Obesity + Hunger = 1 Global Food Issue
Co-creator of the philanthropic FEED bags, Ellen Gustafson says hunger and obesity are two sides of the same coin. At TEDxEast, she launches The 30 Project — a way to change how we farm and eat in the next 30 years, and solve the global food inequalities behind both epidemics.
5. Tristram Stuart: The Global Food Waste Scandal
Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible — but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.
6. Brian Halweil: From New York to Africa: Why Food Is Saving the World
Long live the Food Movement! Brian Halweil, publisher of “Edible Manhattan,” discusses the problems with the global food system and the solutions he’s found cropping up everywhere.
7. Fred Kaufman: The Measure of All Things
Professor Frederick Kaufman from the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism discusses the major research projects currently underway to develop actual metrics to define what sustainable food is.
8. LaDonna Redman: Food + Justice = Democracy
LaDonna Redmond joined the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in 2011 as the Senior Program Associate in Food and Justice. A long-time community activist, she has successfully worked to get Chicago Public Schools to evaluate junk food, launched urban agriculture projects, started a community grocery store, and worked on federal farm policy to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities.
9. Jose Andres: Creativity in Cooking Can Solve Our Biggest Challenges?
A native of Spain, José Andrés is chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup, and is responsible for Washington’s popular and award-winning dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, America Eats Tavern and the critically-acclaimed minibar by josé andrés.
10. Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize Wish: Teach Every Child About Food?
Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.
11. Dan Barber: How I Fell in Love with a Fish?
Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie’s honeymoon he’s enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.
12. Carolyn Steel: How Food Shapes Our Cities?
Every day, in a city the size of London, 30 million meals are served. But where does all the food come from? Architect Carolyn Steel discusses the daily miracle of feeding a city, and shows how ancient food routes shaped the modern world.
13. Ann Cooper: Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children?
Chef Ann Cooper is a celebrated author, chef, educator, and enduring advocate for better food for all children. Ann is Director of Food Services for the Boulder Valley School District. She is co-founder of Lunch Lessons LLC and the Food Family Farming Foundation(F3)’s Lunch Box Project: Healthy Tools for All schools. F3 is also the managing partner of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, working to donate 6,000 salad bars to schools by 2013.
14. Ron Finley: A Guerrilla Gardener in South Central L.A.
Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and 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
Tama Matsuoka Wong is a professional forager and the principal of MeadowsandMore, which she founded to connect people with wild plants and natural landscapes. She won the New Jersey Forest Stewardship Award in 2007 for her work on stewarding her own property in western New Jersey. She collaborated with New Jersey Audubon on producing a booklet Meadows on the Menu about how to work with nature to turn lawns or fallow fields in to meadows.
16. Stephen Ritz: Green Bronx Machine: Growing Our Way Into a New Economy?
Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx teacher/administrator. With the help of extended student and community family they have grown over 25,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance. His Bronx classroom features the first indoor edible wall in NYC DOE which routinely generates enough produce to feed 450 students healthy meals and trains the youngest nationally certified workforce in America.
17. Angela Morelli: The Global Water Footprint of Humanity
Angela Morelli is an Italian information designer based in London. Her love of mathematics led to an engineering degree from the Politecnico of Milan. Her love of design led to a long journey through industrial, communication and information design. Her love for the planet led to a strong passion for global water issues. Her love for science led to dialogues and collaborations with research and commercial organisations in Europe.
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. He gives hope that future generations will really lead the charge in changing the food system: “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
We all know the arguments that being vegetarian is better for the environment and for the animals — but in a carnivorous culture, it can be hard to make the change. Graham Hill has a powerful, pragmatic suggestion: Be a weekday veg.
20. Joel Salatin: Thinking About Soil?
Organic farmer and author Joel Salatin delivers a passionate talk about treating farmland with care to ensure the most optimal food production and nutrition.
21. Roger Doiron: A Subversive Plot?
Roger Doiron is founding director of Kitchen Gardeners International, a network of people taking a hands-on approach to re-localizing the global food supply. Doiron is an advocate for new policies, technologies, investments, and fresh thinking about the role of gardens.
22. Britta Riley: A Garden in My Apartment
Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food (in her tiny apartment). So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles — researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system.
23. Arthur Potts Dawson: A Vision for Sustainable Restaurants
If you’ve been in a restaurant kitchen, you’ve seen how much food, water and energy can be wasted there. Chef Arthur Potts-Dawson shares his very personal vision for the waste-free restaurant — recycling, composting, sustainable engines for good (and good food).
24. Ken Cook: Turning the Farm Bill into the Food Bill?
President of the Environmental Working Group, Ken Cook, discusses the Farm Bill, the massive subsides paid to industrial farmers and how we can all act to help advocate and improve this important legislation.