Looking Past the Plate: 10 TED Talks Foodies Should Watch

Break might be over but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a break to enjoy a few food-based TED Talks!

A Guerrilla Gardener in South Central LARon Finley

Ron Finley talks about food desertification in his neighborhood in Los Angeles, and his famous project to plant a food forest in front of his house. His main point: “Food is the problem and food is the solution.”

 

How I Fell in Love with a FishDan Barber

Can fish be farmed sustainably? Chef Dan Barber talks about an integrated aquaculture system in Spain based on a complex ecological network. This model of agriculture purifies the water and land which feeds it and asks questions about what it means to sustainably feed ourselves.

 

Why not eat insects?Marcel Dicke

In 2006, it was estimated that US economy benefited by $57 billion dollars per year. Marcel Dicke talks about the importance of insects to our ecosystem, economy, and food chain. Beyond what is already eaten around the world, insects could be the food of the future.

 

One Seed at a Time, Protecting the Future of FoodCary Fowler

Genetic diversity is more important, and more urgent, to the future of our food than we may think. Of the 7,100 named apple varieties grown in the US in the 1800s, 6,800 are extinct. Cary Fowler discusses the importance of preserving agricultural biodiversity to stop the mass extinction that occurs in our fields and on our plates, and prepare us for ecological futures brought about by Climate Change.

 

Animals, Humans: We’re All ConnectedWayne Pacelle

Wayne Pacelle discusses animal cruelty in conjunction with other forms of violence, objectification, and oppression. Framing industrial animal agriculture as both a social justice and an animal ethics issue, Pacelle breaks down the environmental factors that cause physical and psychological damage to farmed animals and factory workers.

 

Organizing the Workers in the Food ChainJoann Lo

Organizer and activist Joann Lo works with the Food Chain Workers Alliance to advocate for workers’ rights across the food chain. She discusses the importance of intersectional organization in order to bring about social and political change and build a stronger, more sustainable food system.

 

The Black Power and Farmworker MovementsNikki Henderson

Nikki Henderson talks about the complex cooperative relationship between the Black Panther Party and the United Farmworkers’ Alliance, naming several successful campaigns during which the two groups became one movement. The food justice movement is fundamentally intersectional, and although it is relatively young, Henderson explains it has a long-standing and ongoing history of cooperation.

 

Empowering College Students to Control What They EatTim Galarneau

Tim Galarneau works with college students to inspire a “Real Food” movement on their campuses. Operating with the idea that young people have tremendous amounts of power to bring about change, college campuses are in many ways good starting places for movements like the “Unity Community Movement.”

 

If You Eat, You’re ResponsibleEric Schlosser

Eric Schlosser, writer of Fast Food Nation and a major leader in the food justice movement, discusses migrant labor, its connections to poverty and racism, and to the biggest victims on the producer and consumer side of the food systems.

 

Food is a Family HeirloomSuresh Doss

Food is not just a physical resource or a political system: according to Suresh Doss, it’s also a time machine. As a food writer, Doss talks about how food is intricately connected to environment, nostalgia, comfort, and family.

 

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Feature image by Emily Berl for The New York Times.

Guest Post Written by Sophia McRae, Class of 2019, Dining Team Green Sustainability Intern

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