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TEDx Manhattan: You Be Watchin’!

Written by Jane Summerfield

Do you “binge-watch” the latest episodes of made-for-television dramas and comedies like House of Cards, Breaking Bad, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?

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Then get ready for a TEDx Manhattan event that might also leave you glued to your iPad for hours…or even breaking out a dance step or two.

“Changing the Way We Eat” speaks to how we can tweak our food system for the better—and you know something?

It’s engaging, at times hilarious, and always informative.

To make it on stage at a TEDx you have to be good.

We found it to be a breath of fresh air and inspiration.

Last weekend was no exception, as food superstars, farmers, activists, investors, non-profit leaders, entrepreneurs, and those from plenty of other occupations took the stage to explain their unique perspectives on how we can continue to feed the world and do it well.

Each speech is about 15 minutes.

To get you started, we’ll share a few must-watches:

Hip hop artist DJ Cavem Motivation is a Grammy-nominated recording artist, founder of Going Green Living Bling, activist, and educator … along with a few other titles.

He talks about growing up in economically troubled inner-city neighborhoods and seeing advertising and food-related illnesses hurt and weaken these communities.

He talks about using his music to bring organic gardening, clean air, and PURPOSE to these neighborhoods.

There is enough music promoting sex, drugs, and violence. Why can’t we make something to promote kale… It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, hip-hop.

If we think about how we can utilize arts and culture to reach these young people, it would be the best thing that you can do. We can all do this.”

Danielle Nierenberg, the co-founder of Food Tank, spoke about how investing in women farmers and making sure that they have the same access to resources as men can and will lead us to a brighter more sustainable future free of hunger full of opportunity.

She explains that 43 percent of the global agricultural workforce is made up of women—80 percent in sub-Saharan Africa—and yet, they are not afforded the same opportunities as their male counterparts”

This invisible sisterhood are the world’s food producers and yet these working women are routinely denied access to education, refused by banking and financial institutions and ignored often by extension agents and research organizations. They are routinely discriminated against, just because they are women.”

Nikiko Masumoto, a third-generation farmer in the Central Valley whose grandfather bought the first 40 acres of their family farm in 1948, spoke about what it means to be a beginning farmer, asking the question “Why Farm?.”

Her answer, in part, is that it is a necessity for our sustainable future:

If we take seriously the call to change the way we eat, to remake our food system into a deliciously sustainable one, we need to continue to change and adapt the way we farm by using sustainable practices. And that means at the core, we need farmers.”

Debra Eschmeyer, co-founder of Food Corps, current White House Executive Director of Let’s Move!, and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy, shares her five ideas about a healthier America, starting with the story of her husband’s diagnosis of an autoimmune disease that led to her “a-ha moment”:

Jeff was a Type 1 Diabetic, he didn’t have a choice in this disease. But for one-third of our society that is destined to have Type 2 Diabetes, that is a choice. That is preventable. That is a diet related disease that we can stop. There are people who don’t have to have their dreams crushed because we can change something. . . the way we eat.”

Seventeen speakers in all took the stage, as well as powerful speaker introductions by influential food and health thinkers.

Take the next week to browse through the Live Stream site to get your daily fix of good news about food!

Unfortunately, the individual videos of each speaker have not been released by TEDx, go here if you would like to stay up to date on TEDx and receive a notification when the videos have been released.

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