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A Fond Farewell to TEDxManhattan

By Brittany Barton for Change Food

November 4, 2015

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Five years. 90 speakers. 7.2 million YouTube views. 494 viewing parties. 8 million people impacted. TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” resonated across the world and made great strides for an improved food system. The five influential one-day events held from 2011 to 2015 were a nationally-recognized brand and a sought-after platform for individuals and organizations doing innovative work in sustainable food and farming. It provided innovators with an opportunity to raise their profile and reach far beyond their existing audiences. TEDxManhattan has had a significant impact, acting as a catalyst for new opportunities, spurring media coverage of new projects and leading to dynamic partnerships.

After five years of significant successes, TEDxManhattan has officially retired and we bid it a fond farewell. The impact of each event will live on in the projects, collaborations and new events made possible by TEDxManhattan.

We wanted to take an opportunity to thank and honor all of the speakers, participants, viewing party organizers, sponsors, volunteers and all those who attended the event. TEDxManhattan was all of us combined.


THE CONNECTIONS

More than anything, TEDxManhattan was about the people. It was about the connections, collaborations and friendships the events made possible. The selected speakers were given an opportunity to present their project or idea to a captive audience and each person walked away with a community of champions ready to support them.

And for some it completely changed their lives. Some speakers were new to the food movement and had never been exposed to such a receptive audience. Veteran food activists were ready and willing to lend their expertise. Below we’ve highlighted only a few of the incredible partnerships made possible by TEDxManhattan.

Audience member Susan Haar organized the Harvard Food Law Conference that has led to students organizing regionally and in other groups. She says, “I really want to say it never would have happened without (Diane Hatz) and TEDxManhattan. In one day you completely woke me up to the possibility of changing the food system and the urgency to do so.” The Harvard conference energized everyone in attendance and next steps proposed by students are already in the works – including a website, an alumni network, sharing of administrative resources for starting a student food law society, sharing of ideas for topics of student notes, cross-network projects, and an annual meeting.

Susan was introduced to 2015 TEDxManhattan speaker, Michele Merkel, Co-director of Food & Water Justice and invited her to be the keynote speaker for the Harvard Food Law Conference. It gave Michele’s justice program great exposure and also a view into the future of the legal efforts in the food movement.

Michele’s 2015 TEDxManhattan talk, “Using the legal system to fight factory farms” spurred a Food & Water Watch alert, and over 13,000 people took action against the EPA, asking them to reinstate the rule to create an inventory of CAFOs. This occurred within days of her video release.  Continue reading

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Eat Your Turkey and Save the Planet Too

By: Brittany Barton for Change Food
November 18, 2015

Family and friends are gathered around the table, ready to indulge in the Thanksgiving feast. The turkey is looking especially plump this year, and pies with intricate lattice-work line the dessert buffet. Vegetables are present too, although many are hiding in creamy casseroles. Thanksgiving is pinned as the ultimate food holiday, where we celebrate a bountiful harvest and eat one too many slices of pie. Since we are celebrating food, it is the perfect time to consider the effects our meal is having on our environment. What is the real cost of your Thanksgiving meal?

This Thanksgiving, have a meal that positively impacts the good food movement. We have an overwhelming number of choices in today’s food market and it’s the choice you make that will either make or break a healthy food system.

FOOD CHOICES

TEDxManhattan speaker Stefanie Sacks says, “Start to question the foods you choose for you and your loved ones.” Green bean casserole is a good example. This dish is traditionally made with canned green beans and canned soup. These two products are shipped hundreds or thousands of miles, made from non-organic sources and sealed in a BPA-lined can; translating to carbon pollution, pesticides and health risks associated from BPA.

Thanksgiving table photo by David Trainer courtesy of flickr

Thanksgiving table photo by David Trainer courtesy of flickr

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Food Co-ops for Social Justice

By Brittany Barton for Change Food

Food cooperatives impact communities in ways that go beyond food. Right now, over 45,000 co-ops in the country are providing low cost, healthy food to its members. These stores are community-run businesses based on the cooperative principles that each member has a voice in decisions regarding the production and distribution of its food.
One example is The Seward Community Co-op; created in 1972, it remains a staple in its Minneapolis neighborhood. So much so that they have opened a second location, named the Friendship Store. Friend of Change Food and former TEDxManhattan speaker LaDonna Redmond is a key player in it’s creation. The store is located in the Bryant-Central neighborhood, a predominantly African American community that has been without a full service grocery for over 30 years.

Google Creative Commons

Google Creative Commons

Over five hundred Co-op owners joined the Friendship store within the first week. “People are ready,” says Redmond. The store offers quality food and quality jobs, with 50 percent of employees living less than a mile from the store. This is a huge advantage for a community that struggles with employment discrimination. Co-op employees are provided benefits, insurance and paid $15 an hour.

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This Food Day, Get Inspired with a Fresh New Documentary

Written By: Kelly Mertz for Change Food

How can I incorporate more fresh produce into my diet without breaking the bank? Where are the farmers markets in my area? How can my diet help to heal the Earth? Who are the leaders working to reverse the damages done by the current agribusiness system?

Perhaps these are questions you are already asking yourself. This October 24th, join thousands of people across the United States in celebrating Food Day, a day dedicated to inspiring Americans to make changes to their diets that will positively impact their health and the health of the environment. This year’s theme is “Toward a Greener Diet” and aims to educate the population on how they can make strides toward a greener plate – both literally and figuratively.

Food for Thought, Food for Life confronts the damages caused by the current agribusiness system, and counterpoints by introducing the viewer to those who are working towards a solution.

Food for Thought, Food for Life confronts the damages caused by the current agribusiness system, and counterpoints by introducing the viewer to those who are working towards a solution.

While events will be held in all fifty states, one we are particularly passionate about here at Change Food is the official online release of the film Food for Thought, Food For Life. The twenty-minute documentary, directed by Susan Rockefeller (also of HBO’s Christopher Award-winning documentary Making The Crooked Straight, and Planet Green’s A Sea Change), has already been recognized at several film festivals this year, earning an official selection at the Short Film Corner at Cannes. It explains the downsides to the current large-scale farming system (for example, irrigation is currently the largest single use of water in the world). In turn, it focuses on the change-makers (farmers, chefs, researchers, and activists) who are providing solutions to these problems.  The film examines the intersection of our individual health, the health of our communities on a macro scale, and the well-being of our planet. Continue reading

A Paradigm Shift in Mississippi School Cafeterias

By Ligia V. Henriquez for Change Food

Versión en Español

In her TEDxManhattan talk Good Food Can Change Everything, Sunny Young, winner of the 2014 TEDxManhattan Challenge, described the Good Food for Oxford Schools (GFOS) farm to school program in Mississippi. Today, we are happy to share an exciting update on her work!

Photo 1. Sunny Young at TEDxManhttan on March 2014. Slide showing second grade student, Samaria, eating kale chips after meeting the farmer who grew the kale and the chef who prepared them. TEDxManhattan.

Photo 1. Sunny Young at TEDxManhttan on March 2014. Slide showing second grade student, Samaria, eating kale chips after meeting the farmer who grew the kale and the chef who prepared them. TEDxManhattan.

Through GFOS in the Oxford School District in Oxford, Mississippi, Sunny helped engage and empower school staff, students, and their families to change the way they think of and eat food.

When she gave her talk in March 2014, GFOS had helped transform the food served in their school cafeterias by:

  • Increasing the percentage of food made from scratch served in school meals from 30% to 75% within one year
  • Increasing servings of fresh foods from local producers
  • Eliminating fryers from school cafeterias
  • Introducing salad bars in all the District’s schools
  • Bringing farmers and chefs to schools to teach children about good food

A mother reported that her daughter, Samaria (see photo 1), who previously refused to try fruits or vegetables, was now pestering her for fruits, rather than for highly processed products! (Hint: watch related TEDxManhattan talk: Marketing Food to Children, were Anna Lappé explains “pester power”).

The statistics that Sunny shared during her talk show the need for a paradigm shift in the diets of Mississippi children:

  • Mississippi is the state with the highest obesity rates in the country
  • 40% of Mississippi children eat less than 1 fruit or vegetable on a daily basis
  • 40% of Mississippi children are overweight/ obese
  • 74% of parents are not worried about their children’s weight

As she explained, farm to school efforts are important because in the Oxford School District alone, academic performance and overall well-being have declined in children who are overweight, malnourished, and/or suffering from diet-related diseases. Students as young as five have been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, a disease formerly only identified in adults.[i]
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Un Cambio de Paradigma en las Cafeterías Escolares de Mississippi

Por Ligia V. Henríquez para Change Food

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En su charla de TEDxManhattan, Good Food Can Change Everything (La Comida Buena Puede Cambiar Todo), Sunny Young, ganadora del Reto TEDxManhattan 2014, describió el programa de granja a la escuela llamado Buena Comida Para Las Escuelas de Oxford (GFOS por sus siglas en inglés). Hoy, estamos contentos de compartir una emocionante actualización de su labor.

Foto 1. Sunny Young en TEDxManhattan 2014. La diapositiva muestra a la estudiante de segundo grado, Samaria, comiendo col rizada después de haber conocido al granjero que la produjo y al chef que la preparó. TEDxManhattan.

Foto 1. Sunny Young en TEDxManhattan 2014. La diapositiva muestra a la estudiante de segundo grado, Samaria, comiendo col rizada después de haber conocido al granjero que la produjo y al chef que la preparó. TEDxManhattan.

A través de GFOS en el Distrito Escolar de Oxford en Oxford, Mississippi, Sunny contribuyó a atraer y empoderar al personal, estudiantes y familias de las escuelas para que mejoren su alimentación.

Cuando ella dio su charla en Marzo del 2014, GFOS había ya ayudado a transformar la comida en cafeterías escolares de las siguientes maneras:

  • Incrementando el porcentaje de alimentos preparados “desde cero” servidos en las comidas escolares de un 30% a un 75% en un año
  • Incrementando las porciones de comidas frescas de productores locales
  • Eliminando las freideras de las cafeterías escolares
  • Introduciendo barras de ensaladas en todas las escuelas del distrito
  • Llevando a granjeros y a chefs a las escuelas a enseñarle a los niños acerca de comida saludable

Una madre reportó que su hija, Samaria (ver Foto 1), quien antes no probaba frutas ni vegetales, ahora le insiste que le compre frutas, en lugar de productos altamente procesados (Consejo: ver la charla de TEDxManhattan: Marketing Food to Children [Publicidad de Alimentos Dirigida a Niños], donde Anna Lappé explica las tácticas publicitarias que incitan a los niños a insistir por ciertos productos).

Las estadísticas que Sunny compartió en su charla muestran la necesidad de un cambio de paradigma en la alimentación de los niños de Mississippi:

  • Mississippi es el estado con los índices de obesidad mas altos del país
  • 40% de los niños en Mississippi comen menos de una fruta o vegetal al día
  • 40% de los niños en Mississippi sufren sobrepeso/obesidad
  • 74% de los padres no están preocupados por el peso de sus hijos

Como ella explicó, los esfuerzos de los programas de la granja a la escuela son importantes ya que tan sólo en el Distrito Escolar de Oxford, el desempeño académico y bienestar general ha disminuido en los niños que sufren sobrepeso, mala alimentación, y/o enfermedades relacionadas con la dieta. Estudiantes muy jóvenes, de apenas cinco años de edad, han sido diagnosticados con Diabetes Tipo II, una enfermedad antes solo identificada en adultos.[i]
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Chicken Soup Series: Remedies for the Food System Part I: Soup and the History of Restaurants

By Ligia V. Henriquez

Versión en Español

On these first days of October, New York City is cloudy and temperatures are starting to fall. New Yorkers are avoiding the sneezing and colds of their colleagues and fellow subway riders. For a little homemade comfort, at Change Food we decided to partner with amazing chefs to bring you the series Chicken Soup: Remedies for the Food System.

These recipes are not guaranteed to cure the common cold, but will definitely help keep you warm. We open the series today with restaurateur Danny Meyer’s TEDxManhattan 2015 talk, “The Convergence of Casual and Fine.” Danny Meyer is the CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, which has opened numerous acclaimed restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, and launched the casual burger spot, Shake Shack.

Danny Meyer, restaurateur and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, giving his talk “The Convergence of Casual and Fine” at TEDxManhattan 2015.

Danny Meyer, restaurateur and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group, giving his talk “The Convergence of Casual and Fine” at TEDxManhattan 2015.

At the beginning of his talk, Danny Meyer took us back to France, where he believes restaurants originated from places that served “bouillon” or soup. “The original concept of restaurants,” he said, “came from the French ‘to restore’ and the whole notion of going to a restaurant started at restaurants that were called bouillons, because there was nothing more restorative– there still is nothing more restorative– than a good bowl of consommé: bone broth!”

For our series Chicken Soup: Remedies for the Food System, Danny Meyer contributed the following recipe from the cookbook Family Table: Favorite Staff Meals From Our Restaurants To Your Home authored by Michael Romano & Karen Stabiner:
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Sopa de Pollo: Remedios para el Sistema Alimentario Parte I: La Sopa y el Origen de los Restaurantes

Por Ligia V. Henríquez

Read In English

En estos primeros días de Octubre, la ciudad de Nueva York está nublada y las temperaturas están empezando a bajar. Los Neoyorquinos están evitando los estornudos y gripes de sus colegas y de los pasajeros del metro. Para aportar un poco de confort casero, en Change Food hemos decidido colaborar con estupendos chefs para traerles nuestra serie Sopa de Pollo: Remedios para el Sistema Alimentario.

Estas recetas no están garantizadas para curar la gripe común, pero definitivamente le ayudarán a mantener el calor. Abrimos la serie con la charla de TEDxManhattan 2015 del restaurantero Danny Meyer acerca de la convergencia entre la comida casual y la elegante. Danny Meyer es el Director Ejecutivo del Union Square Hospitality Group, el grupo que ha abierto numerosos aclamados restaurantes como lo es Gramercy Tavern y que lanzó el lugar casual de hamburguesas, Shake Shack.

Danny Meyer, restaurantero y Director Ejecutivo del Union Square Hospitality Group, dando su charla acerca de la convergencia entre la comida casual y la elegante en TEDxManhattan 2015.

Danny Meyer, restaurantero y Director Ejecutivo del Union Square Hospitality Group, dando su charla acerca de la convergencia entre la comida casual y la elegante en TEDxManhattan 2015.

Al principio de su charla, Danny Meyer nos llevó al pasado en Francia, donde él considera que los restaurantes tuvieron su origen en lugares que servían “bouillon” o sopa. “El concepto original de los restaurantes”, dijo, “vino del Francés ‘restaurar’ y toda la noción de ir a un restaurante inició en restaurantes llamados bouillons, porque no había nada mas restaurador– ¡no hay nada mas restaurador— que un buen tazón de consomé!”

Para nuestra serie Sopa de Pollo: Remedios para el Sistema Alimentario, Danny Meyer contribuyó con la siguiente receta del libro de cocina Family Table: Favorite Staff Meals From Our Restaurants To Your Home (Mesa de Familia: Las Comidas Favoritas de Nuestro Equipo Desde Nuestros Restaurantes Hasta Su Mesa) escrito por Michael Romano & Karen Stabiner:
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