Tag Archives: Kelly Mertz

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 Last Hurrah for TEDxManhattan

by Kelly Mertz for Change Food
September 29, 2015


In today’s digital age, it is easier than ever to learn about any topic that peaks your interest. Thanks to dedicated, passionate professionals like our very own Change Food Founder, Diane Hatz, series like TEDxManhattan make educating ourselves all the more accessible. You may have heard of TED Talks – educational lectures featuring experts on just about anything, with the goal of sparking insightful conversations. They’ve gained popularity in recent years, self-describing themselves as “Ideas Worth Sharing.” TEDx events are TED sponsored, but independently organized, and can feature live speakers and pre-recorded TED Talk videos alike.

Beginning in 2011, TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” hosted speakers from around the world on topics ranging from hunger, to sustainable farming initiatives, to gastronomy and to the connection between art and food, and beyond. Word spread, and between 2011 and 2015, TEDxManhattan just kept growing– from an initial 50 viewing parties in its inaugural year to over 170 in 2015. Furthermore, its reach was able to expand past the stage, eventually including events like tours of farms in Upstate New York and cooking classes for children in New York City. Ken Cook, founder and president of the Environmental Group, put it this way: “This institution, TEDxManhattan, has changed the food movement.” Continue reading

A Happy Oyster Season: Revitalizing Ecosystems and Communities

by Kelly Mertz for Change Food                                                                                                   September 10, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Samuel Alves Rosa

Photo Courtesy of Samuel Alves Rosa

For most of us, the passing of Labor Day represents the end of summer—a last call for beach days, vacations, and sweet summer produce. However, when one door closes, another one opens. On land, September brings a lush harvest of figs, pears, apples, eggplants, beets, green beans, cucumber, and so forth. In the water, and on the shores of Long Island in particular, September means oyster season, which runs through March. The mineral-rich mollusks are beginning to fatten themselves up to prepare for the brisk Northeastern winter, making their edible flesh meatier, more flavorful, and ready to be harvested and eaten by shellfish lovers around the world.

Oysters are an integral part of the ecosystems of both the Long Island Sound and the Great South Bay, as they thrive on the hard sea floors and saltiness of these waters. As a main agricultural product of the region, oyster harvesting is a mainstay in the economies of Long Island’s coastal towns, begetting township names such as Oyster Bay. About 35 miles from New York City, Oyster Bay has been the home of the Oyster Festival since 1983, which last year drew a crowd of 215,000 people. So for the people, animals, and environment of Long Island, oysters are a big deal.

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