Tag Archives: speaker profiles

TEDxManhattan Speaker Profile: Maisie Greenawalt

Maisie Greenawalt

Maisie Greenawalt

As TEDxManhattan approaches, we’ve asked this year’s speakers to introduce themselves by answering a few questions.  Today we feature Maisie Greenawalt, VP of Strategy at Bon Appétit Management Company.

1) What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about?

I’ll be talking about how the “humane sausage gets made” in a large food service corporation – that is, how one made the decision to commit to phasing out pork raised with gestation crates, and phasing in third-party-certified humanely raised meat, poultry, and eggs. I think most people believe executives just wave a magic wand, the purchasing department writes a bigger check, and, poof, we’ve got a more sustainable food system. But a lot of legwork goes into these decisions, and a lot of discussion, and a little bit of blind faith. I’m going to break down the reality of how change gets made by giving people a peek into the ceo’s office, the slaughterhouse, and the commercial walk-in refrigerator.

2) Why do you feel this is important?

We hear a lot about “voting with your forks” – well, consumers can effect change on an individual level, or they can influence restaurants, food service companies, and supermarkets on a community level, or they can talk to their politicians. They should know the kinds of factors that are involved in asking companies to switch suppliers, so they can keep the pressure on in the right way.

3) Are there other projects you’re also passionate about right now?

I’m on the steering committee for a new, integrated labor standards initiative I’m pretty excited about, because I think it has the potential to move farmworker rights forward in a meaningful way. I’m also really jazzed about an organization in my hometown called Food What?  I don’t have any official connection to the program but I sing their praises every chance I get. Food What? uses sustainable agriculture as the vehicle for growing strong, healthy, and inspired teens. They are truly changing lives.

4) Which other TEDxManhattan speakers are you excited about hearing? Which talks from previous years did you particularly enjoy?

Last year, like most people, I was blown away by Steve Ritz and his work with the Green Bronx Machine. His energy and enthusiasm, and the way he’d motivated those kids and the community to get involved in hiring them, just gave me goosebumps. I also really enjoyed Urvashi Rangan from Consumers Union and her talk on the crazily chaotic world of food labeling — she was so entertaining and funny.

This year, I’m excited to hear Simran Sethi, because I know she’ll have some sort of intelligent synthesis of the most effective way forward for ethically minded, green businesses. I also am looking forward to Lindsey Lusher Shute, because America badly needs new young farmers if we’re going to keep growing this good food movement — the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, of which I’m president, recently launched Campus Farmers, a knowledge and networking site for university students, which we hope will contribute to that effort.

5) Where can more information about your project be found?

You can read about the policy I’m going to be talking about here, but that’s the official version. I’m going to be taking you underneath the corporate kimono and sharing the shouting, sweaty, and sappy real story.

Maisie Greenawalt joined Bon Appétit Management Company, which provides from-scratch food service to corporations, universities, and museums in 32 states, in 1994. As vice president of strategy, she’s been instrumental in shaping the company’s numerous commitments to social and environmental responsibility. In 1999, Maisie helped develop the Farm to Fork program, a groundbreaking company-wide initiative to buy locally, and has since helped create and launch a number of Bon Appétit’s other progressive policies. Bon Appétit is the first food service company to commit to serving only seafood that met Seafood Watch sustainability guidelines (in 2002), to reducing antibiotic use in farm animals (2003), to serving only rBGH-free milk (2003) and cage-free eggs (2005), to tackling food’s role in climate change (2007), and to addressing farmworker rights (2009). Most recently, Bon Appétit announced a comprehensive  animal welfare plan, including switching to 100% humanely raised ground beef (effective immediately) and to phasing out all pork raised with gestation crates by the aggressive date of 2015. Maisie is on the board of Food Alliance, North America’s most comprehensive third-party certification for the production, processing, and distribution of sustainable food; and on the board of the Equitable Food Initiative, a new integrated labor standards project led by United Farm Workers, Pesticide Action Network, and the Consumer Federation of America. She was named a Silicon Valley Woman of Influence in 2012.

Change Food is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect and transform the food we eat, the people who produce it, and the world in which it is grown. To read and learn more, visit The Guide to Good Food blog. 

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TEDxManhattan Speaker Profile: Annemarie Colbin

Annemarie

Annemarie Colbin

As TEDxManhattan approaches, we’ve asked this year’s speakers to introduce themselves by answering a few questions. Today we feature Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City.

1)     What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about?

How to think about food.  How to make healthful choices.

 2) Why do you feel this is important?

People are generally very confused as to what to eat that is healthy – they
need an easy model or paradigm to help them make decisions either shopping
or eating.

3) Are there other projects you’re also passionate about right now?

Labeling GMO foods.

4) Which TEDxManhattan speakers from previous years did you particularly enjoy?  

Steve Ritz, the edible wall!

 5) Where can more information about your project be found?  

See my book, FOOD AND HEALING.

Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., is Founder and CEO of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, the oldest natural foods cooking school in the US (since 1977). She also lectures at the associated Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health and has been an adjunct professor of nutrition at Empire State College in New City, NY, and at Touro College. She is a once-yearly visiting lecturer at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, and has led workshops all over the country in such well-known institutions as the Omega Institute, The New York Open Center, and Kripalu Yoga Center, as well as in many smaller regional organizations. She presented talks in the Integrative Health Symposium in 2009, as well as in several earlier ones.

She is the author of four books, authors a bimonthly column since 1988 for the magazine New York Spirit, and has written numerous other magazine articles as well as chapters in anthologies. For her charitable activities, Dr. Colbin volunteers her time on the board of the non-profit organization, FIONS (Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences). She is also on the Board of Advisors of Health Corps, the organization founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz; of What Doctors Don’t Tell You (UK), and of the Source of Synergy Foundation. In addition, she is a consultant (as representative of the Natural Gourmet Institute) for Project Aspire, a project of Touro College’s Children’s Health Education Foundation (CHEF), in teaching 5 and 6-year-olds the importance of healthful eating.

Change Food is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect and transform the food we eat, the people who produce it, and the world in which it is grown. To read and learn more, visit The Guide to Good Food blog. 

TEDxManhattan Speaker Profile: Tama Matsuoka Wong

Tama Matsuoka Wong

Tama Matsuoka Wong

As TEDxManhattan approaches, we’ve asked this year’s speakers to introduce themselves by answering a few questions.  Today we feature Tama Matsuoka Wong, a professional forager and the principal of MeadowsandMore.

1) What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about?

Changing the way we eat to include weeds.

2) Why do you feel this is important?

Eating weeds touches on the big food challenges of our future: environment, sustainability and health, but at the same time it is so easy and practical.

3) Are there other projects you’re also passionate about right now?

Working on culinary possibilities of new weeds and learning about Chinese food plants and medicinal properties; working with schools; native plant seed saving.

4) Which other TEDxManhattan speakers are you excited about hearing?  Which talks from previous years did you particularly enjoy?

All of them look very exciting! I love the 2012 Fred Kirschenmann talk on soil.

5) Where can more information about your project be found?
meadowsandmore.com
Foraged Flavor (book on foraging for wild food and how to cook with it)
CBS Sunday Morning segment on weeds featuring Tama

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 into meadows.  Tama has advised and worked with schools, conservation groups and private individuals to assess, steward and restore natural landscapes on their properties.  Tama recently authored the book Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in your Backyard or Farmers Market about her several year project with the chef de cuisine at Restaurant Daniel in NYC to turn edible “weeds” from nature into delicious cuisine.  

Change Food is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect and transform the food we eat, the people who produce it, and the world in which it is grown. To read and learn more, visit The Guide to Good Food blog. 

TEDxManhattan Speaker Profile: Lindsey Lusher Shute

Lindsey Shute

Lindsey Lusher Shute

As TEDxManhattan approaches, we’ve asked this year’s speakers to answer a few questions so we can learn more about them. Today we hear from Lindsey Lusher Shute, Executive Director and co-founder of the National Young Farmers’ Coalition.

1) What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about?
I’ll be speaking about the rise of a new generation of farmers in the United States, the big challenges that they’re facing in getting started and what we as a nation can do to help.

2) Why do you feel this is important?
I’m motivated to fight for young and sustainable farmers because I am one of them. My husband and I own Hearty Roots Community Farm, a 600-member Community Supported Agriculture Farm in New York State. Every day, I see the positive impact of our farm on the health of our members, the wealth of our community and the lives of our employees, and I am frustrated by the obstacles that we’ve faced in building our business. With the right support, farms like ours can turn the food system around.

3) Are there other projects you’re also passionate about right now?
Yes. I am so impressed by Food Corps. To rebuild the agricultural economy, we need hundreds of thousands of young people to be excited about growing food — and that’s exactly what Food Corps is addressing. Neither my husband nor I grew up on farms, but we had very positive experiences in community gardening and food system work which led us into farming careers. I know that some of the kids building school gardens with Food Corps today will be growing much bigger plots in the future, farms that will feed their families, friends and communities.

4) Which TEDxManhattan talks from previous years did you particularly enjoy?

I really enjoyed hearing from Kerry McLean in 2012. It’s incredibly encouraging that the NYC Green Cart program is taking off, improving access to good food for residents and offering entrepreneurial opportunity.

5) Where can more information about your project be found?
Youngfarmers.org!

Lindsey Lusher Shute is the Executive Director and co-founder of the National Young Farmers’ Coalition, (NYFC) a membership-based organization dedicated to the success of the next generation of sustainable farmers in the United States. NYFC’s supporter network includes thousands of farmers and consumers from all fifty states, who work together to advocate for change in federal policy, develop new farm technology through the Farm Hack project and solve local issues through regional NYFC chapters. Lindsey regularly speaks at conferences and meetings across the nation, advocating for practical and policy solutions that will help beginning farmers build independent and sustainable farms. Lindsey and her husband run Hearty Roots Community Farm, a 600-member CSA farm, in the Hudson River Valley. Lindsey’s first growing experience was at the Red Shed Community Garden in Brooklyn, which she built from the ground up with neighbors.

Change Food is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect and transform the food we eat, the people who produce it, and the world in which it is grown. To read and learn more, visit The Guide to Good Food blog. 

TEDxManhattan Speaker Profile: Gary Hirshberg

gary

Gary Hirshberg

As TEDxManhattan approaches, we’ve asked this year’s speakers to introduce themselves by answering a few questions.  Today we feature Gary Hirshberg, Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer.

1) What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about?

The case for mandatory federal labelling of genetically engineered foods.

2) Why do you feel this is important? 

The U.S. is alone among 61 countries including all of our major trading partners, the entire EU, Japan, Russia and even China in not mandating labelling of these new patented crops and ingredients. And yet in the twenty years since the FDA, under pressure from the chemical companies who own these patents, adopted voluntary guidelines that preclude such mandatory labelling, numerous health, economic and ecologic concerns have arisen from their increased usage. Mandatory labelling is the only means of enabling consumers to know whether they are purchasing and using these ingredients and to choose whether or not they wish to support and consume these products.  Polls show that over 91% of consumers, crossing all demographic and partisan lines, want to know.

3) Are there other projects you’re also passionate about right now? 

Over the 30 years of growing my business from a humble start-up, I have experienced first-hand the economic and ecologic benefits of organic food production for all stakeholders.  Since stepping down as CEO of my company I have been actively involved in educating large numbers of citizens about these benefits and have been deeply engaged in trying to create a level playing field for governmental support of organic production.

4) Which other TEDxManhattan speakers are you excited about hearing?

Ann Cooper, Anna Lappé, Peter Lehner

5) Where can more information about your project be found?

JustLabelIt.org and Stonyfield.com

Gary Hirshberg is Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and Managing Director of Stonyfield Europe, with organic brands in Ireland, and France. Gary serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards including Applegate Farms, Honest Tea, Peak Organic Brewing, Late July, The Full Yield, SweetGreen, RAMp Sports, Glenisk, the Danone Communities Fund and the Danone Livelihoods Fund. He is the Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Chelsea’s Table Cafés, a natural and organic fast casual restaurant firm. In 2011, President Obama appointed Gary to serve on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He is a Co-Chair of AGree, an agricultural policy initiative formed by the Ford, Gates, Kellogg, Rockefeller, Walton and other leading foundations. He is Chairman and a founding Partner of Just Label It, We Have the Right to Know, the national campaign to label genetically engineered foods, and is co-author of Label It Now – What You Need to Know About Genetically Engineered Foods. He is the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World.
Gary has received nine honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award by the US EPA.

Previously, he was the Founder of Climate Counts, Director of the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned and Executive Director of The New Alchemy Institute – a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture, and renewable energy. Before that he was a water-pumping windmill specialist and an environmental education director with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He has also authored books on wind-power and organic gardening.

Change Food is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect and transform the food we eat, the people who produce it, and the world in which it is grown. To read and learn more, visit The Guide to Good Food blog. 

TEDxManhattan Speaker Profile: Ann Cooper

Ann Cooper

Ann Cooper

As TEDxManhattan approaches, we’ve asked this year’s speakers to answer a few questions so we can learn more about them and what they’ll be speaking about. In the second of this series of posts, we hear from Ann Cooper, a celebrated author, chef, educator, and enduring advocate for better food for all children.

1) What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about?
Healthy School Food

2) Why do you feel this is important?
Both pediatric obesity & diabetes are on the rise and our children’s health is at a crisis point.  Healthy school food can help reverse this trend.

3) Are there other projects you’re also passionate about right now?
The LunchBox.org
Let’s Move Salad Bars 2 Schools
Healthy Breakfast 4 Kids

4) Which other TEDxManhattan speakers are you excited about hearing?

Anna Lappé, Gary Hirshberg, Bill Yosses

5) Where can more information about your project be found?
www.thelunchbox.org
www.saladbars2schools.org
www.chefann.com  

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY, Ann has been a chef for more than 30 years including positions with Holland America Cruises, Radisson Hotels, Telluride Ski Resort as well as serving as Executive Chef at the renowned Putney Inn in Vermont. She has been featured in many prominent publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Chicago Tribune and has appeared on many media outlets. Ann has shared her knowledge and experience by speaking at the Smithsonian Institute and the National Restaurant Association among other institutions and conferences. She has been honored by SLOW Food USA, selected as a Kellogg Food and Society Policy Fellow, and awarded an honorary doctorate from SUNY Cobleskill for her work on sustainable agriculture. Ann is the author of four books. She is past president of The American Culinary Federation of Central Vermont, and past president and board member of Women’s Chefs and Restaurateurs. She also served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board, a Congressional appointment, and was an Executive Committee member of Chefs Collaborative. In 2009, Ann founded Food Family Farming Foundation (F3) as a nonprofit focusing on solutions to the school food crisis. Chef Ann is happily working overtime as a Chef, Nutrition Services Director, Consultant, Author, Public Speaker, and Advocate because she sees a need for change and has the gifts to help.

Change Food is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect and transform the food we eat, the people who produce it, and the world in which it is grown. To read and learn more, visit The Guide to Good Food blog. 

TEDxManhattan Speaker Profile: Simran Sethi

Simran Sethi

Simran Sethi

As TEDxManhattan approaches, we’ve asked this year’s speakers to answer a few questions so we can learn more about them and what they’ll be speaking about.  In the first of this series of Speaker Profiles, we hear from Simran Sethi, an award-winning journalist, strategist and educator.

1) What’s the topic you’ll be speaking about?

Buried Treasures: Preserving the Foundations of Our Food System

2) Why do you feel this is important? 

Seeds are the buried foundation of our food system.  While seed banks are important, we need to conserve seeds in ways that also respond to climate and cultural change. I’ll be discussing what those efforts look–and taste–like.

3) Are there other projects you’re also passionate about right now?

I am doing research in Istanbul and Havana on creating appetites for under-utilized crops as a method of seed and cultural preservation.

4) Which other TEDxManhattan speakers are you excited about hearing?

I have done a lot of work on the moral implications of GMOs and the intersection of food and faith. I am excited to hear Fred Bahnson’s insights on these topics.

Which talks from previous years did you particularly enjoy?

Steve Ritz (educator and founder of the Green Bronx Machine)

5) Where can more information about your project be found?

My site http://www.seed-stories.com is in the works and will be launched early next year.

Named one of the top ten “eco-heroes” of the planet by the UK’s Independent and lauded as the “environmental messenger” by Vanity Fair, Simran Sethi is an award-winning journalist, strategist and educator. She is the founder and curator of the website Metamorphose, an interdisciplinary exploration of the personal and cultural dimensions of transformation. Simran is the contributing author of “Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy,” winner of the bronze 2008 Axiom Award for Best Business Ethics Book. She has written about sustainability for Huffington Post, Metropolis Magazine, Oprah.com and the Guggenheim Museum.  Simran is the former environmental correspondent for NBC News and was a featured guest on NPR and programs including “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Today Show.”

Change Food is a nonprofit whose mission is to connect and transform the food we eat, the people who produce it, and the world in which it is grown. To read and learn more, visit The Guide to Good Food blog.