This post first appeared on Erica's blog.
Let's support 'farms that aren't worlds into themselves, farms that restore instead of deplete, farms that farm extensively, instead of intensively, farmers that are not just producers but are experts in relationship' –Dan Barber, TEDX Cambridge, May 17, 2010
TedX Cambridge brought together chefs, psychologists, writers, designers, and engineers for an intimate look at science, art, and the future of food.
Food is not just about sustenance; food is about building community and motivating higher service that can change the world. Currently, consumers and citizens have been subjected to arbitrary food norms. With self controlled mechanisms and greater transparency, consumers can become more rational, ethical, and environmental, making choices that are better for them and for the planet.
TEDX reminded me not only about how we eat, but also how we get the food we need to eat. This inspired me to look at new parameters on how consumers eat, whether local, organic, or fair trade. I was constantly reminded to not only look at how healthy our food is, but also how ecological and ethical it is.
The day’s event also brought up many challenges facing the sustainable food movement:
- Youth: Children in schools need healthier food, while at the same time, they desire junk food due to media and social influences
- Education: The average age of a farmer is 60 years. In 20 years, their knowledge will not be passed on to the next generation. Agriculture schools are not teaching about food production anymore. They are teaching how to get jobs.
- Parents: Parents play a major role in influencing children and the next generation of consumers, but it is very difficult to change mindsets when competing on taste, convenience, and price.
- Food companies: Food companies can help change mindsets, they can build marketing campaigns that will influence consumer buying habits, but it becomes much more difficult when these initiatives hurt their bottom line.
I’d like to end this post with a thought that came from David Gracer’s TED talk.
“Why are we not eating more bugs? They can't give us pandemics (there is no cricket flu unlike swine or avian flu) & 2) their nutrition content can compete with any other food.” Yum…
Crickets & Toast below