Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tedx Manhattan "Changing the Way We Eat" viewing party

When you’re a student at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, it can sometimes feel like food is all you think or talk about. Earlier this month, though, it wasn’t just on our minds: thousands of other Americans tuned in to watch an eclectic, thoughtful line-up of speakers give creative, inspiring thoughts on how to change the global food system. The Tedx Manhattan “Changing the way we eat” event was held in NYC and webcast live to households and viewing parties. Several members of Slow Food Tufts attended a viewing party hosted by the MIT Food & Agriculture Collaborative, a new campus group “actively engaged in advocating for and supporting the development of a more sustainable food system” at MIT and around the world.

Slow Food members, MIT students and other guests enjoyed a delicious all-day potluck along with a full day of innovative and interesting conversations and talks. There was plenty of local NYC flavor, including Columbia professor Michael Conard’s New York foodshed analysis, a local business leader’s outline of Harlem’s efforts to reform its food landscape, and Dan Barber of Blue Hill restaurant, who shared the amazing story of a 27,000-acre fish farm so healthy it doesn’t need to feed its fish and “measures its success by the health of its predators.” Presenters described dozens of creative solutions to changing the way we eat, from DIY window farms to farms in pick-up trucks to innovative financing options for sustainable food entrepreneurs. Lucas Knowles from the USDA’s “Know your Farmer, Know your Food” initiative described examples of successful partnerships between industry and agriculture. And there were several other giants from the sustainable food movement, including Brian Halweil, Laurie David and Slow Food USA President Josh Viertel. Slow Food members were inspired by his description of his foray into enlightened eating and social change and of the challenges of voting with your fork when the incumbent—fast, convenient food—is the only option. See the rest of the line-up here.

TED is the 25-year-old non-profit devoted to “ideas worth spreading” that began as a conference linking people from the fields of technology, entertainment and design. Since then, TED has expanded with global talks, conferences, prizes, and fellowship programs in fields ranging from medicine to music, and also created TEDx, a program of independent, local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

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