As a global phenomenon, TED has inspired millions of people through talks on topics as diverse as cultural identity, mindfulness, astro-physics and visual history of industrial America. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) was born in southern California, reaching an audience intrigued by its strapline of ‘Ideas Worth Sharing’. Today TEDx groups around the world are springing up, franchised by the Californians and run by locals bringing these ideas to small towns and cities around the world at affordable prices.
Many of the talks have ranged across the world of food and drink, and here I offer six great talks – some of which are available on the TED website (www.ted.com) and others on You Tube! The topics range from the importance of eating around the table, to genetically engineering food and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. [All photos © TED, except Karen Hickson-Smith © Mike O’Hara]
Karen Hickson-Smith’s relishes meals around the family table
Speaking at the first TEDx event in Tunbridge Wells in 2015, England Karen Hickson-Smith shares her work and enthusiasm about bringing people together around the table for mealtimes. Inviting young, disadvantaged people into her home, and running the charity Life and Soul, Karen has a compelling story to tell!
Click here to view Karen’s talk
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
Marcel Dicke puts insects on the plate
As and ecological entomologist, Marcel Dicke is working to get people to look at insects differently, believing that they can help mitigate the world’s looming food crisis. In this TED talk, Marcel appeals to squeamish chefs and foodies saying delicacies such as locusts and caterpillars can compete with meat in flavor, nutrition and environmental-friendliness.
Click here to Marcel’s talk.
Dan Barber falls in love with a fish
Dan Barber is the chef at New York’s Blue Hill restaurant, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Westchester, where he practices a kind of close-to-the-land cooking married to agriculture and stewardship of the earth. Eating a deliciously prepared dish while travelling in Spain kicked off a love affair with fish, which he retells here.
Click here to watch Dan’s talk.
Feeding the world with engineered food
Plant geneticist Pamela Round seeks commons ground between genetically improved seed and ecologically based farming methods to boost sustainable agriculture.
She studies the genes that make plants more resistant to disease and stress and gives what TED calls an “an eye-opening talk … in her decade-long quest to isolate a gene that allows rice to survive prolonged flooding. She shows how the genetic improvement of seeds saved the Hawaiian papaya crop in the 1990s — and makes the case that modern genetics is sometimes the most effective method to advance sustainable agriculture and enhance food security for our planet’s growing population”.
Click here to watch Pamela’s talk
What’s happening to the bees?
Bee scholar Marla Spivak (what a great job title!) researches the life and death of the world’s bees in an effort to preserve this threatened, but ecologically essential, insect. Around a decade ago bee colonies around the world began collapsing and dying. Marla’s life world is to seek answers to the pressing global problem.
Click here to watch Marla’s talk