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BLOG — Real food advocates give TED talks

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Real Food for Living People is my way of describing what I hope can be a return to the simpler, humbler ways of growing, preparing and eating food to nourish our bodies. I fully embrace the discipline of science, but simply because now we can, does in no way mean that we should. And anyway, science isn’t driving the motivation to stretch the genome of a naturally occurring plant or animal cell to its most hearty and prolific state, at the expense of taste, nutrition and safety in our food. That’s money talking, and it’s more bitter than a kola nut.

I’m happy to know that others are out there working in our interest. Real food crusader Robyn O’Brien packed a big punch in her presentation at the TEDx conference in Austin, Texas in May. She speaks about the compelling personal evidence that led to her transition from her career as a food analyst to reinventing herself as a real food evangelist and founder of the Allergykids Foundation. Her talk includes statistics about the exponential growth in children with food allergies (my nephew is one of them, and both my sister and I were two more) over the past two decades, and the coincident growth in genetically modified foods in the American food supply. The talk is a summary of her book, “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It,” which includes solutions to change the system and heal the way we feed ourselves and our families.

O’Brien is scheduled to speak again at this week’s TEDx event in Boulder, Co. where she will be joined by another real food advocate, chef Ann Cooper. Cooper directs food services for the Boulder Valley School District, and she is co-founder of Lunch Lessons LLC and the Food Family Farming Foundation(F3)’s Lunch Box Project: Healthy Tools for All schools. F3 is also the managing partner of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, working to donate 6,000 salad bars to schools by 2013.

While it’s true that as a nation we have a ton of work to do to make change for those who are essentially being poisoned by our own food industry, we have the power to exact change for ourselves here in Yellow Springs simply by choosing more local foods. Buying foods grown and produced locally, with minimal chemicals and processing, supports not only our bodies but also the environment and our local economy. The more individual families, businesses and institutions can revert back to this more traditional source of food right under our noses, the healthier we will be in our bodies, our land and our community chest.

Below is O’Brien at this year’s TEDx event in Austin:



3 Responses to “BLOG — Real food advocates give TED talks”

  1. Kirk Weigand says:

    While my other comment is being approved, the system will get easier if we all support it.

  2. Kirk Weigand says:

    Prioritizing natural meat and fats makes it easier, but then you still might worry about those vicious cantaloupes. (Seriously?)

  3. Gary Varner says:

    Although it’s getting easier over time, it’s a challenge to sustain eating cleanly. Buying local doesn’t necessarily mean pesticide free, unfortunately, but chances are better than relying on big food to care about consumer health.

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