Sunday, January 11, 2009

Video Round-up

TED is an annual conference that "brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers." They film the conference speakers and make video available to those of us that cannot afford the thousands of dollars it costs to go to this sold-out event. The clips typically run about 20 minutes. I love Sir Ken Robinson talking about how school kills creativity, the amazing insights of brain researcher Jill Taylor's during her own stroke, and the fabulous demographic animations of Hans Rosling.

Here are three food-related segments from my favorites:

NYTimes food columnist and cookbook author Mark Bittman calls attention to the lop-sided USDA food pyramid, the contribution of industrial food animal production to climate change, and gives a pretty good recap of how the American diet has changed in the last century.

Ann Cooper has a frontline view of the daily battle to keep kids healthy -- and of the enemy, the processed-foods industries that, it sometimes seems, want to wrap every single thing that children eat in a fried coating and then a plastic bag. As the director of nutrition services for the Berkeley (California) Unified School District, she's an outspoken activist for serving fresh, sustainable food to kids. Her lively website,, rounds up recipes, links, and resources for food activism.

Most of us have read at least some of Micheal Pollan's books or articles, but most of us don't get to see him speak live, so this TED talk is a great 20 minutes slice of him talking about gardening, bees, and Darwinism. We forget he is a naturalist, not just a food guy.


Verde said...

What a lot of great information. I'm still "digesting" it.

eunice said...

great...another place to visit and saturate my brain cells with. so much info, so little time to see/hear them all!

have you ever heard of here's their tagline "offers a variety of shows and news about sustainable food and living and those working to change our world for the better through agriculture, ecology, and the environment."

saw a few of their YouTube videos and they seem right up your Victory Garden alley. they actually just posted an article about the White House Victory Garden campaign. i can see you featured on their website.

livinginalocalzone said...

Thanks for the videos - I'm dashing off to work soon, but I have bookmarked your post to look at them when I get home in the evening - something I will definitely be looking forward to all day :-)

Matriarchy said...

Exactly, Eunice, another place to spend a heck of a lot of time online! I indulge in the TED videos because the speakers are so good. I DO get the blog feed for CookingUpAStory, or a subscribe to the channel on YouTube, or something. I watched a few, but fell behind. I'll make that my next viewing project. Thanks for the reminder, although I can't imagine me featured in anyone's video. LOL!

livinginalocalzone said...

I watched the videos, and wow. Lots of food for thought. Especially the school lunches - that is something of particular interest not just because it sets up mindsets for the future, but also because it creates a particular impression for what is the "norm" in getting food. I've met some children who are actually amazed at the notion of the idea that tomatoes come in so many varieties and grow on a vine - and are seasonal, not just something that can be pulled out of the refrigerator.
Plus, some schools around here are starting small scale gardening for the students, and it apparently makes a difference in their health, their enthusiam for what they are eating, and their connection to the biology and rhythms of the earth. This site is great: