Sydney Opera House
21 May 2015
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e're absolutely thrilled to be hosting the first large-scale grow it yourself (GIY) event at TEDxSydney in May this year. We believe it will showcase the hundreds of farmers, foragers and backyard/windowsill gardeners who are making important choices about the products they consume and the expectations we place on the food chain.

In the spirit of good food, we thought we'd round up a few of our favourite TED talks covering everything from global food waste to industrial farming and cooking as alchemy. Enjoy!

Roger Doiron: My subversive (garden) plot

A vegetable garden can do more than keep you healthy and save you money - it can service the world. In this talk, Roger Doiron shows how gardens can localise the food production system and feed our growing population. Doiron also sees the GIY phenomenon as a "healthy gateway drug" to better cooking practices and a wider understanding of what we buy and consume.

Arthur Potts Dawson: A vision for sustainable restaurants

If you've been in a restaurant kitchen, you've seen how much food, water and energy can be wasted there. Chef Arthur Potts-Dawson shares his very personal vision for drastically reducing food waste and implementing recycling, composting and other sustainable systems in commercial kitchens.

Tristram Stuart: The global food waste scandal

Western countries throw out nearly half of their food. Not because it’s inedible, but because it isn't uniform or appealing enough. In his talk, Tristram Stuart shares some shocking insights into wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.

Nathan Myhrvold: Cooking as never seen before

Cookbook author Nathan Myhrvold re-imagines food through his revolutionary photographs showing the actual cooking process. These cross-sections of food in the very act of being cooked do wonders to explain the physics of grilling, steaming and roasting.

Tyrone Hayes and Penelope Jagessar Chaffer: The toxic baby?

Filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer was curious about the chemicals she was exposed to while pregnant, questioning whether they could affect her unborn child. She asked scientist Tyrone Hayes to brief her on atrazine, a herbicide used on corn. Here she presents her findings on how this toxic preservative can affect children, including when it comes to birth defects, juvenile diabetes and premature puberty.

Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche: Cooking as alchemy

Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche come from Moto, a cutting-edge Chicago restaurant that plays with new ways to cook and eat food. Beyond the fun and flavour subversion, there's a serious intent: Can we use science to reduce the amount of bad food we consume? This includes things like artificial sugars and syrups as well as fish that has been over-farmed.

Josette Sheeran: Ending hunger now

Josette Sheeran, the head of the UN's World Food Program, talks about why, in a world with enough food for everyone, one in seven people still go hungry. "We know how to fix this problem. This isn't one of those rare diseases that we don't have a solution for." So what can we do to change things in the twenty first century?

Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food

You've been exposed to his message before but here, Jamie Oliver talks about the importance of information and education in changing the way children eat. The awful reality is that children in first world countries like the US, Australia and Britain will live a shorter life because of the landscape of food around them. Things like obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases are literally killing our youth.

Marcel Dicke: Why not eat insects?

Marcel Dicke makes an, errr, compelling case for adding insects to everyone's diet. His message to squeamish chefs and foodies: delicacies like locusts and caterpillars compete with meat in flavour, nutrition and eco-friendliness. An interesting question given horse meat's prominence in the media of late.

Carolyn Steel: How food shapes our cities

Every day, in a city the size of London, 30 million meals are served. But where does all the food come from? Architect Carolyn Steel discusses the daily miracle of feeding a city, and shows how ancient food routes shaped the modern world.

Dan Barber's foie gras parable

Not comfortable with the idea of force feeding geese? Dan Barber tells the story of a small farm in Spain that has found a humane way to produce foie gras. Raising his geese in a natural environment, farmer Eduardo Sousa embodies the kind of food production that we should all believe in.

These are just a few of our favourites but you can check out loads more food-related TED talks here. If you would like to Grow it Local for TEDxSydney, sign up here

Words by Marina Cilona. Photo courtesy of TED.com

Member Comments
Louise Edney ~ 11 | Mar | 2013 2:18 AM

Just watched "Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food" whilst rolling organic seed and fruit bliss balls for kids' lunch boxes. So sad and wrong that kids are not exposed to fruit and vegetables whilst living in such affluent countries! sob. Let's all ensure that our kids know what every vegetable at the green grocers is called and what it tastes like.