Recap: TEDxManhattan 2012 Viewing Party

by Valerie Schafer Franklin.

Homemade granola bars and a canteen of coffee fueled approximately 30 lecturegoers who attended Slow Food Portland’s live simulcast of TEDxManhattan’s “Changing the Way We Eat” on Saturday the 21st at Trinity Lutheran Church. The series was split into three sections: Issues, Impact, and Innovation. Due to the time difference, Slow Food Portland tuned in to the Impact and Innovation sections only.

Hosted by Laurie David, the two sections featured 12 different inspiring speakers, and 3 previously filmed videos, designed to broaden the scope of impact of our food systems and inspire with hopeful innovations.

A summary of the lectures that will be eventually put online for viewing by TEDxManhattan.

IMPACT Session:
- the vitality and diversity of living soil by Fred Kirschenmann of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
- a model immigrant farm program resulting 22 family farms run by GrowNYC, presented by Michelle Hughes
- an exploration of the science, and social constructs, of taste by Mitchell Davis of the James Beard Foundation
- the disconnect between America’s love for all animals and the actual treatment of farm animals, by Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society
- an organic gardening therapy program for veterans run by the Center for Veteran’s Issues, by Howard Hinterhuer
- an unforgettably energetic presentation by an inspired teacher in the South Bronx named Stephen Ritz who has worked with is classes to change lives in the poorest Congressional district in America by building green walls for education, food, and careers for kids

INNOVATION Session:
- presentation of a new website called Real Time Farms by Cara Rosaen, which provides transparency for consumers in a map format to show where their food comes from
- introduction to the organization Recirculating Farms Coalition by Marianne Cufone, which educates, advocates, and researches closed-loop aquaculture/hydroponics/aquaponics farms
- an en”gross”ing video following up on TEDx Fellow Stefani Bardin‘s first clinical trial comparatively filming the digestion process of processed food meals versus whole foods meals.
- a model program in the Bronx called Green Cart by Kerry McLean, increasing access to fresh food in food deserts and creating job opportunities for low-income and immigrant communities through supported business incubation of mobile produce carts
- a new business model called BrightFarms by Paul Lightfoot which creates commercial hydroponic greenhouses on grocery store rooftops, increasing the quality of produce for the same or better price as conventional produce by cutting out the middle of the supply chain
- a new product called Fenugreen, a spice-infused paper that increases the shelf life of produce, by entrepreneur Kavita Shukla
- presentation of website AmpleHarvest.org by Gary Oppenheimer, connecting gardeners with surplus produce directly with food pantries at designated times to avoid the need for refrigeration logistics, preventing waste in landfills, and increasing the quality of food for the people who need it most

More information and videos about TEDxManhattan are available at tedxmanhattan.org.

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Valerie Schafer Franklin is a food lover, entrepreneur, and sometime freelance writer living in Portland, Oregon.

Thanks for sharing