It’s nearly Thanksgiving; the whole country already has food on the brain.
Why not take 18 minutes out of the long holiday weekend and watch a food-focussed TED Talk?
For the uninitiated, TED Talks fall under the heading of ‘Ideas Worth Spreading.’
That’s the slogan of the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conferences that spawned the speaker series. Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and U2’s Bono were among the earliest presenters, and as the talks spread into topics of food policy, food politics, hunger, and nutrition, food-minded individuals like scientists, policymakers, chefs, and activists joined the list.
TED Talks are required to clock in at under 18 minutes.
These are big thinkers presenting big and often complex ideas. The time constraint challenges them to consider form and format, resulting in narrative arcs that engage and enlighten while remaining concise. TED Talks are often snappy, savvy, and powerful, and presenters often point to theirs as the best speech of a lifetime.
Many are so compelling that even in a post-turkey tryptophan-induced stupor you should make it to the end.
A cheat sheet to some of the best of the food-focussed TED Talks:
Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell follows the food industry’s pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce to make a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.
See why 11-year old Birke Beahr says, ‘Now a while back, I wanted to be an NFL football player. I decided that I’d rather be an organic farmer instead.’
New Urbanist/Architect Carolyn Steel looks at the ways in which food has historically shaped our cities, and why our current relationship with food is severing that connection.
Chef Dan Barber begins by fretting about the fish choices on his menu and ends falling in love with a fish.
Michael Pollan speaks from the plant perspective in a TED Talk that leaves us questioning Darwinism and human consciousness.
TED Talks are always free and can be accessed through a multitude of apps and media outlets including YouTube, iTunes, Netflix, and the TED website.
Visit TED for links to all the different ways you can watch.