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  • Thank you.

  • Hello. My name is Birke Baehr and I'm 11 years old.

  • I came here today to talk about what's wrong with our food system.

  • First of all, I would like to say that I'm really amazed

  • how easily kids are led to believe

  • all the marketing and advertising on TV, at public schools,

  • and pretty much everywhere else you look.

  • It seems to me like corporations

  • are always trying to get kids, like me,

  • to get their parents to buy stuff

  • that really isn't really good for us or the planet.

  • Little kids, especially, are attracted by colorful packaging and plastic toys.

  • I must admit, I used to be one of them.

  • I also used to think that all of our food

  • came from these happy little farms

  • where pigs rolled in mud and cows grazed on grass all day.

  • What I discovered was this is not true.

  • I began to look into the stuff

  • on the Internet, in books, and in documentary films

  • in my travels with my family.

  • I discovered the dark side of the industrialized food system.

  • First, there's genetically engineered seeds and organisms.

  • That is when a seed is manipulated in a laboratory

  • to do something not intended by nature.

  • Like taking the DNA of a fish

  • and putting it into the DNA of a tomato.

  • Yuck! Don't get me wrong,

  • I like fish and tomatoes, but this is just creepy.

  • (Laughter)

  • The seeds are then planted, then grown.

  • The food they produced has been proven to cause cancer

  • and other problems in lab animals.

  • And people have been eating food produced this way since the 1990's.

  • Most folks don't even know they exist.

  • Did you know that rats fed genetically engineered corn

  • have developed signs of liver and kidney toxicity?

  • These include kidney inflammations, and lesions and increased kidney weight.

  • Yet almost all the corn we eat

  • has been altered genetically in some way.

  • And let me tell you, corn is in everything.

  • And don't even get me started

  • on the confined animal feeding operations called CAFO's.

  • (Laughter)

  • Conventional farmers use chemical fertilizers

  • made from fossil fuels

  • that they mix with the dirt to make plants grow.

  • They do this because they've stripped the soil of all nutrients

  • from growing the same crop over and over again.

  • Next more harmful chemicals are sprayed on fruits and vegetables

  • like pesticides and herbicides to kill weeds and bugs.

  • When it rains, these chemicals seep into the ground

  • or run off into our waterways poisoning our water too.

  • Then they irradiate our food trying to make it last longer,

  • so it can travel thousands of miles

  • from where it's grown to the supermarkets.

  • So I ask myself,

  • "How can I change? How can I change these things?"

  • This is what I found out.

  • I discovered that there's a movement for a better way.

  • Now a while back, I wanted to be an NFL football player.

  • I decided that I'd rather be an organic farmer instead.

  • (Applause) (Cheers)

  • Thank you.

  • And that way I could have a greater impact on the world.

  • I learned from this guy named Joel Salatin.

  • They call him a lunatic farmer

  • because he grows against the system.

  • Since I'm home schooled, I want to go hear him speak one day.

  • This man, this lunatic farmer,

  • doesn't use any pesticides, herbicides,

  • or genetically modified seeds.

  • And so for that he's called crazy by the system.

  • I want you to know that we can all make a difference.

  • By making different choices.

  • By buying our food directly from local farmers

  • or neighbors we know in real life.

  • Some people say organic or local food is more expensive.

  • But is it really?

  • With all these things I've been learning about the food system

  • it seems to me that we can either pay the farmer

  • or we can pay the hospital.

  • (Cheers) (Applause)

  • I know definitely which one I would choose.

  • I want you to know that there are farmers out there

  • like Bill Keener in Sequatchie Cove Farm in Tennessee

  • whose cows do eat grass,

  • and whose pigs do roll in the mud just like I thought.

  • Sometimes I go to Bill's farm and volunteer,

  • so I can see up close and personal where the meat I eat comes from.

  • I want you to know that I believe kids will eat fresh vegetables and good food

  • if they knew more about it and where it really comes from.

  • I want you to know that there are farmer's markets in every community popping up.

  • I want you to know that me, my brother and sister

  • actually like eating baked kale chips.

  • I try to share this everywhere I go.

  • Not too long ago my uncle said

  • he offered my six-year old cousin cereal.

  • He asked if he wanted organic toasted oats

  • or the sugar coated flakes.

  • You know the one with the big striped cartoon character on the front?

  • My little cousin told his dad

  • that he would rather have the organic toasted O's cereal,

  • because Birke said he shouldn't eat sparkly cereal.

  • (Laugher)

  • And that my friends is how we can make a difference.

  • One kid at a time.

  • So next time you're at the grocery store,

  • think local, choose organic,

  • know your farmer and know your food.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause) (Cheers)

Thank you.

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B1 farmer food system organic genetically kidney cereal

【TEDx】What's wrong with our food system | Birke Baehr | TEDxNextGenerationAsheville

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    高嘉佳 posted on 2016/01/19
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