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  • I was six when I had the first chance to learn what patience means.

  • My grandmother gave me a magic box as a birthday present,

  • which neither of us knew would become a gift for life.

  • I became obsessed with magic,

  • and at 20, I became an amateur dove magician.

  • This act of magic requires that I train my doves

  • to sit and wait inside my clothing.

  • As a young magician, I was always in a rush to make them appear,

  • but my teacher told me

  • the secret to the success of this magical act

  • is to make my doves appear only after they've waited patiently

  • in my tuxedo.

  • It has to be a mindful kind of patience,

  • the kind that took me some years to master.

  • When life took me to Shanghai seven years ago,

  • the mindful patience I learned became almost impossible to practice.

  • In China, where everyone and everything is in a hurry,

  • you need to outperform over 1.3 billion other people

  • to build a better life.

  • You hack the system, bend the rules,

  • circumvent the boundaries.

  • It is the same when it comes to food ...

  • except that when it comes to food,

  • impatience can have dire consequences.

  • In the haste to grow more, sell more,

  • 4,000 years of agriculture in a country of rich natural resources

  • is spoiled by the overuse of chemicals and pesticides.

  • In 2016, the Chinese government revealed

  • half a million food safety violations in just nine months.

  • Alarmingly, one in every four diabetics in the world

  • now comes from China.

  • The stories around food

  • are scary and somewhat overwhelming,

  • and I told myself it's time to bring a mindful patience into the impatience.

  • When I say mindful patience,

  • I don't mean the ability to wait.

  • I mean knowing how to act while waiting.

  • And so, while I wait for the day

  • when a sustainable food system becomes a reality in China,

  • I launched one of China's first online farmers market

  • to bring local, organically grown produce to families.

  • When we went live, 18 months ago,

  • the food we could sell then was somewhat dismal.

  • We had no fruit and hardly any meat to sell,

  • as none that was sent to the lab passed our zero tolerance test

  • towards pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics and hormones.

  • I told our very anxious employees

  • that we would not give up until we've met every local farmer in China.

  • Today, we supply 240 types of produce

  • from 57 local farmers.

  • After almost one year of searching,

  • we finally found chemical-free bananas

  • grown in the backyards of villagers on Hainan Island.

  • And only two hours away from Shanghai,

  • on an island that even Google Maps does not have coordinates for,

  • we found a place where cows eat grass

  • and roam free under the blue sky.

  • We also work hard on logistics.

  • We deliver our customers' orders in as fast as three hours

  • on electric vehicles,

  • and we use biodegradable, reusable boxes

  • to minimize our environmental footprint.

  • I have no doubt that our offerings will continue to grow,

  • but it will take time,

  • and I know a lot more people are needed to shape the future of good food.

  • So last year, I founded China's first food tech accelerator and VC platform

  • to help start-ups to shape the future of good food

  • the way they want,

  • be that through using edible insects as a more sustainable source of protein

  • or using essential oils to keep food fresh for longer.

  • So, you may still ask:

  • Why are you trying to build a sustainable food system

  • by driving a patient movement

  • in a country where it's almost a crime to take it slow?

  • Because, for me,

  • the real secret to success is patience --

  • a mindful kind of patience

  • that requires knowing how to act while waiting,

  • the kind of patience I learned with my grandmother's magic box.

  • After all, we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors.

  • We borrow it from our children.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I was six when I had the first chance to learn what patience means.

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B1 US TED patience mindful china good food magic

【TED】Matilda Ho: The future of good food in China (The future of good food in China | Matilda Ho)

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    shuting1215 posted on 2018/01/01
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