Diane Hatz, founder and director of Change Food, is the organiser of ‘Changing the Way We Eat’, a TEDxManhattan event, bringing together a rich roster of speakers from all areas of the sustainable food movement. The event aims to inspire and re-invigorate anyone who cares about their food, from experts to eaters, encouraging brave words, straight talk and discussion around the issues that affect our eating.

The speakers include well-known voices such as chef Tom Colicchio, who opened Gramercy Tavern and Craft in New York City, and Myra Goodman of Earthbound Farms, the largest producer of organic vegetables in the US. Plus grass-roots activists such as Nikki Silvestri, executive director of Green for All and formerly of the People’s Grocery in Oakland, California, who will be speaking on issues of social and racial justice in food. Hatz says, ‘the big names are going to hit it out of the park, but also know that the people you might not recognise have put together some memorable, inspiring and unforgettable presentations for the audience.’ There is also music, poetry and art throughout the day to remind us that creativity is important for our thinking, in our growing and in making our food.

Speakers like Virginia Clarke will be contributing often overlooked perspectives on food issues. Clarke is the executive director of the SAFSF (Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders), a network of grantmakers. She will talk about the importance of giving, not just in financial terms, but in personal ways as well, taking an expansive approach to what it means to give. Everyone has a role to play and it’s time to move beyond those who are already involved in the conversation. Clarke notes, ‘We need to embrace diversity – in the people, in the approach, in the way that we think about who is at our table – or who ‘can’ be at our table. We need to be willing to speak up and enter into the really difficult conversations – but do so with respect. And we need to stop expecting that someone else will ‘fix’ it for us.’

All of the speakers have been on a personal food journey, which they have followed from their table into the wider world of food systems change. They each draw on deeply personal experiences to inform their thinking on the change that is needed. That’s especially true for Diane Hatz, the event’s host. Hatz’s has worked in sustainable food and farming for many years. A creative marketing visionary and entrepreneur, Hatz has worked for both Grace Communications and The Glynwood Institute for Food and Farming. A cross-country tour in 2007 to promote sustainable food, took Hatz to small and large towns across America to see what people were doing as part of the sustainable food movement. She ate a lot of pies, and was left with an abiding belief that food can reach across all boundaries of belief. ‘Good food is beyond politics or religion – it’s a basic human right.’

Her organisation, Change Food, wants to creatively raise awareness and educate eaters about issues important to sustainable food and farming. The dialogue needs to extend beyond those in the know to those who need to know so that they can make more informed decisions about their food. TEDx offers a great platform for reaching a diverse array of people in different parts of the globe. With more than a 150 viewing parties throughout the US and Europe, as well as Australia, Canada, Columbia, Mexico and South Africa, people are coming together to share local and global concerns, exchanging ideas and information, and connecting together as part of a wider movement for change.

So bring along good food and drink and share in a world-wide community of people that want better things for their food!

Follow this link for information on our London viewing party for this event. 

The Sustainable Food Trust are extremely grateful for support from Chipotle UKWholeFoods UK, Cafe Direct and JUST MILK for their food and drink sponsorship of this event.

Photograph by TEDxManhattan

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