Most Engaging TED Talks On Food

Back to Posts

Most Engaging TED Talks On Food

TED’s inspiring talks from experts on education, business, food, health, creativity, technology always hold my interests when I’m sitting on the bus or train. (Lucky me, I’ve never missed my stops because of them, but who knows I might some days). There’re great TED talks about food and food system that are really worth a watch. The speakers engagingly talk about not only new concepts but also take older ideas to new places. I’m excited to share with you a few of them below.

1. Jamie Oliver – Teach Every Child About Food

This famous British celebrity chef has been drawn to the kitchen since he was a little child to work in his dad’s restaurant. His childhood in the kitchen has probably given him such a solid background in food and nutrition that his talk is truly meaningful, engaging yet entertaining. As a reputable advocate for the prevention of childhood obesity, Oliver’s talk has provoked different lines of thought among the audiences about the importance of educating children about food.

The talk was published in 2010 but it’s still valuable to many of us today. I believe it has the power of transforming the way we feed ourselves and our children. Oliver won the 2010 TED prize for this talk and used the $100,000 prize to launch an eating revolution campaign in the United States. A well-deserved winner. A not-to-be-missed talk!

 2. Ann Cooper – What’s Wrong With School Lunches

This chef, author and activist is often referred to as “Renegade Lunch Lady” for her determination to create a change for U.S. school systems’ meals. Starting the talk with a “threatening” way by saying that if we don’t change the children’s relationships to food, “we’re feeding them to death”. Her opening certainly had a drawing power to all of us, especially parents.

The key message take-out was somewhat in-line with Jamie Oliver’s speech but Cooper used a much stronger voice to make her point. Has been working with kids a lot and thus, she gained a deep understanding of their nutrition needs. The chef offered constructive criticism on the unhealthy meals in schools which are the consequences of conventional farming. A really thought-provoking speech:

3. Mark Bittman – What’s Wrong With What We Eat

With a wealth of knowledge from years of experience as a New York Times food writer, Bittman delivered such a memorable talk. He pointed to the urgent needs to change the way to eat in order to save ourselves and our planet. These changes are simple, they come from the habits that we had in our daily lives. This food columnist brought to TED stage a funny and passionate talk, but we certainly absorb so much more than pure waves of laughter afterwards. It is, undeniably, a favourite talk of mine:

4. Dr Dean Ornish – The Killer American Diet That’s Sweeping The Planet

Another great, if not a genius, talk from a clinical professor of medicine and founder of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute at the University of California, San Franciso. With the same topic about healthy diet, Dr Ornish tapped into another angle of this area. He claimed that some of the most common diseases such as cardiovascular, diabetes are preventable and even reversible just by changing diets

Well, without looking closely at many scientific shreds of evidence through a microscope, I’m with him:

 5. Dan Barber – A Foie Gras Parable

An interesting talk that widens my views about ethical foie gras from Dan Barber – a chef, an author and an activist. When it comes to foie gras, I must say: there have been so many articles about the cruelty that I’ve read over the years that this food scared me off (though I’ve never had the luxury to try it yet). That said, when I watched this speech and heard about the story of a Spanish farmer that doesn’t force-feed his goose, it’s a sigh of relief. I felt like I’m talking to myself: “Oh, thanks God. Finally someone has done this”. A brilliant talk, a lovely story to listen to that can inspire us to listen to nature:

All of these talks are not new, or quite old, if you look at their published date. Now you can blame me for being such an old school type of person. To be honest, I haven’t got time to catch up on the latest speeches yet but I’m pretty sure there’s now an abundance of TED talks about food, nutrition, healthy living. Would love to know if you’ve come across interesting talks. Send us a link in the comments section below.


Share this post

Comments (2)

  • Susan B. Reply

    Thank you for the article. I will check out the Ted talk of Jamie Oliver. The one by Dr Dean Ornish – The Killer American Diet That’s Sweeping The Planet seems interesting as well.

    November 14, 2018 at 10:11 am
  • Enette Cheung Reply

    A big Thank You to whoever wrote this article. As a mother of three, I had been dealing with a lot of struggles with them since they are still being kids and not knowing the meaning of wasting food is bad. My kids are usually wasting on foods or do not want to finish their portion even with a small portion. Thus, I had to go online and search for many ways of persuading kids to finish and this article came in no time. After watching several videos of TED talks, I now can explain to my kids that it is such a shameful behavior that there are plenty of kids in the world do not have enough foods to eat while we are here just wasting it. My kids seem to understand and they started to change and the most amazing thing is they appreciate my effort of cooking for them and the whole family.
    Thank you for your words.

    January 23, 2019 at 5:52 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Posts