11 Yr. Old TED Presentation: What’s Wrong With Our Food System

“With almost unnerving precociousness, 11-year-old Birke Baehr explains the problems with our industrialized and corporate food production systems, and makes the case that we should all eat organic and local. If you weren’t already convinced that sustainable is the way to go with your food, have a listen to Birke – he’s quite passionate!.” (Source: Edutopia)

About Birke

“At age 9, while traveling with his family and being “roadschooled,” Birke Baehr began studying sustainable and organic farming practices such as composting, vermiculture, canning and food preservation. Soon he discovered his other passion: educating others — especially his peers — about the destructiveness of the industrialized food system, and the alternatives…Baehr volunteers at the Humane Society and loves working with animals.” (Source: TED Talks)

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Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

14 thoughts on “11 Yr. Old TED Presentation: What’s Wrong With Our Food System”

  1. I really like this video for a number of reasons. First, like previous comments have mentioned, it is nice to see a kid teaching a kid. Students seem to be more open to taking advice from people their age versus older people who are just telling them what to do. The second reason I really like this video is because it is a great topic starter for GMO’s and the use of pesticides in my Environmental Science and Biology classes!

  2. Ok Dr. Mims, this kid is definitely way above his years here. However, he has some very good information and I’ve been trying to get my students to think about food differently, too. Maybe, in watching this TED talk, they will be inspired to do so. As an aside, are you aware of who brought the TED talks programs to Memphis? Well, if not, it was one of my students, Mr. Patton Orr. It was his brain child and he is now a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also received a Morehead-Cain Scholarship for his academic acumen, work with the TEDx Program, and other school activities. I envision Patton doing his own TED talk one day. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I cannot wait to show my kids this. I wonder if hearing it from a child will impact them differently than hearing nagging mama rant on and on? We already try to practice good eating habits and support our local farmers market, but I do not think my kids think much about food choices. I can’t wait to show them and my classes this as I teach Health Sciences.

  4. I love this! I am having my kids watch his presentation as well. It is a very informative presentation, that I feel other kids will relate to better than being told the same information by an adult. I feel that using technology to create presentations will help kids develop skills that will help them later on, and boost their confidence. I am very impressed with this little boy’s public speaking skills. That’s a skill that will definitely come in handy!

  5. We should all be more concerned about what we are putting into our bodies and unfortunately the majority of what we are ingesting is not good for us at all. I admire this child for wanting to educate everyone and hopefully change the way things are one person at a time.
    Restaurants in Memphis are beginning to use local produce and meats. Farmer’s markets are popping up in many different neighborhoods and people are more open to the idea of eating organically and are becoming more conscious of what they’re actually putting into their bodies.

  6. I also used this video in my health class last year. It was within my nutrition unit, and I attempted to get my students to care about their food. While none of their passion matched Birke’s, I encouraged them to learn more about what they put into their bodies. Within a two-week nutrition unit, I could not possibly convey all of the information on nutrition that I would like to, so I used Birke’s video to spark their interest. Some of them became more interested in their food, and one student is an avid fan of kale chips.

  7. This is kid is awesome. I have seen him talk on a video before. He is very passionate and if more of his peers saw him, they may change their minds about the foods they eat.

  8. Wow! This kid is awesome! He made such a good point about buying organic or paying for hospital bills. I changed my mindset regarding food a few years ago and now we are mostly organic in my household. I even have a little garden of herbs and some vegetables. However, not everyone can afford to buy organic food and so I understand why some families choose non-organic food. I’m starting to see more and more farmer markets in Memphis and the larger organic supermarket, Whole Foods, expanded their building about a year ago. I think people like this kid are amazing and I’m grateful they are educating us on eating healthy.

  9. Very neat kid! The more chemicals that are used in growing of food or in the processing of food (read the lables) the worse it ultimately is for our health and the health of our environment. I hope Birke keeps trying to get his message out there and so creates a generation of kids that want to eat healthier.

  10. Oh my goodness! This kid is great! Me and my husband have talked about how bad processed foods are and have tried to eat more healthier! Birke does make a valid point about either paying your local farmer or paying the hospital. Most, if not all food produced today contains harmful chemicals that damage our bodies! Getting the information out there is a critical part in changing the way food is process and hopefully if enough people would listen, we can change the way food is handled. If we could survive 30 years ago without such processed foods, what’s stopping us today. We want good, clean, and natural foods.Great video, great kid!!

  11. I don’t know exactly where to start so I’ll just go:
    First, that kid is a genius and so brave. I still could not get up in front of that many people and present something without shaking uncontrollably.
    Second, I agree with everything he said and would really like to see more farmers’ markets in Memphis.
    Third, I could get on my soapbox about this issue and ramble for days, but I’m going to spare everyone. This is such an important issue that can’t be ignored.
    Fourth, in my personal opinion, there should not be any food advertising geared at children. They don’t know what they are being sold and that the majority of it is unhealthy, as well as a large portion of parents not being educated about what’s in the food either.
    Last, the price of natural, healthy, organic fruits and vegetables must be lowered. If the government can subsidize big agrabusiness it can hep the smaller ones too. Especially, if they are going to be throwing money into a new healthcare system.

  12. Great idea, unfortunately is only applicable to some of us. “Organic” farming lacks productivity levels of industrialized farming; the productivity we need to keep the cost of food low so we can feed our growing population.

  13. I like the choice of paying your farmer or your hospital… too bad they don’t have food insurance.

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