Our Heroes is a weekly series that highlights the work and the daily lives of people who are making major changes in the world of food, water and/or energy.
Nora Pouillon is an advocate and leader of the local, sustainable food movement in the Washington, DC area. From her cooking to her work to bolster chef-farm relationships in the region through the establishment of farmers' markets, farm tours and more, she exemplifies the level of commitment our heroes exhibit every day. Read on to find out what drives Nora's dedication to sustainable food.
For NFL player Will Witherspoon, football and farming are labors of love. The founder of Shire Gate Farm in Owensville, MO, Will has a passion for raising beef responsibly and advocating for better food in the sports world and beyond. Read on to find out how Will became interested in farming and where he plans to go next.
Spreading urban farming and food systems know-how to strengthen local communities is Stacey Murphy's expertise. The founder of BK Farmyards, Stacey has been helping others learn and start farms in New York since 2009, and she's got a big plans ahead. Read about BK Farmyards' work and vision in our interview with Stacey here.
Photojournalist James Whitlow Delano created @EveryDayClimateChange on Instagram, a photographic endeavor by a diverse group of photographers from five continents, to document visual evidence of climate change on people and the environment, all around the planet. We talk about his efforts in this week's Heroic Endeavor.
Arjen Hoekstra not only created the concept of water footprint, but he opened people's eyes about how humanity uses water. Find out what guided Hoekstra onto this visionary path, the role that consumer decisions have on water use, the complexities of industrial versus pasture-raised meat, and more.
"We must hold true that healthy food is a right for all and not a privilege for some." Meet Karen Washington, an urban farmer from the Bronx, NY. A leader in the urban farming movement, Karen has spent thirty years strengthening New York City's local food system in low-income communities and bolstering black leadership in farming.
"If we can redefine what we believe is desirable in food we can reduce waste and, at the same time, embrace and eat delicious, nutritious food." Food & Wine magazine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin will bring "ugly" produce front and center at TEDxManhattan 2015, happening this Saturday.
This Saturday, Ali Partovi will speak at TEDxManhattan 2015 along with many other influential movers and shakers of the food movement. Focusing on debunking misperceptions of organic and sustainable food that hold the movement back, Ali will show us why sustainable agriculture is economically and politically feasible.
"Systemic changes are needed to disrupt the current horrific state of industrial farming and food system. Food needs to be efficient and enjoyable again." Meet one of this year's TEDxManhattan speakers, Shen Tong. An entrepreneur and founder of Food-X, Shen will discuss the skills and funding needed to help disruptive food innovators create lasting change in our food system.
Meet Marcel Van Ooyen, executive director of GrowNYC, who will speak about "the 99% food problem" at this year's TEDxManhattan event in March. GrowNYC's is working to scale up local food distribution to make local less niche, more mainstream, by helping "family farmers to access wholesale distribution channels that make up 99% of the food that enters New York City."
"(W)hen you are confronting entrenched power, the legal wins are often preceded by defeats and can come at great personal expense to those on the front lines. This is certainly true in the food movement, which is still in its nascent stages." 2015 TEDxMenhattan speaker Michele Merkel is an environmental law advocate at Food & Water Watch.
Meet Kendra Kimbirauskas, CEO of the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP). As one of this year's TEDxManhattan speakers, Kendra will address why, despite a more educated consumer audience, the US is experiencing unprecedented growth of factory farms in rural communities. Plus, she offers five actions you can take if a factory farm comes to your area.
"As food and nutrition confusion abounds, many are paralyzed not knowing who to trust or what to do. With a little inspiration and practical education, shifting is possible." Meet one of this year's TEDxManhattan speakers, Stephanie Sacks, a culinary nutritionist and author of the new book What The Fork Are You Eating?
"Transitioning an abandoned rooftop into a beautiful urban space - one that nourishes the mind, the body, and the soul of our hospital staff is good medicine." As a speaker at this year's TEDxManhattan, Robert Graham will explain the value of integrating traditional medicine's respect for food, cooking and farming with modern medicine.
With a background in law, business, and social entrepreneurship, TEDxManhattan speaker Stephen Reily sees the food movement's need for economic and community development tools to help meet unmet demand for local food. As founder and director of Seed Capital Kentucky, Stephen works to bolster the regional food economy in Louisville.
In the world of food photos, photographer Henry Hargreaves takes the genre to the next level. As a speaker at this year's TEDxManhattan, he will talk about his process as an artist fascinated with people's relationships to food, and why food photos are such a powerful medium.