What’s wrong with our food system | Birke Baehr | TEDxNextGenerationAsheville


Translator: Bob Prottas
Reviewer: Ariana Bleau Lugo Thank you. Hello. My name is Birke Baehr
and I’m 11 years old. I came here today to talk about
what’s wrong with our food system. First of all, I would like to say
that I’m really amazed how easily kids are led to believe all the marketing and advertising
on TV, at public schools, and pretty much everywhere else you look. It seems to me like corporations are always trying to get kids, like me, to get their parents to buy stuff that really isn’t really good
for us or the planet. Little kids, especially, are attracted
by colorful packaging and plastic toys. I must admit, I used to be one of them. I also used to think that all of our food came from these happy little farms where pigs rolled in mud
and cows grazed on grass all day. What I discovered was this is not true. I began to look into the stuff on the Internet, in books,
and in documentary films in my travels with my family. I discovered the dark side
of the industrialized food system. First, there’s genetically engineered
seeds and organisms. That is when a seed
is manipulated in a laboratory to do something not intended by nature. Like taking the DNA of a fish and putting it into the DNA of a tomato. Yuck! Don’t get me wrong, I like fish and tomatoes,
but this is just creepy. (Laughter) The seeds are then planted, then grown. The food they produced
has been proven to cause cancer and other problems in lab animals. And people have been eating food
produced this way since the 1990’s. Most folks don’t even know they exist. Did you know that rats
fed genetically engineered corn have developed signs of liver
and kidney toxicity? These include kidney inflammations,
and lesions and increased kidney weight. Yet almost all the corn we eat has been altered genetically in some way. And let me tell you,
corn is in everything. And don’t even get me started on the confined animal feeding
operations called CAFO’s. (Laughter) Conventional farmers
use chemical fertilizers made from fossil fuels that they mix with the dirt
to make plants grow. They do this because they’ve stripped
the soil of all nutrients from growing the same crop
over and over again. Next more harmful chemicals
are sprayed on fruits and vegetables like pesticides and herbicides
to kill weeds and bugs. When it rains, these chemicals
seep into the ground or run off into our waterways
poisoning our water too. Then they irradiate our food
trying to make it last longer, so it can travel thousands of miles from where it’s grown to the supermarkets. So I ask myself, “How can I change?
How can I change these things?” This is what I found out. I discovered that there’s
a movement for a better way. Now a while back, I wanted
to be an NFL football player. I decided that I’d rather be
an organic farmer instead. (Applause) (Cheers) Thank you. And that way I could have
a greater impact on the world. I learned from this guy
named Joel Salatin. They call him a lunatic farmer because he grows against the system. Since I’m home schooled,
I want to go hear him speak one day. This man, this lunatic farmer, doesn’t use any pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified seeds. And so for that he’s called crazy
by the system. I want you to know
that we can all make a difference. By making different choices. By buying our food
directly from local farmers or neighbors we know in real life. Some people say organic
or local food is more expensive. But is it really? With all these things I’ve been learning
about the food system it seems to me that we can
either pay the farmer or we can pay the hospital. (Cheers) (Applause) I know definitely
which one I would choose. I want you to know
that there are farmers out there like Bill Keener
in Sequatchie Cove Farm in Tennessee whose cows do eat grass, and whose pigs do roll in the mud
just like I thought. Sometimes I go to Bill’s farm
and volunteer, so I can see up close and personal
where the meat I eat comes from. I want you to know that I believe kids
will eat fresh vegetables and good food if they knew more about it
and where it really comes from. I want you to know that there are farmer’s
markets in every community popping up. I want you to know that me,
my brother and sister actually like eating baked kale chips. I try to share this everywhere I go. Not too long ago my uncle said he offered my six-year old cousin cereal. He asked if he wanted organic toasted oats or the sugar coated flakes. You know the one with the big striped
cartoon character on the front? My little cousin told his dad that he would rather have
the organic toasted O’s cereal, because Birke said
he shouldn’t eat sparkly cereal. (Laugher) And that my friends
is how we can make a difference. One kid at a time. So next time you’re at the grocery store, think local, choose organic, know your farmer and know your food. Thank you. (Applause) (Cheers)

100 thoughts on “What’s wrong with our food system | Birke Baehr | TEDxNextGenerationAsheville

  1. an NFL player ?
    i wouldnt consider becoming that with your lifestyle
    they a lot of different that you are told to be against
    btw; that name birke baerh tells me his parents wanted to pull a joke with this kid
    no sane parent would call a child that if they truely loved him
    organic food is only better if you grow it yourself
    right now i grow 20% of my own food
    i do it because its cheaper
    but i dont feel different
    plus, genetically manipulated food can end world hunger
    tell a child in some poorer part of the world that you are against giving them the food they need
    you the change kirke baerh to birke burried lol
    they dont mix fish DNA with a tomato
    its 100% impossible and showing that he is brainwashed or paid by the organic food growers
    and the fact that he points out about lab animals getting cancer in simply false
    i do admit, im against the cruelty that you see in slaughtering animals for food
    its perfectly possible to kill an animal without cruelty

  2. I am 35 years old and at his age I didn't think about this kind of thing. For that, I applaud him.
    What is unbelievable is that a child must explain such obvious things to adults.
    The majority of people in this world don't understand these things, even explaining them.
    I hope that things will eventually move and that people will understand that power belongs to them. Not to politicians and financial power. Without people, they are nothing !
    But if humans are unable to understand this, let humanity disappears ! She has nothing more to do on Earth.

  3. https://www.facebook.com/kidnepali

    This one also has nice collections and tips for "public speaking for kids".

  4. in some point GMO has also side effects but it is more beneficial than nothing. it is something makes situation worst if it's not apply properly. at the end of the day it still depending on people on how they manage GMO aside from it's financial and agricultural benefits. like what he says we must know first our foods.

  5. Too bad he said nothing about the high cost in resources to exploit animals for meat and dairy. Or the cancer, heat disease, and diabetes eating animal products are responsible for.

  6. Sounds great but there's no way all animals could be farmed grass fed and organic. There's too much demand and not enough land. Veganism is the only way forward if we want to live healthy lives, free from factory farming.

  7. Everything he says about GMO is not true. There is no evidence that GMO is harmful to humans. But with that technology we can make amazing things. GMO can reduce a amount of water needed to produce a plant, we can grow more in less space and lot more.

  8. It is refreshing to see a young person so well informed, confident, enthusiastic and engaged in his own surroundings. In todays society it is sad to say that others his age think that food is actually only sourced and grown in the supermarkets. When did it all become so complicated? Irrelevant of the rights and wrongs of both sides, I always stick with the basic principles. You plant a seed, that seed grows the food I can eat and nature provides any protection to make that food healthy and nutritional. I do not need my food to last for weeks or months or to see more of the world than me. Maybe going back to basics is what will save us in the end.

  9. If young boy tries to analize difficult information, and he tell you, that he understood world problems, you shouldn't believe him, probably he lies. There are no proofs, that GMO are toxic for animals, but there many facts of toxicity of aflatoxin and many other substances, which we can obtain from froots and vegetables grown with "organic methods". In addition, "organic" food is not enough to feed 7 billions of people…

  10. i wish our parents also cooked better because if you cook right, you can make a brick chewy and sweet, like a cookie, all without sugar or anything.

  11. Cute and brazen young man right there!

    I really enjoyed his to-the-point, no BS presentation. The fact he adores Joel Salatin is enough to know his talk is legitimate. And the take-home message is absolutely true: You pay the Farmer (for a seasonal variety of quality, pure food) or you pay the Hospital (who can only keep you away from the hospital or doctor's office for a few years, at best, if you choose to still not pay the farmer from that point on).

    There's so much self deception out there about health. In my country, of the 95% of those whose health needs can totally be met by their proper life-style choices (sadly, some cities are so polluted that it is a nearly-irredeemable choice health-wise to even live there), far too many of them are hiding behind the 5% of people who truly need frequent medication/surgery, claiming themselves a part of that minority. They console themselves, and demand more "healthcare" coverage, largely at the expense of their neighbor insurance payers (and in some countries, neighbor taxpayers), and are buying the lie that diseases and cancer are, for almost all people, unavoidable realities of old age.

  12. And that apathetic conclusion (disease and cancer are just part of old age nowadays) isn't satisfied with claiming the middle-aged and elderly. It seeks after the 20-somethings and 30-somethings, too.
    My wife may end up in the 5%-ile someday. She has been stalked and encircled about by this lie as well since childhood, since she truly has been dealt a bad hand. I truly believe the decision still largely lies with her, and that my loving support will help her play her cards as best she can

  13. You need something done you let ADULTS do it,
    You want something done RIGHT YOU LET A CHILD DO IT!
    Because Most ADULTS DON'T GIVE A DAMN LIKE THEY USE TOO!!
    This YOUNG MAN has BIGGER BALLS THAN MOST MEN DO, And
    HE'S STANDING UP AGAINST THE SYSTEM.
    And he is ONLY 11 years old and ADULTS jobs ARE TO PROTECT
    THE CHILDREN, WHEN EXACTLY WAS IT YOU LOST YOUR BALLS,
    And quit LOVING THY NEIGHBOR?

  14. This young man is going to hopefully be a great influence when he grows up what a knowledgeable young man his parents should be very proud

  15. I don't want to have children, but if I knew my kid would be like this guy, i might reconsider, I feel proud and I don't even know him!

  16. This is an incredibly uninformed video. Because of GMOs we use less pesticide and fertilizer. Just because there's "big, complex" words doesn't mean they're bad.

  17. Theres no such thing as "happy" meat. Sorry kid you're delusional… Theres not enough grazing land to feed the 12 billion (yes billion) people there are going to be on the planet. "Organic" foods actually still use pesticides that are much more toxic than traditional meat farms such as arsenic and copper which (BTW) can make you develop tumors as well. "Organic" foods are not that great at all in reality: If we were to use "all natural" farms we would have to destroy nearly all the remaining rainforests and clear land to grow un-efficient organic food simply because we cannot use synthetic fertilizers that allow us to grow more food more sustainably…
    I wish people would step aside sometimes and let scientists solve our problems just like they always have: You are the problem, not the solution. And as hard as that is to tell an 11 year old child there is a reason we don't have 20 year old presidents…

  18. About 2 seconds in and I love this kid. I love him even more when he said he was changing his life goal from NFL player to organic farmer.

  19. The U.S. government spends 80 billion dollars on subsides for the meat industry, and only 17 million dollars for fruits and vegetables.. yet meat is a carcinogen and linked to heart disease, type II diabetes, osteroperosis, etc…

  20. Hong Kong student are ruined by the corruptive Government.香港貪官封殺你不知香港人能力 ….
    土生土長 … 香港人 黃赤男 – 17 歲 … 勿被貪官愚弄 …. 香港搞創新…..借題愚民……千億公帑入貪官袋……….. 這也封殺 ….全球科學家正尋找這技術 … 但香港貪官 … 全封殺 ….!打殘新一代實証 …土生土長 … 香港人 黃赤男 – 17 歲 …
    Wong Chik Nam (Gustav Wong)
    2017-04-04 ….香港人 …. 可取九天電能量為民用 ….這可取諾貝爾獎 … ??不是做夢了 ….
    香港貪官-貪腐政權 …
    摧毀我家 —  摧毀新一代 ….LED 亮光服 全球之父 wong man hong – Kitti Pearl 全球始創人 ….
    一家被新昌(Synergis Holding Ltd.)物業管理公司 和
    信和(sino group)物業管理公司迫離家園

  21. Good farm conditions for all the cattle on the planet is impossible with the amount of the meat people eat today. We will waste the entire planet if we do that. Go vegan, seriously.

  22. I like to think we’ve spent the past thirty years replacing things that worked with things that sounded good. I guess this is where progressives draw the line on reinventing the wheel.

  23. Great job to this incredibly brave, intelligent, informed and sweet child. He knows what's up! So many 2,3,4,5, and 6 times his age should know, listen to and do something to put an end to the madness that is poisioning our food.
    OUR FOOD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!

  24. The GMOs the poisonous food the Chemtrails in the sky poisonous chemicals sprayed on us again what's wrong with this government

  25. I have come to believe that the majority of human diseases are produced by what eat & drink. There is a huge price to pay for eating hyperpalatable, over-processed food-like substances.

  26. Not the length but the depth of life that matters. Nothing is more edifying than the perception of the perceived without the perceiver. Instant action, no thought, no convincing, no will power involved. Undoing is the doing.

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