Can We Protect Food's Future And Improve School Lunch?

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Food Matters. Watch Cary Fowler's full TEDTalk — One Seed at a Time, Protecting the Future of Food — and Ann Cooper's talk about school lunches on TED.com

Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, deep in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. i i

hide captionCary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, deep in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Mari Tefre /Global Crop Diversity Trust
Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, deep in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, deep in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

Mari Tefre /Global Crop Diversity Trust
Inside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway. i i

hide captionInside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway.

Mari Tefre /Global Crop Diversity Trust
Inside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway.

Inside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway.

Mari Tefre /Global Crop Diversity Trust

About Cary Fowler's TEDTalk

The varieties of wheat, corn and rice we grow today may not thrive in a future threatened by climate change. Conservationist Cary Fowler takes us inside a vast global seed bank, buried within a frozen mountain in Norway, that stores a diverse group of food crops for whatever tomorrow may bring.

About Cary Fowler

Sometimes called the "doomsday vault," the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a backup of the world's biological diversity. For Cary Fowler, a self-described "Tennessee farm boy," this vault is the fulfillment of a long fight against shortsighted governments, big business and potential disaster.

Inside the vault, Fowler and his team work on preserving wheat, rice and hundreds of other crops that have nurtured humanity since our ancestors began tending crops. Their goal is to ensure that the world's food supply has the diversity needed to stand against the threats of disease, climate change and famine.

More From This Episode

About Ann Cooper's talk

Speaking at the 2007 EG conference for innovators, "renegade lunch lady" Chef Ann Cooper talks about the coming revolution in the way kids eat at school: local, sustainable, seasonal and even educational food.

Cooper cares — a lot — about what kids eat for lunch. As the head of nutrition for Berkeley, Calif., schools, she serves organic, regionally sourced and sustainable meals to lots of lucky children.

"I just think we have to see school lunch as a health initiative." — Chef Ann Cooper

hide caption"I just think we have to see school lunch as a health initiative." — Chef Ann Cooper

Courtesy EG Conference/TED

About Ann Cooper

Chef Ann Cooper has a front-line view of the daily battle to keep kids healthy — and of what she considers the enemy: the processed-food industries that seem to fry everything that children eat and wrap it in a plastic bag. As the director of nutrition services for the Berkeley Unified School District, she's an outspoken activist for serving fresh, sustainable food to kids.

Cooper's influential program gets kids involved in every stage of the food they eat, from growing to disposal. She recently became one of the most enterprising members of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, launching TheLunchBox.org to give schools resources and support to transform their menus and provide balanced, healthy meals. In line with that effort, she's partnered with Whole Foods on the Great American Salad Project (GASP) to create fresh salad bars in over 300 schools around the U.S.

She's the author of several books, including Bitter Harvest, an examination of the food chain, and her latest, Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children.

Purchase Featured Items

Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children

by Ann Cooper

Bitter Harvest

by Ann Cooper

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