As a member of the executive team, I was involved in the TEDxSanJoseCA TEDCity2.0 event at the beautiful Silicon Valley Capital Club on Friday, where we heard talks from some compelling speakers.
Part of the fun, and breaking with the normal traditional TEDx schedule, was that the attendees were assigned randomly to different tables for breakout sessions on the themes of:
- Public Space/Art
- Youth and Play
We had two very different themes going in our brainstorming session:
- How could local communities grow and distribute local food, saving the money and time needed to ship produce across the country or even from continent to continent?
- How could local communities, government, and private businesses address local food insecurity and nutrition with gardens?
- Work with corporations to replace lawns, trees, and flowers with vegetable gardens and fruit trees
- Work with building owners to add gardens to the top of their buildings in urban areas
- Add gardens to public parks and include free nearby housing for farmers
- Add gardens to already landscaped and watered street medians
- Set up flatbed trucks that could grow and deliver produce to the people who needed it the most
- Teach children how to garden and how to cook what they grow
- Create a smartphone app that connects people who have excess food with people who would like the excess food
This one caught my eye first: Trader Joe's Ex-President To Turn Expired Food Into Cheap Meals. "Doug Rauch, the former president of Trader Joe's, is determined to repurpose the perfectly edible produce slightly past its sell-by date that ends up in the trash. (That happens in part because people misinterpret the labels, according to article from Harvard and the National Resources Defense Council.) To tackle the problem, Rauch is opening a new market, called Daily Table,, early next year in Dorchester, Mass., that will prepare and repackage the food at deeply discounted prices."
This article is the first time I've really seen, and thought about these pretty shocking figures:
- One-third of the world's food goes to waste every year
- In the U.S., about 40 percent of our food gets thrown out
Then there is Ron Shaich, CEO of Panera, who has taken up the SNAP challenge eating on just $4.50 per day—the average food benefit for recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Shaich is sharing his experiences and thoughts on his blog.
The Feeding America website shares some startling facts about food insecurity in the United States.
So here's a challenge to my readers: How can we use social media channels to solve this problem? We have food going to waste every single day, and people who are going hungry every day. How do we connect the two, and use the first one to help solve the second one?