When Cara was invited to speak at TEDx Manhattan, we decided this was a chance for us all to explore the City together – and explore we did!
Wednesday night: One of our first restaurants to join us in New York City was Northern Spy. A brisk walk through the deepening dusk along Broadway and a lesson on NYC geography brought us to the bustling warmth of deliciousness. Beautifully presented, perfectly cooked – old favorites like the kale salad joisted for space with pear salad, roasted cauliflower, meatballs, and duck sausage. Bravissima!
Thursday: Lindsay P and Corinna were interviewed on Heritage Radio’s the Farm Report by Erin Fairbanks (a former Ann Arborite herself). Check it out to learn what comestibles means and hear Lindsay wax eloquent about the Food Warriors (third group started yesterday!)
Then we all went to meet Amanda Hesser and Alex Lutz of Food52 to learn more about what they are doing and whether we can help each other out! You can use their Hotline to ask questions of cooking experts all over the country (Have a favorite recipe you want to use and your vegan cousin is visiting, they can help you!)
Friday: Cara practiced the speech. Interviews were given – three interviews posted to date (more to come)! Read about us in the Vail Daily, With Respect for Food, and Grist. The team reveled in the view of the Hudson at Print (another great RTF restaurant) for the TEDx pre-party. Finally, as rosy fingered dawn began to think about stretching forth, we launched a whole new front page of the website! Bravo Karl and Gaurav!
Saturday: The talks for this years TEDx Manhattan (hopefully which will be posted online in less than a month) ran the full gambit. Dr. David Wallinga from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) shared with us that, “80% of the antibiotics in this country go into animal feed as a preventative.” Urvashi Rangan, Director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Group for Consumer Reports, beautifully explained the toothlessness and obfuscation endemic in labels and labeling. Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), went directly to the contradiction in our society: “We have federal laws against dog fighting…but do we care about farm animals?”
Just when the heart, bludgeoned with pictures of concentrated feeding operations/chickens with combs the color of sandpaper (they should be dark red) and pierced with visions of antibiotic resistant superbugs, felt unable to pump on – stories of food angels bounced forth.
Howard Hinterthuer, Communications Coordinator at the Center for Veterans Issues – Wisconsin’s largest community-based veteran’s service organization and peer-to-peer mentor in CVI’s Organic Therapy Program, shared what they are doing. There was not a dry eye in the house as his talk concluded with a Vietnam Vet sharing, “this program has saved my life.” The Green Bronx Machine’s Stephen Ritz launched the room to a standing ovation with his energy and enthusiasm – his students have grown over 25,000 pounds of vegetables and learned to install indoor edible walls. Gary Oppenheimer, founder/executive director of the AmpleHarvest.org Campaign, has created an online platform for home gardeners to donate their harvest to local food pantries.
The first person to speak in the innovation category was Cara – and we think (in our own unbiased opinion) she was perfect. The Cyberworld has two favorite quotes. One from our friend Brandon Johns of the Grange, “We spend so much time researching a tv, but we’ll go and buy a chicken anywhere.” The other from our Fall 2011 Food Warrior, Callie Heron, “without transparency, we have no choice.”
Thank you New York for a wonderful few days!