Changing the Food System for the Better

11-year-old Birke Baehr shares his ideas on how to improve the current food system.
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  • 1Hello. My name is Birke Baehr, and I'm 11 years old.
  • 2I came here today to talk about what's wrong with our food system.
  • 3First of all, I would like to say that I'm really amazed...
  • 4...at how easily kids are led to believe all the marketing and advertising on TV,...
  • 5...at public schools and pretty much everywhere else you look.
  • 6It seems to me like, corporations are always trying to get kids like me...
  • 7...to get their parents to buy stuff that really isn't good for us or the planet.
  • 8Little kids, especially, are attracted by colorful packaging and plastic toys.
  • 9I must admit, I used to be one of them.
  • 10I also used to think that all of our food came from these happy, little farms...
  • 11...where pigs rolled in mud and cows grazed on grass all day.
  • 12What I discovered was this is not true.
  • 13I began to look into this stuff on the Internet, in books...
  • 14...and in documentary films, in my travels with my family.
  • 15I discovered the dark side of the industrialized food system.
  • 16First, there's genetically engineered seeds and organisms.
  • 17That is when a seed is manipulated in a laboratory to do something not intended by nature.
  • 18...and don't even get me started on the confined animal feeding operations, called CAFOs.
  • 19Conventional farmers use chemical fertilizers...
  • 20...made from fossil fuels that they mix with the dirt to make plants grow.
  • 21They do this because they've stripped the soil from all nutrients...
  • 22...from growing the same crop over and over again.
  • 23So I ask myself, "How can I change?"
  • 24"How can I change these things?"
  • 25This is what I found out.
  • 26I discovered that there's a movement for a better way.
  • 27I want you to know that we can all make a difference...
  • 28...by making different choices,...
  • 29...by buying our food directly from local farmers,...
  • 30...or neighbors we know in real life.
  • 31Some people say organic or local food is more expensive,...
  • 32...but is it really?
  • 33With all these things I've been learning about the food system,...
  • 34...it seems to me that we can either pay the farmer, or we can pay the hospital.
  • 35I know...
  • 36Now, I know definitely which one I would choose.
  • 37So next time you're at the grocery store, think local,...
  • 38...choose organic, know your farm, and know your food. Thank you