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← Back to the kitchen| Bela Gil | TEDxLaçadorSalon

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Showing Revision 13 created 04/03/2020 by Theresa Ranft.

  1. Good evening.
  2. I've always really liked eating,
    but I was never really into cooking.
  3. When I was little, I loved watching
    my granny cook and work in the kitchen.
  4. She was in charge of Christmas dinner,
    New Year's and Easter.
  5. She made all with so much love and care.
  6. My brother was the one who liked
    to go hands-on with her.
  7. Even today, she still asks me
  8. how, when and why
    did I end up in the kitchen?
  9. And that's the answer
    I want to give you today.
  10. Because if something can change
    the future of eating habits,
  11. that's cooking.
  12. As a teenager, precisely at 14,
  13. I began to do yoga.
  14. And yoga changed me.
  15. It completely changed my life.
  16. It changed my vision of the world,
    it changed my diet,
  17. and with that I realized
  18. that food has power,
  19. so to speak.
  20. I also decided to study
    eating philosophies
  21. that used food as forms of prevention,
  22. healing, and disease treatment,
  23. even as kinds of medicine.
  24. So I decided to study a little
    about Ayurveda and macrobiotics.
  25. These philosophies
    brought back something in me
  26. that I think modern times
    have taken from many of us young people,
  27. which is care, zeal,
    and respect for nature.
  28. So, I decided that we could change the way
  29. we build the food system
    through eating habits.
  30. I believe one of the side effects
    of modern times
  31. is humans getting distant from nature,
  32. the distance between urban and rural life.
  33. I believe that if we bring
  34. a little of rural life to the city,
  35. we can strengthen the bonds
    between man and nature.
  36. For example, by planting urban gardens.
  37. It's a way to reconnect with nature.
  38. Some years later, when I was 18,
  39. I lived abroad, and there
    I learned how to cook.
  40. I fell in love with the art of culinary,
    I fell in love with the kitchen,
  41. and I realized we could use food
    and eating habits as a tool,
  42. not only to improve the quality
    of life in terms of health
  43. but also to use it as as tool
  44. in political, economic,
    social, and environmental terms,
  45. and then manage
    to restructure the food system,
  46. change the diet dynamics
  47. and the production, distribution,
    and food consumption processes.
  48. I'll give you an example
    of the meat production process.
  49. There are two principles
    that conduct the meat production
  50. at an industrial scale:
  51. quantity and speed.
  52. The more you produce
    and the cheaper it gets,
  53. the worse the quality,
  54. and the cost is higher
    for our health and environment.
  55. In terms of speed,
  56. the animal cycle
    is artificially accelerated,
  57. the animal life cycle
    is artificially accelerated,
  58. and it starts growing
    and producing in such a way
  59. that at some point
    their bodies can't take it anymore,
  60. and it drastically decreases
  61. its life quality,
  62. its health and lifetime.
  63. I believe that we can and must change
  64. this food system.
  65. The other day I was at the supermarket,
  66. and I noticed that a pound of chicken
  67. was cheaper than a pound of tomatoes.
  68. And I said, "How can that be?"
  69. This is very complex.
  70. How can it cost so little
  71. to raise an animal
    from birth to slaughter?
  72. I couldn't understand that.
  73. In terms of vegetables and greens,
  74. the industrial scale production process
  75. is also very harmful to our lives,
  76. our health, and to the environment
  77. because, today, Brazil is the biggest
    agrochemical consumer in the world.
  78. Each Brazilian consumes around
    11 pounds of agrochemicals per year.
  79. It's a steep amount.
  80. And people know
    the hazards of agrochemicals,
  81. but they still put up with this abuse
    of usage and consumption.
  82. And I wondered why.
  83. But the answer is that our current society
  84. has twisted values.
  85. Our values are twisted.
  86. Why does someone worry
    about not buying fake perfume
  87. because they worry
    about some allergic reaction,
  88. as they don't know its origin,
  89. they don't know what sort
    of chemicals are in the bottle,
  90. and they don't care about eating
    intoxicated vegetables?
  91. Why is that?
  92. I wondered about this and realized
    that this is the change of values.
  93. We need to teach people
    to value organic products,
  94. because when you buy
    organic lettuce, for example,
  95. you're not only investing in your health
  96. but also paying
    for the producer's well-being,
  97. which is something
    people don't usually think of,
  98. they don't know that behind that lettuce
    is someone who cares for it with love
  99. and brought that lettuce to you.
  100. So we pay for the producer's well-being,
  101. we invest in our health,
    and we respect nature.
  102. I think that's why I fell in love
  103. with cooking and nutrition.
  104. In terms of distribution,
    it's not efficient either.
  105. I think you know we produce a lot of food.
  106. One third of the food we produce
    is simply wasted, thrown out.
  107. And we ask ourselves
    why so many people are still starving.
  108. The reason is bad distribution policy.
  109. We have to rethink that.
  110. In consumption terms,
  111. the way we consume food
    today is frightening.
  112. My grandma is from São Paulo,
    and she lives there.
  113. If I dropped her in the middle
    of Paulista Avenue,
  114. I'm sure she would be really scared
  115. seeing all those executives,
    or those people in a hurry,
  116. walking along the street,
    talking on their cell phones,
  117. swallowing a slice of pizza -
  118. because chewing is something
    people also think is a waste of time,
  119. but it's actually very important.
  120. Anyway, she would freak out
  121. because she doesn't see that as a meal,
  122. as a way to nurture and feed oneself.
  123. Fast food is made for this purpose,
  124. so we can eat while doing something else,
  125. talking on the phone, typing, watching TV.
  126. This makes us lose
    our notion of satiation.
  127. We make room for gluttony,
  128. which is very harmful to our health.
  129. So, we need to rethink
    the way we consume food.
  130. These snacks, biscuits, and so on
    also have a lot of chemical additives,
  131. and too much salt, fat, and sugar,
    which is the addictive trio.
  132. Flavor enhancers end up
    destroying our sense of taste,
  133. they degenerate our nervous system
    and create addiction,
  134. not only physical but also mental,
  135. psychological,
    and physiological addiction.
  136. That is, excessive industrialized products
  137. are very harmful.
  138. I don't even call them food.
  139. To me, they are fake food,
  140. because you may feel full eating them,
  141. but they won't nurture or feed you.
  142. And who still makes popcorn in a pan?
    Pan popcorn instead of microwave?
  143. Look! Half and half. (Laughter)
  144. Who still makes cakes
    instead of buying mixtures?
  145. Oh! Also half and half. (Laughter)
  146. These two questions
    may seem a little harmless
  147. and not mean anything,
    but actually they mean a lot.
  148. By just switching from pan popcorn
    to microwave popcorn,
  149. you're already harming your health,
  150. because you're consuming chemicals
  151. that you surely wouldn't add
    to your pan popcorn,
  152. and you're also polluting
    with the microwave popcorn packaging.
  153. It's an extra packaging that could
    be less trash in the world.
  154. I think the excessive consumption
    of industrialized products
  155. is really harmful.
  156. To sum up
  157. this food production issue,
  158. I think this food dynamics,
    this food system
  159. is not healthy at all.
  160. It's not working.
  161. And we have to change.
    But how can we change?
  162. The main answer
    is going back to the kitchen.
  163. Cooking is synonym of art,
    culture, leisure, health.
  164. Cooking brings independence,
    self-knowledge, autonomy,
  165. safety, freedom.
  166. Cooking is life's fundamental art.
  167. If we don't cook,
    someone will do it for us.
  168. I hope it's not the industry.
  169. Because the industry doesn't cook,
    it simply processes food.
  170. If you let the industry feed you,
  171. it'll choose what to give you for dinner:
  172. frozen lasagna, French fries,
    burgers, hot dogs.
  173. How about pizza?
  174. Give us delivery pizza
  175. because we can't even make
    pizza anymore!
  176. I believe that we...
  177. Oh, no! Wait! Where's rice and beans?
  178. The everyday rice and beans
    that filled up our stomachs and souls?
  179. I think a lot of people
  180. who are not interested in
    or fond of cooking
  181. must think it's a lot of work,
  182. not practical, and a waste of time.
  183. But if you leave the beans
    soaking overnight,
  184. in the morning, in 20 minutes you'll have
    them ready in the pressure cooker.
  185. Or you just take one day to make beans
  186. and freeze them for the week.
  187. Along with fresh rice
    that you make in 20 or 30 minutes
  188. and vegetables that you have prewashed
    and cut up in the fridge
  189. when you came back from the market,
  190. you have a whole meal ready
    in half an hour.
  191. It might be the same time
    you would wait for a pizza,
  192. from the pizza delivery.
  193. So, I think we must change
  194. the way we see cooking,
  195. the way we see the act of cooking.
  196. Everybody can and must cook:
  197. men, women, boys, girls,
    kids, adults, the elderly.
  198. There's no age, sex, or gender.
  199. Everybody can cook. Everybody should cook.
  200. By changing education, teaching kids,
  201. taking kids to the market to choose
    the vegetables they'll have for dinner,
  202. having kids peel potatoes, do the dishes,
  203. simple day-to-day things,
  204. we can build a better future.
  205. These kids will grow up
    with a holistic view of the world.
  206. They'll know where the food comes from,
  207. because many people think it comes
    from the supermarket shelf.
  208. Kids will grow up independent
    of the food industry
  209. because they will learn to cook.
  210. They will grow up independent
    of the pharmaceutical industry
  211. because they will be less sick,
  212. growing up and eating
    homemade food, healthy food.
  213. I believe we have to change
    the food dynamics.
  214. We have to change
  215. how we value food.
  216. We have to value food more,
    value the act of eating and cooking.
  217. Education isn't just saying
    "please," "thank you," and "excuse me."
  218. Education doesn't mean
  219. seeing a hospital as synonym of health.
  220. I think having life quality,
    a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy diet,
  221. so that we need fewer hospitals -
  222. that is education.
  223. It's education and prevention.
  224. So, the future of food
  225. will decide the future of humanity.
  226. Cooking and choosing food well
  227. are choices we can make
    to make a better world.
  228. Thank you.
  229. (Applause)