TED + Climate = Action

New TED climate campaign emphasizes that a delicious, nutritious future is possible—for farmers and the planet.


by Anna Lappé

When I started working on Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork more than a dozen years ago, I was fired up by Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. I was fired up not only because Gore helped me—and millions of others—see the true cost of the climate emergency, but because of what he didn’t show us: the story of food and climate.

What I was learning at the time was that our global food system was—and remains—a huge cause of the climate crisis. It’s estimated global food-related emissions, including deforestation driven by agribusiness, is a whopping one third of total emissions.

I’m thrilled that messages uniting the story of food system transformation and climate struggles are getting stronger every day. And I was more than delighted to be part of the launch of Countdown, a new TED climate campaign that includes food front and center, posing the question: How can we spark a worldwide shift to healthier food systems?

The good news is that the transformation needed to foster healthier diets will also create more resilient communities and reduce agriculture’s impact on climate. Through stories of citizen movements and food producer campaigns from the agricultural fields of Andra Pradesh, India, to the school cafeterias of Boston, Massachusetts, I am pleased to showcase the beacons of hope in our food system through this new initiative. These inspiring movements help us all see that a healthy, regenerative food system is possible—it’s underway around the world and we can be a part of it!