Tag Archives: Ted Talk

Geez-Louise, Dad (J.K.)

Churn this around in your head.  It’s not that adults produce children.  It’s that children produce adults.

I was mulling about children in light of relatively new evidence that my teenager doesn’t think I’m as cool as she did when she was, say 6 years old. Or even 12.  Or even last year.  I have gone from amazingly cool to occasionally embarrassing. I was dismayed to feel the umbilical chord stretch for the very first time this Fall. We have had such a great run that I thought we would be immune forever. However, I am accepting of my new status partly because I have hope. That the chord will bounce back like a taut elastic.    In time.    Indeed, I am certain of it.

Because I too felt embarrassed by my own dad growing up. Painfully at times, telling my classmates about whole grains and the benefits of vegetarianism and meditation. But I’ve gotten past that. Or maybe the world just caught up?

Well, to be honest, he embarrasses me still. With different things. Here’s a current example; in his just-released TEDx UW talk, he shows a picture of me in hospital, clutching my IV pole and – hold on gentle readers – wearing a non-Stephens’ Sisters Shopping Diet hospital gown.

Joking aside, all the above is a rambling preamble for his wonderful talk. Check it out:

Truth is always stranger than fiction. When people ask me about my dad, I never know where or how to begin. So I’m super stoked that his talk is out. It’s a tip of the iceberg introduction: his paintings, his inspiring life path, his marriage to my (equally interesting) Indian mother and yes even our live liver donation story (now you are in on the hospital gown reference — Heck I’ll embarrass myself if it spurs someone else to donate their liver.)

On the quest for transparency, truth and social justice, it’s normal to embarrass your kids occasionally. Right? But every so often I’m surprised when my munchkins beg in stereo, “Mom please don’t talk about pesticides with [so and so]’s parents.” I smile quietly.  Sometimes I can’t help but say “You will understand when you’re older.” I feel that sharing valuable information with my fellow humans is worth a little un-comfortability. Because if you always stay within your cocoon of ease, can you make meaningful change?       Can you?

What do you think? I want to know.

I’ll close this post with the words of Russell Brand, who will certainly embarrass his kids. (A lot):

“Rebel children, I urge you, fight the turgid slick of conformity with which they seek to smother your glory.”

Erin Brockovich of Food

“Let love be your rocket fuel”

– Robyn O’Brian

I attended a blogger event yesterday in Seattle in support of Washington State’s I522 GMO Labelling campaign.  It was a breakfast sponsored by Nature’s Path and Stoneyfield Farms.  For me it was a last minute affair; I had only found out about it the day before.  Asked to speak, I went having a hunch that I would be inspired.  I was.

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I met several amazing folks, working tirelessly to make GMO labelling happen.  I met fellow moms and bloggers, such as Emily  from http://emmycooks.com/.  I also met Keith Tucker who is making a film called ‘Hip Hop is Green’.  Keith said, “Think “Forks over Knives”. Think Hip Hop. Think “FoodInc”. I’m bringing it all together.”  What do I think? I think hell yeah! I think change for good. Keith’s project is called “Pursuit of a Green Planet”  http://poagp.com/  Bring it ON Keith.  (A Journalist, Keith also knows the Gangster Gardener that I posted about previously!).  The worlds needs to harness the incredible momentum of youth and music and ideals.   We must foster Shameless Idealists!


Above I’m standing with author Robyn O’Brian and Delana Jones, campaign manager for YES on I 522

I had the honour and privilege to speak right before Robyn O’Brien.  Robyn is the Erin Brockovich of food.  She is endorsed by none other than Erin Brockovich herself.  A bombshell (Note to self: get Robyn for Style-Diet Shot!), Robyn explained in her mild-mannered but potent way what is wrong with our food supply and how we must take back the right to know what we’re eating.  Her voice trembled with emotion as she spoke about the current generation of American kids called Generation Rx.  Rx is short-hand for prescription drugs (in case you didn’t make this connection immediately).  These Rx’ers are the first generation of American kids to have a shorter expected life span compared to their parents.  Cancer is now the leading cause of death for children under 15.  1 out two men are expected to get cancer and 1 in three women.

But hang on….  Only 10% of cancers are genetic.  That means 90% of cancers are preventable.

Shaking her head, Robyn didn’t want to know what she had learned.  Whereas I have grown up in the Health/Natural Food/Organic world, Robyn comes from a conservative Texas family.  Robyn’s rude awakening was after her daughter suffered an allergic reaction at breakfast one morning.  She soon found herself “under the belly of the beast”, when she tried to determine the causes of allergies.  

Robyn thinks it’s less about people being allergic to food and more about being allergic to what has been done TO foods since the 1990s.  This is the time when GMOs were released into the food supply after industry-provided 3 month-long rat studies.  Her case in convincing and she was compelled to write a book about it, calling herself the most unlikely person ever to be a food crusader.  http://www.robynobrien.com/

Unhealthy Truth

Robyn, a true patriot, has a message of love and compassion.  She moved me over and over again to tears during her speech.  She also made me laugh!  Robyn said to approach and broach the issue with our loved ones.  With love.


“Let Love be your rocketfuel.  Love is something we all have in spades.”