The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative operates urban farms in Detroit. This is a great group of young folks committed to urban farming and reinvigorating the city of Detroit. In this Skype conversation Molly Hubbell- Vice President and Pinky Jones – Farm manager talk with me about urban farming, the struggles of intercity folks to access food in a bankrupt city.
I first learned about Robyn O’Brien through a random internet search. She has a really good TED-X talk about food allergies and their link to food. In her book, The Unhealthy Truth, she shares her story about her children’s food allergies and the fight to overcome them.
I talk with her about food, food allergies, disease and global health and food trends.
Here’s her story from her website:
“Robyn O’Brien’s message describes the toxic tangle of American food, government, and culture. THE UNHEALTHY TRUTH is a healthy dose of medicine that we all need to swallow, and I say this as an advocate for the environment, but more importantly, as a father of five.” —Graydon Carter, Editor-in-chief, Vanity Fair
A former financial and food industry analyst who had the opportunity to meet Goldman Sachs’ Henry Paulson, Ebay’s Meg Whitman and Martha Stewart while working on the desk, Robyn O’Brien triggered an allergic reaction in the food industry when she asked: “Are we allergic to food or what’s been done to it?”
She is a best-selling author, public speaker, strategist and mother of four. She brings insight and detailed analysis to her research on the health of the American food system as documented in her first book, The Unhealthy Truth, and has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by the New York Times.
Her work has appeared on CNN, the Today Show, Good Morning America, FOX News, in the Washington Post and countless media outlets, and she currently writes a popular column for Prevention while serving as the Executive Director of the AllergyKids Foundation and doing strategic advisory work for companies making trend-setting changes in the food industry.
Robyn has been named by SHAPE Magazine as a “Women To Shape the World”, along with First Lady Michelle Obama, by Forbes Woman as one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter,”and by The Discovery Channel as one of its 15 Top Visionaries. Her TEDx talks have been widely received.
Recruited by institutions like Enron and the oil and gas industry, Robyn grew up in Houston before moving to Colorado and is the founder of the AllergyKids Foundation, a 501 c3 non-profit.
The mission of AllergyKids is to make clean and safe food affordable to all families. Her focus is on restoring the health of American families in order to address the burden that disease in placing on our economy. AllergyKids addresses the needs of the 1 in 3 American children that now has allergies, autism, ADHD and asthma and the role that additives in our food supply are having on our health. The Foundation also works closely with those fighting cancer, particularly those with specific dietary needs.
On Mother’s Day 2009, Random House published her acclaimed book, “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It” and today, Robyn is regarded as a food and health expert and sought after speaker who lectures and writes extensively, addressing the economic burden that disease is placing on our families, our companies and our country.
Robyn earned an MBA on a full scholarship, graduating as the top woman in her class. And today, her work is recognized and supported by renowned individuals such as Dr. Oz, Robert Kennedy Jr., Ted Turner, Bonnie Raitt and Prince Charles.
Since giving her first TEDx talk in which she discusses research she conducted six years ago, the World Health Organization now reports that the U.S. ranks 7th out of almost 200 countries worldwide in cancer rates due to the remarkable efforts to reduce tobacco use in our country.
And she firmly believe that while we can’t change the beginning of our stories, we can change the end. And hope is the knowledge that change is possible, even when it seems hard to imagine.