Wednesday, 19 June 2013 20:27

Birke Baehr

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Birke Baehr HuffingtonPost.com
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Birke Baehr is a youth advocate for sustainable food and farming. His TEDx 2010 talk is at one point the most watched TEDx video in history with almost 2 million views in YouTube and counting.. He was only 11 years old that time, making him the youngest TEDx speaker. He confidently spoke about a subject even some adults had little to no knowledge at all. Birke earnestly applied to become a TEDx speaker because he is out to get answers to his question: “What's wrong with our food system?”

Achievements

Why Birke Baehr is Extraordinary

We don’t expect kids to care about things deemed too profound for them to understand. That’s why Birke Baehr had to convince people that he is serious about getting answers to his question that went like this: “What is Wrong with Our Food System.” He’s only 11 years old when he spoke at TEDx and answered the question within five minutes, convincing people to take his crusade on sustainable farming seriously.

TEDx 2010 Speaker: Youngest and Most Viewed

You are probably one of the almost 2 million people who have viewed Birke’s TEDx speech on sustainable farming. Since his video was uploaded on YouTube, it has been viewed millions of times because of the sheer passion Birke demonstrated that people rarely see in an 11–year–old kid. Birke’s message was simple for adults to understand: “So next time you're at the grocery store, think local, choose organic, know your farmer and know your food.” But coming from a kid, it gives the message a new dimension.

Since he was told about the presence of mercury in high-fructose corn syrup, an artificial sweetener used by food manufacturers, he began to be more careful of what he eats. From researching about GMO and CAFOs to meeting organic farmers, Birke has done them all to make sure that he understands the basic issues of food capitalism. He didn’t like the fact that people fall prey to giant fast-food manufacturers and concessionaires who do not care less about the long-term effects of the elements they use to enhance their products.

His activism led him to look for a platform where he could take his message across a wider audience. TEDx gave him that opportunity. What began as an innocent distaste of GMOs soon became a vocation for Birke. In fact, he no longer wants to be a National Football League player. He thinks he’d make a really good organic farmer and so he’s changing gears.

Birke is now 14 years old but his ambition is yet to change:

“I envision myself as a speaker and teacher of the real cost of what industrial food has done to health, nutrition and diet while being a student of solutions to the industrial food system such as chemical free farming, permaculture, organic and biodynamic farming methods. I intend to use my influence to wake people up to the problems then present solutions and work towards purchasing land to start my own farm.” (Source: LinkedIn)

This boy has no intention of becoming a celebrity. He wants his voice and message to be heard for one thing:

“My purpose is to share with others what I discover from researching the industrial food system and to learn from farmers who are using sustainable farming methods to produce nutrient dense chemical free food.” (Source: LinkedIn)

If you’re wondering what he’s up to, this pretty much sums up his mission:

“My mission is to educate others about the problems of the industrialized food system while presenting solutions to that system by choosing local, organic and sustainable food.” (Source: LinkedIn)

Let’s help Birke in his crusade, not for his sake but for our own. As he said, "Eat good food and you stay healthy. Eat bad food and you get sick." Besides, his argument that it’s better to spend money on good food rather than on paying hospital bills really makes sense. We don’t know about you, but we’re going to start minding what we eat.

Top Reasons why Birke Baehr is Extraordinary

  1. He is the Youngest Tedx speaker at 11 years old
  2. He has had over 2 million downloaded views about his sustainable farming presentation in last 12 months
  3. He no longer wants to be a National Football League Player. He wants to be an organic farmer!
  4. His mission is to educate people about the problems of industrialized food while presenting solutions to organic & sustainable farming
  5. He’s got an awesome Tennessee attitude and pronunciation!
  6. He’s got his own documentary called “Choice Point” releasing 2013
  7. I can’t list all his awards here, but there are lots, for such a young guy!
  8. He inspires and educates young and old about what we are truly doing to our bodies when we choose price and low quality over, higher quality, organic and sustainable foods, the long term health care cost and consequences of our decisions.
  9. He inspires all with his passion, crusade and dream, by being committed what's truly important while using his platform of success as an opportunity to improve the lives of others!
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