Sustainable South: Sunny Young at TEDx Manhattan

sunny young TEDx
Good Food for Oxford Schools’ Sunny Young speaks at TEDx Manhattan

For Sustainable South, the TEDx Manhattan: Changing the Way We Eat Challenge every year is like the announcement of the James Beard Award finalists to the food world. Even more so this year. Our hometown’s very own Sunny Young spoke as a challenge winner this year. She delivered a talk on Good Food for Oxford Schools (we’ve written about that here), the program she leads bringing fresh foods into the lives of school children. She calls for all eyes on Mississippi, because we are making change.

Her talk, you can watch it below, highlights the progress made in Oxford, Mississippi, but illustrates concerns familiar to many public schools and communities across the nation.

“We’re at a pretty bad place when it comes to the health of our communities and the health of our children. So much so that the Center for Disease Control now says that our children might die at a younger age than their parents.”—Sunny Young speaking at TEDx Manhattan

Some of the scary statistics include:

  • 40% of Mississippi children eat less than 1 fruit or vegetable a day.
  • 40% of Mississippi children are overweight or obese.
  • 74% of parents are not concerned about their children’s weight.

Sunny asserts that we need a paradigm shift if we want to change these statistics. We need to change the way we think about and eat food.

Good Food for Oxford Schools (GFOS) sparks that change in Oxford. By engaging the cafeteria, classroom, and community, GFOS committed the school cafeterias to cooking 75% from scratch, introduced a harvest of the month vegetable, and continues to teach children the joy of food.

Watch her presentation. It’s really good. It’s really informative. It makes us proud!