Celebrating 2015 with Change Food

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Group of ducks walking together ina field at Hudson Valley Foie Gras in Ferndale, NY.

Group of ducks walking together in a field at Hudson Valley Foie Gras in Ferndale, NY.

Change Food is proud to celebrate another year of educating and advocating for a more sustainable food system. July was the end of our 2014-2015 year and marks our second anniversary.  As the scope of Change Food’s impact expands, we are raising awareness, activating consumers and helping make the changes necessary so that healthy, delicious, safe food is accessible to all. Keep reading to learn what we’ve been up to this year.  And check out our recently redesigned and relaunched website!

TEDxManhattan Retires

From 2011 to 2015, Change Food founder and executive director Diane Hatz also acted as licensee, host and organizer of TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat,” a multifaceted and influential series of annual events that explored both the problems and solutions with today’s food and food system. Its reach included 7.2 million YouTube views, 608 million media impressions, and 494 off-site viewing parties. As summed up by founder and president Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group, “This institution, TEDxManhattan, has changed the food movement.”

Though “Changing the Way We Eat” retired as of April 2015, Change Food will continue to produce events and conferences concerning sustainable food and farming (see below!). The official statement released by licensee Diane Hatz and TED is as follows:

“TED and the TEDxManhattan licensee have mutually agreed to retire the TEDxManhattan event as it previously existed under Diane Hatz from 2011 to 2015. TEDxManhattan licensee Diane Hatz will continue with a food and farming focused event separate from TED, the TEDx program and TEDxManhattan. She will be exploring new opportunities and experiences within this exciting field, and while the TEDxManhattan event as she led it will be retired, Diane will continue to be an active supporter and member of the global TEDx community.

All TEDxManhattan videos and photos will remain online and be available to the public to honor the event team, community and speakers from previous TEDxManhattan events.

The TEDxManhattan licensee thanks TED for the opportunity over six years to organize and host TEDxManhattan and to be a part of TED.”


For detailed information about TEDxManhattan and its impact, read this farewell piece by Brittany Barton, Contributing Writer for Change Food.


Change Food Fest

Change Food produces events and uses resulting resources as a way to educate and activate change, and we’re excited to be organizing the Change Food Fest, coming Fall 2016. The Change Food Fest will be a multifaceted experience focusing on live talks, panel discussions, adventures, experiences and viewing parties.  We’re even planning an art exhibition that focuses on food and farming.

At the Change Food Fest, we’ll focus on real change happening with our food system, as well as look at the investment money and startups exploding in the food space.  The insights and information provided by these experts will be transformed into videos and educational resources that will be housed in the Change Food Video Library, so even when the Change Food Fest has ended, its impact can continue to grow. The Change Food Fest will also provide numerous networking opportunities for food movement and food business leaders.

We anticipate a physical attendance of approximately 500 hundred people and hope to see you there! Stay tuned for information regarding tickets, location, and final schedule. If you or your business is interested in potentially partnering with Change Food for this event, a  summary of sponsorship opportunities is available. For any inquiries, please contact Executive Director Diane Hatz at diane (at) changefood (dot) org.


Relaunch of Guide 2 Good Food

After a short hiatus, Change Food’s Guide 2 Good Food Blog returned in September 2015. The Guide 2 Good Food features insights, tips and information about how to eat more sustainably, as well as highlights on Change Food friends and former TEDxManhattan speakers, and reviews of our favorite books, art installations, and general news in the food space.

Since its relaunch, the Guide 2 Good Food has incorporated four new sections: Reading for Change, See Change, Be Change and Community Connections. Under “Reading for Change,” readers can learn about new releases as well as the tried and true books about food. The inaugural post, featured November 2015, is about Dana Gunders’ “Waste Free Kitchen Handbook.” Fans of Reading for Change will be able to catch a new review at least once monthly.

See Change focuses on visual representations of food and the food system and includes film/documentaries, photography, public artworks, and more. Recent posts have included a review of Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin’s newest photoseries and the new documentary by Director Susan Rockefeller, Food for Thought, Food for Life.

The third section, Be Change, provides readers with information necessary to make responsible and ethical choices when it comes to purchasing their food, aligning with Change Food’s overall mission. For example, a recent post by contributing writer Brittany Barton outlines how to revamp the traditional Thanksgiving meal, increasing both sustainability and flavor.

Community Connections is our effort to bring the Change Food community closer together.  At least once a month, we will highlight a member of the Change Food network through both our blog and our newsletter.

Since January 2015, the Guide 2 Good Food Blog has been visited by readers from every continent except Antarctica, in over 70 countries and by thousands of people — a number that grows every day!


Change Food Video Library and Educational Kits

In July 2015, Change Food soft launched its Video Library. Even though the site is being redesigned and finalized, the library is live and functional. Visitors can choose from a selection of 20 topics, or search by partner (Change Food, TEDx, and TEDxManhattan so far), in order to find information on nearly any subject concerning food. There are currently 100+ videos available for viewing. Our goal is to develop an Educational Kit for all Change Food/TEDxManhattan videos and, if possible, for all the videos in the library. Resources include campaigns, discussion questions, publications, organizations/companies working on the issue, and things you can do.

In the 2014-2015 year, Change Food added 9 Educational Kits to the video library, available for free to anyone who wishes to use them. They include:



Change Food had the pleasure of producing and hosting two Salons this past year. Salons are events, debates, discussions, and experiences organized by Change Food, with the purpose of deeply exploring topics related to food and farming. These Salons allow audiences to actively engage with experts in the food movement, while grappling with complex and multifaceted issues. The two Change Food Salons produced this year were entitled “Facing Factory Farms” and “Meat Labels: Natural No More.”

Meat Labels: Natural No More was held November 13th, 2014, in New York City. The aim of this Salon was to confront the mislabeling of meat products in the United States. Why are some meat products labelled “natural” and what does that mean? Many Americans actually don’t know the answer to these questions, and for example, instead believe it can mean that the animal was given more access to fresh air, or less antibiotic exposure. Speakers included:

  • Chuck Eggert, Founder and President of Pacific Foods
  • Urvashi Rangan, Consumers Union (derivative of Consumer Reports)
  • Andrew Gunther, Animal Welfare Approved

For more information on the Meat Labels: Natural No More Salon, as well as educational materials related to the topic, click here.

Speaker Kendra Kimbirauskas at the Change Food "Facing Factory Farms" Salon.

Speaker Kendra Kimbirauskas at the Change Food “Facing Factory Farms” Salon.

Our second Salon of the year, Facing Factory Farms, was held June 16th, also in New York City. This Salon featured two 2015 TEDxManhattan speakers and their videos: Michele Merkel’s “Using the Legal System to Fight Factory Farms,” and Kendra Kimbirauskas’ “Don’t Let the Good Food Movement Only Feel Good.”

After watching the TEDxManhattan videos, the audience was able to engage with Michele and Kendra regarding the current state of industrial/factory farming and what can be done to combat it. Tickets were sold to students, members of Norwood, and the general public. To read more about Facing Factory Farms, visit the Guide 2 Good Food.



This October, Change Food officially launched the Quickbites series — short video clips from leading experts in the food movement.  They conveniently provide us with the advice, inspiration, and information to make important changes, all in one to two minutes. The videos are still being publicly released but can all be found on the Change Food YouTube Channel.

Questions answered included:

  • What are you doing to change the Food System?
  • How do consumers impact the Food System?
  • Who in the food movement inspires you?
  • Name one thing you can do for the Food System.
  • How should the Food System change?
  • What is your vision for the Food System?
  • What is the biggest problem in the Food System?
Tom Colicchio Quickbite

Quickbites speaker Tom Colicchio in “Name one thing you can do for the Food System.”

These questions were answered by some of the leading experts in the food movement, who offered their perspective to the public in order to motivate, inform, and spark real change. Speakers included Tom Colicchio of Top Chef and Crafted Hospitality, Michele Merkel of Food & Water Justine, Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer, and Food & Wine’s Editor in Chief, Dana Cowin. To date, the channel features 94 videos. Top-viewed videos, by speaker, are as follows:


Change Food in the Media

Change Food has had the pleasure of gaining media attention for our many accomplishments this past year. Executive Director Diane Hatz has been interviewed by programs like Voice of America, participated as a speaker at the Aspen Forum (Expo Milano), participated in podcasts, sat down with organizers of TEDxBrussels, all of which expanded Change Food’s reach to every corner of the globe. Media coverage of Change Food included, but is not limited to:


Donate to Change Food via our Crowdrise Campaign!

Change Food envisions a world where healthy, safe and sustainable food are abundant and accessible to all people. In order to make this vision reality, we work to produce educational resources and organize events so that individuals can become changemakers in their own communities, wherever they are in the world.  Donate to Change Food so we can keep up all our work.

Because of Change Food programs, businesses have been developed, community gardens have been planted and maintained, programs to feed low-income communities via food truck have been initiated, educational programs at places like the New York Botanical Garden have been implemented, a healthy food outlet was introduced to New York’s Battery Park… and the list goes on and on.

But we can only make these changes with you. Transforming the food system is a collaborative effort; one that requires work at the grassroots level, as well as large-scale, macro efforts. Consider doing your part this holiday season by contributing to our Crowdrise fundraising campaign. Your donation, no matter the size, goes towards the management of programs that are changing lives. And there are perks – our friends at ThriveMarket.com have partnered with us to provide you with free memberships at the $30 and $60 giving levels.

Here’s what others have to say about Change Food’s impact:

“Change Food is one of the organizations leading the American food movement. Diane Hatz has the ability to connect eaters, business, and policymakers to help create a better food system! I’m proud to have Change Food as a partner.”

Danielle Nierenberg, Co-Founder and President, Food Tank

“Diane is passionate and tirelessly dedicated to improving the food system. Not just in her words but in her actions and organization skills, she has given a voice to a community of many small and diverse components working to change the food system. Following her example, we are inspired to do more, believe, and help each other.  I think her broad experience, willingness to listen, openness to new ideas and information, her humility and, not least ability, to execute on all these is unparalleled. In what was TedXManhattan and is now Change Food she has truly created something out of nothing. I am extremely grateful personally for having met Diane and being able to support her and Change Food in any way I can.”

-Tama Matsuoka Wong, Founder & CEO, Meadows and More

“I am in awe of Diane’s ability to identify pioneers and leaders in the food world, and bring them together to share their knowledge and passion with each other and the world.  Diane’s events are powerful and inspiring.  I am so grateful to be included in her Change Food ‘family’  – people who are determined to help improve how we farm and eat in this country.”

-Myra Goodman, Founder, Earthbound Farm


For more information about what your Year End gift to Change Food can do, visit our fundraising page.

The 2014-2015 year has been a developmental year for Change Food; our programs are continuing to grow in scope and influence. It is truly a pivotal, exciting time to be involved in the food movement — the good news is, Change Food makes it easy for you to stay educated and active. The best way to stay up to date with what’s going on is to subscribe to our newsletter, and, of course, for any other information, visit our website.
Diane and everyone at Change Food wish you a healthy, happy and delicious holiday and New Year!


Kelly Mertz earned her undergraduate degree in International Studies and French Language from American University, where she focused on International Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is fascinated by public nutritional health campaigns and the politics of food aid.

Change Food® works toward a healthier food system for people, animals & the planet.  Learn more about Plant Eat Share – planting food in public spaces. For free.