Wellbody Blog

At Professor Wellbody's Academy of Health & Wellness, we understand there's only one thing harder than making healthy behavior changes: Sticking to them! We all need a little help from our friends, and that's the purpose of the Wellbody Blog, a friendly online gathering spot--a community well--where you can dip into health news; wellness tips; recipes; latest research about nutrition, exercise, sleep and hygiene; plus, real stories from virtual neighbors who are also trying to change their lives for the better. Start from wherever you are; share ideas, information, inspiration. At Pacific Science Center, we believe each of us can do something everyday to improve our health and well-being.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.

Meet An 11-year-old Food Activist

It's been three years since Birke Baehr, then 11 years old, gave a talk called "What's Wrong With Our Food System" at the TEDx conference in Asheville, North Carolina. It became one of TED's most-watched talks, an Internet sensation with close to 2 million views.

In five jam-packed minutes, Birke combines the passion of a child with the authority of a grown-up food activist to talk about how:

  • flashy advertising and cheap plastic toys lure kids to beg their parents to buy food that isn't good for their health or the environment.
  • genetically modified tomatoes—injected with the DNA of fish—cause cancer.
  • runoff from pesticides and herbicides is poisoning the earth.
  • he decided to trade in his dream of becoming an NFL football player to pursue organic farming – so he could have  greater impact on the world.
  • he and his brother and sister actually like to eat baked kale chips.

Birke became interested in organic food after a newspaper story about mercury in high fructose corn syrup inspired him to learn more about industrialized agriculture. At the time, his parents thought organic food was too expensive. The family ate conventional foods, packaged foods, fast foods. No soda at home, but they did drink it at restaurants. Birke told them, "It seems to me, we can either pay the farmer or we can pay the hospital..."

Now 14, Birke has convinced his parents to buy local, sustainable organic foods whenever possible. He's written a book, Birke on the Farm – A Boy's Quest for Real Food; appeared in two documentaries, Choice Point and Bite Size, exploring issues of childhood obesity. Birke speaks frequently about agriculture and food safety at conferences, including one in Rome, where they nicknamed him, in Italian, "the little organic farmer."

Birke's message to other kids: "You shouldn't wait to speak your mind. I wanted to be an organic farmer when I grow up, but I'm learning I can be one right now."

Check out the Influence Decoder in Wellbody Academy's Wellbody Hall to explore how advertising influences your food decisions. Did you know every year the food industry spends more than $1.7 billion marketing to adolescents and children? Most food industry advertising is used to promote carbonated beverages, breakfast cereals and fast food restaurants.


  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Monday, 20 April 2015