11 Year Old Birke Baehr “What’s Wrong With our Food System”

In this surprise keynote at the TED-X Next Generation Asheville gathering eleven-year-old Birke Baehr presents his concern about misleading food advertising aimed at children. Birke was the youngest presenter at the conference where he gave the talk entitled, “What’s Wrong With our Food System” which became the most watched TEDx talk of all time with over 350,000+ views. The talk was also featured on TED.com. Birke is passionate about continuing to spread his message for change, as he says in his TEDx talk, “one kid at a time”.

Baehr takes issue with corporations that try to sell food to children that are not healthy for them, or packaged in a way that isn’t good for the environment. He explains that colorful packaging, plastic toys and sneaky branding are all devices used by marketers to influence children into making poor nutritional decisions. Birke also delves into topics pertaining to food genetic modification and the history of this technology as it relates to major players in the food industry. By showing the attendees of this event how much of the food we consume has the possibility of being detrimental to our health, Birke Baehr is then able to give them advice for how to be selective when choosing food products and reveals his plan for how we can all make an impact on the food industry by choosing organic and local products.

Retailers and their Private Brands have the opportunity to learn from this precocious 11-year old. We have the opportunity to embrace change and create brands and products that make our bodies healthier and our lives longer. Are you ready to take the challenge?



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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.