What’s the deal with bees? They’re more important than you think. 

You may have heard that bees are dying off in massive numbers. But did you know that bees are crucial to your almond milk latte, and that more than one third of the world’s crop production depends on bee pollination? Well, it’s time to learn.

1. Take Bee 101 with bee expert Marla Spivak, who broke down the scary realities bees face on this planet and made us all want to be beekeepers at TEDGlobal 2013.

2. Brush up on the issues honey bees face in cities and learn how urban beekeepers are trying to make cities safe for these very important insects in Noah Wilson-Rich’s TEDxBoston talk, "Every city needs healthy honey bees."

Also, we found this awesome fact: When bees pollinate a flower, they vibrate the flower at the frequency of a musical C note. 

(Photos: Flickr user Liz; a gif from Louie Schwartzberg’s TEDxSF talk; Flickr user Dan Mullen)

For Julia Child’s birthday, 3 TEDx Talks to chew on

image
Julia faces off with a swordfish (via pbs-food)

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook — try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and, above all, have fun!”
― Julia Child, My Life in France

It’s hard to deny Julia Child’s vast contributions the world of gastronomy. The charismatic, colorful Californian-turned-Francophone-turned-chef-turned-PBS-host introduced a world of readers and TV viewers to classical French cooking, inspired an infamous Saturday Night Live sketch, wrote a memoir and scores of cookbooks, all while seemingly having a whole lot of fun. To honor what would have been The French Chef's 101st birthday, we bring you 3 very appetizing TEDx Talks from food lovers of all kinds.


Writing with Julia: Alex Prud’homme at TEDxMiddlebury
Alex Prud’homme is the great nephew of Julia Child, and the person who persuaded her into (and helped with) writing her famed memoir, My Life in France, the base material for half of the recent film, Julie and Julia. Enjoy this wonderful tribute to the French Chef from Prud’homme, whose affectionate impressions of her famous voice and tales of telling her story are sure to please.

The reach of a restaurant: Thomas Keller at TEDxEast
Thomas Keller, another Gallophile chef, gave this passionate talk at TEDxEast on the beauty of culinary arts. Like Julia, he speaks ardently of the experience of cooking and eating — something that he feels leave impressions in chefs’ and diners’ lives forever. Look for him the next time you watch the Pixar filmRatatouille, in which he can be seen dining in Paris.

Creativity in cooking can solve our biggest problems: José Andrés at TEDxMidAtlantic
José Andrés is a chef who believes in the power of creativity. In this rousing talk at TEDxMidAtlantic, he discusses how stepping out of your comfort zone can be the first step in landing onto a new creation and discovering solutions to problems you didn’t know you could solve. Don’t watch this talk hungry, because the video of José’s team making liquid-nitrogen-almond-ice-cream-bowls topped with blue cheese mousse might drive you crazy.

Can someone pass the cronut? TEDxSeoul speaker takes on the power of food diaspora and the appearance of cronuts in Korea.

In 2010, blogger and food enthusiast Joe McPherson gave an informative and hilarious talk at TEDxSeoul on the introduction of Korean food into America. And now, on his blog ZenKimchi, he tackles an American food transplant in Koreathe cronut.

Now, what is a cronut? A donut-croissant hybrid that is causing mass hysteria in New York City, inspiring the cronut curious to wait in line for hours just to get a taste of the tasty treat.

A few weeks ago, McPherson reported on the appearance of a cronut-lookalike in Seoul, what bakers at Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Korea are calling the “New York Pie Donut.” (Pictured above below the original New York cronut.)

After such a discovery
(made by Korean dessert adventurer Deh Tow), we can’t help but be reminded of McPherson’s talk, which includes gems like: “Americans love tacos. So put kimchi in a taco. Americans love kimchi now.”

Watch Joe
McPherson’s entire talk below, and learn more about cronuts and the New York Pie Donut at his blog.


(Photos: Top, cronut from Dominique Ansel Bakery, photo by Liz Barclay; Bottom, New York Pie Donut via ZenKimchi, photo by Deh Tow)

Behold — the first lab-grown hamburger! And a TEDx Talk to pair it with

imageA burger made from Cultured Beef. Photo credit: David Parry / PA Wire

Today, the very first lab-grown hamburger was cooked. And eaten! And apparently it didn’t taste too bad!

The burger is a product of Cultured Beef, a project born at Maastricht University in The Netherlands and headed by Professor Mark Post, a specialist in tissue engineering and TEDx speaker.

The lab-grown patty apparently took two years to produce and $325,000 to fund — money donated by Sergey Brin, Google co-founder and TED speaker.

At TEDxHaarlem, Professor Post gave a talk called Meet the new meat, during which introduced Cultured Beef to the world, explaining the process behind its growth and the future he envisions for in-vitro meat.

From his talk:

This hamburger contains 60 billion cells. Now, that’s a lot. You need to culture a lot of cells. You need to somehow find a way to do that efficiently because, remember, we have to be more efficient than the cow or the pig…

It has to be efficient and it has to also be meat. Not some kind of substitute. We have more than enough substitutes from vegetable proteins. It needs really to be meat. Nothing less, nothing more…

It takes about 7-8 weeks to grow a muscle fiber, and so, also 7-8 weeks to grow a hamburger. You could do it at home if you like … If you have the right materials, it’s very, very easy to do. And in fact [the] stem cells … they survive freeze-drying, so you could envision that over the Internet we would eventually sell little, sort of, tea bags of stem cells — from tuna, from tiger, from cows, from pigs, from whatever animal you could imagine. Then, in the comfort of your own kitchen, you could grow your own tissue. You would have to know what you want to eat 8 weeks in advance — because it takes a while. 

The cooked and served burger was made from “around 20,000 muscle strands grown in Mark Post’s laboratory,” says Cultured Beef, “with a little egg powder and breadcrumbs and a few other common burger ingredients.” Now, that doesn’t sound half bad.

For more about Cultured Beef watch Professor Post’s entire talk, or take a look at their website. For more TEDx Talks, visit our website.