Mom Talks About Taking on the Food Industry (VIDEO) | Civil Eats

Mom Talks About Taking on the Food Industry (VIDEO)

Robyn O’Brien, mother of four and author of The Unhealthy Truth, spoke at TEDxAustin recently about what led her from blue yogurt and “Leggo my Eggo” waffles to a crusade for better food for America’s kids. A former food industry analyst, she discussed what she discovered about food allergies and novel proteins in our food, the different rules food corporations follow abroad, and the costs for our health–all in a way that anyone can understand.

In speaking about our healthcare costs in the U.S.–16 percent of our GDP, the highest in the world–she said, “This very easily could be effecting our global competitiveness, because rather than driving profitability toward our core competencies in the global marketplace, we’re managing disease.”

You can watch her talk in its entirety here:

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

Today’s food system is complex.

Invest in nonprofit journalism that tells the whole story.

Paula Crossfield is a founder and the Editor-at-large of Civil Eats. She is also a co-founder of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Her reporting has been featured in The Nation, Gastronomica, Index Magazine, The New York Times and more, and she has been a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio. An avid cook and gardener, she currently lives in Oakland. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

  1. I've seen some of Robyn's work, but have never heard her speak before. Definitely inspiring. Thanks for sharing this.
  2. DawnDNew
    BLOWN AWAY! So proud of your work and am sharing with EVERYONE I know!
    Dawn
  3. Billy Wear
    Thank you ! Thank you!
    I'm a dad who has decided to change himself and to try to save my daughter who is seven by teaching her.
    Hey kids how bout a peanut butter sandwich and a nice cold glass of milk. Ouch! I think not!!!
    Mike thanks for passing this on.

    Thanks again ♥
    Billy W
  4. Inspiring video. I wish more moms and dads out there would be as brave as Robyn.
  5. Adriana
    What I love about this story is that motherhood was her point of radicalization--well, that and I love what a data geek she is.
  6. Incredibly compelling video about the unintended consequences that can result from our nation's food supply.
  7. Melinda Hemmelgarn
    Kim Severson at the NY Times wrote a terrific review of Robyn's work and history.
    A great read:
    www.nytimes.com/2008/01/09/dining/09alle.html
  8. How can we progress to a medical system that is centered on prevention and wellness, when we still struggle to ensure that our food is safe for consumption? There will always be disagreements about cause and effect but at least inform the public about issues such as these and let individuals make informed choices for themselves and their families.
  9. I am inspired to see this video.really moms are in the most important place to a child.
  10. Bravo, Bravo,Bravo! I am the mother of two severely food allergic children, and what you have just informed me of is infuriating. I'm blown away by this and want to know what I can do to help your cause.

    Thank you for your braveness!

    Stacey Rosebrock

More from

Food Safety

Featured

On stage at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, from left: Senator Cory Booker, Senator Mike Braun, White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, and Representative Jim McGovern. (Photo credit: Lisa Held)

Voices from the White House Conference on Hunger and Nutrition

The first conference of its kind in half a century brought together hundreds of anti-hunger advocates, nutritionists, researchers, farmers, and policymakers to hammer out a set of shared goals. Here’s what people were saying on the ground.

Popular

This Pastor Wants to Recreate a Black Farming Paradise in California

Allensworth, California (Photo credit: Wayne Hsieh via Flickr)

‘Slow Cooked’: How Food Policy Expert Marion Nestle Persisted

A collage of Marion Nestle present-day and the cover of her new memoir, slow cooked

The Field Report: Big Questions Linger About The White House Conference on Hunger

Volunteers load groceries into cars during an Alameda County Community Food Bank food giveaway on July 15, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Co-Op Grocery Stores Expand Their Mission to Equity and Food Justice

Detroit People’s Food Co-op Board Member Malik Yakini at the Detroit Food Commons construction site.