TED Conversations

Steven Rader

Deputy Manager - NASA's Center of Excellence for Collaborative I, NASA - Johnson Space Center

TEDCRED 20+

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Connecting to create a "Crowd-Sourced Food Supply"

The idea would be to create a crowd-source site that could connect people interested in gardening, farming, and organic foods. The site would facilitate supply and demand of organic produce by coordinating planting, crowing, harvesting, distribution by the community. The site could facilitate local farmers markets and local events, but it could also facilitate buying hard to find produce from someone half way around the world. The site would use best practices for crowd-source communities to ensure appropriate member qualifications/behaviors/etc. With the right implementation and growth, this network of growers and consumers could create an alternate food supply to the industrial/GMO based food supply and promote healthy foods. Additionally, since it is totally distributed growing, it would be very robust to weather & disasters and create a food supply that was both locally and globally robust. There are many different possibilities to this. For instance, folks with less than green thumbs (like me) could start gardens and with coaching/reminders from the crowd, help nurture it to harvest. Start adding in remote sensing/moisture control/camera, and folks who like to nurture gardens could potentially take care of 10-20 different remote gardens. The crowd-sourcing model has lots of different feature that could be applied here depending on how creative and "out there" you like to get. This concept just seemed to be ripe for consideration.

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    Feb 25 2011: I should add that another major influencer in this concept was Robin O'Brien's talk on Food Allergies at TEDxAustin 2011.