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Food gurus at TEDxQueenstown

April 8, 2016 Conferences No Comments Print Print Email Email

Ideas-sharing event TEDxQueenstown has announced that two food gurus will be joining the line-up on April 17th 2016.

Niki Bezzant, editor-in-chief of New Zealand’s leading food magazine, Healthy Food Guide, will join farmer and CEO of Otama Homestead Neil Gardyne on stage at the Queenstown Memorial Centre next week.

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The pair will join a line-up of ten speakers and performers at the non-profit event, which is curated and organised by volunteers from the Queenstown community. Based on world-wide ideas-sharing phenomenon TED (technology, education and design), speakers have 18 minutes in which to share ‘ideas worth spreading’.

Working with the event’s ‘connexions’ theme, Niki Bezzant will be tackling the tricky topic of how to eat well in a noisy world. The founding editor of Health Food Guide, Niki has transformed the magazine into an informative, understandable guide on how to eat well.

“There’s never been more advice on how to eat,” says Niki.

“But it’s never been so confusing, we need to have a rethink about how we understand nutrition.”

Niki is a weekly columnist for the Herald on Sunday, she’s the author of two cookbooks and is a regular contributor on TV and radio. Despite this, TEDxQueenstown is Niki’s first time doing “this kind of speaking”.

“I’ve always wanted to do TEDx, I’m having fun preparing and it seems like a great event and an opportunity.”

Neil Gardyne has spent a lifetime producing food for people. He gained a Diploma in Agriculture at Lincoln College in 1986 and alongside his wife Philippa has grown Otama Homestead to 13,000 stock units. Neil and his family hit headlines around the world four years ago after introducing the use of drones into agriculture.

The idea came from his then 11-year-old son Mark, who after watching a documentary about drone use in Afghanistan, asked his father if drones would be a good way of observing stock.

Caste sheep (who’ve fallen on their backs and are unable to get up) are a huge source of frustration to farmers. If the sheep aren’t found within 24 hours, they die.

“Using drones means we don’t have to physically get out there and find the sheep, it’s our ‘eyes in the sky’,” says Neil.
“The sound of the drones if often enough to get them back on their feet, too.”

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“Now we’re also getting scientific data back, apps that can count the sheep, measure grass growth… it helps us to be pro-active rather than re-active.”

Neil will talk about ‘agricultural resilience,’ engaging the next generation of farmers and thinking about how, in an increasingly populated world, our food producers will keep up with demand.

Tickets for TEDxQueenstown sell out every year. Available fromEventfinda.co.nz and the TEDxQueenstown website, tickets cost $138.

The half-day event promises a jam-packed programme of speakers, performers, local food and beverages and a few surprises on the day.

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