The following is the full transcript of Robyn O’Brien’s talk at TEDxAustin 2011 where she shares her personal journey as a ‘Real Food’ evangelist.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Robyn O’Brien speaks at TEDxAustin 2011
Robyn O’Brien – Anti-GMO activist
Well, first of all, before I get started, I want to take the opportunity to thank all of you for being here, because you are a remarkable group of visionaries and leaders, and it is such an honor to spend this time with you today. So thank you for taking the time out of your weekend.
As I like to share, I am such an unlikely crusader for cleaning up the food supply. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas on Twinkies and po’ boys. I wasn’t a foodie. What I was, was the oldest of four children, and as you often hear about, I inherited absolutely every single one of those Type A overachieving genes you read about in a first-born child. And thankfully, I channeled that into business school. I received a full scholarship and graduated as the top woman in my class before going on to serve as a food industry analyst.
And when management teams would come through our offices from Whole Foods and Wild Oats, we kind of thought they had a nice marketing niche carved out. It was either “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” or some hippie thing. It just wasn’t something that we were particularly on board with.
And after doing that for a while, I traded the briefcase for a diaper bag, and with that same Type A energy, my husband and I had four kids in five years. And up until that point, I really had not given a lot of thought about what was in the food supply. I figured if it was on grocery store shelves, it was safe. Don’t tell me what to eat, and please do not tell me what to feed my kids. I had four picky eaters, limited time, limited budget, and I didn’t want to hear it.