Adding LIFE to your years and years to your life!
In today's video I share with you my heart and desire for helping to bring real food to low income Americans, along with Paul Risse of Cleanse America, Jacqueline Corbett & Andrew Heinz of the RawFoodNetwork.com and many others who have also shared similar desires and visions in yesterday's Facebook interaction. If this topic is intriguing to you, please click here to view the dialog as it unfolded.
Jacqueline has done a fantastic job of bringing details of what's happening on a smaller scale together and you can find her information by clicking here. We hope to keep adding to this list of organizations, so please share your information with us in the comments below.
We really want to hear from you and have your thoughts and perspectives added into the mix. I realize that this is a very big picture concept, but one that I believe we need to see come together. With much community support, divine guidance and the right people in place, I can visualize it all flowing together to impact the health and food systems in our nation (and beyond!). Thank you in advance for your input, information and for sharing from your heart. I look forward to getting this dialog started!
I like that idea!
Ann Harper said:
Municipal planting from now on should be fruit and veggies so no one should go hungry. Have dentetion centers become working organic farms...so much could, should and can evolve to a sharing less greedy paradigm for humanity.
I have been donating my time to a local church food pantry, trying to teach people how they can make food a little healthier with what they have got by adding some fresh stuff to it. It makes me sad that the people I am meeting honestly dont know that eating an apple is healthy, or that you can have a salad taste good. Its really sad, I am so happy to be a part of helping people the best that I can though! I am really beginning to see that education is key here also. The people I am meeting, have no food education.
My eyes really got opened when I volunteered at our local Day Center for the Homeless for a year. My family and I would make meals at home (we were given specific recipes to make that were like casserole dishes) and then take the hot food to the shelter and then serve the folks. The food was truly awful quality, but I fell in love with the people.
Then when I served on the board of our local chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local and then was an advisor on the board of our largest Farmer's Market here in Tulsa.... I really learned so much and all of this has help me to have a little bit more clear understanding of the systems, the challenges and the opportunities. Our market vendors take SNAP, which is really awesome - but getting the people to the market to shop is often an issue.
Anyway, I have to go set up for the Best of Raw, but I just so appreciate ALL of your insights, information, personal experiences and ideas. I hope that no one will allow themselves to take any offense to any of this, because there is so much that we can agree on and that we can do to focus our collective energies in the direction of higher good. It will take a big village and so many people/organizations have been paving the way so beautifully in this direction!
I am inspired and hopeful. Love you all & I hope this conversation keeps evolving and expanding!
I've great appreciation for this interesting dialogue here on an important project. The importance of this American issue and willingness to help bring resolution can be a good introduction to young and old on the importance of understanding the political and legal issues of our local communities, state wide and federal. This is important because their are many good people that have been working on this hunger issue in America for years and run into roadblocks such have been mentioned within these comments and links. Knowledge is Power. That power helps in making our voices heard as we unite to change laws and policies that only serve big business. If any of you Rehabbers here in S/E Michigan have information to help me help this cause, please feel free to contact me. There are many struggling good people in this area.
Wow, the responses and reactions from people certainly give a glimpse as to the impact that can be made.
One more piece of synchronicity..... about a week and a half ago hubby and I watched a TV show on Food Network called "The Big Waste". The premise of the show was four of their chefs teaming up to use throw-away/waste food then creating several courses for 100 guests.
At first the chefs thought it was gross, thinking it meant garbage -- but then they realized that it was everything that all of you are saying here:
** food thrown because it's not perfect looking (slightly different color, a small blemish, etc) -- this on a farm, where they said their standard throw-away is 40-50% for these reasons. Not damage, etc.
** food thrown away -- still perfectly good, but it was for a party order that was canceled, and it would be too much work and expense to find another buyer
** food thrown away at bakeries because they didn't deal in day-old items with their clientele.
** And on and on.
Such an absolute waste.
(Truly dreaming here, I'm sure, but....) wouldn't it be nice if a huge "player" like the Food Network would run with the Real Food America idea and start partnering with SOMEBODY to stop the waste as well as getting this real food/health into the hands of everyone.
I mean -- my goodness!!! -- so many of these places were saying it was cheaper to pay the garbage man to haul it away than to remarket it somehow. Why not pay someone (or give it!) to distribute it or haul it to a soup kitchen or SOMETHING!!
I agree, Penni... that 'getting people to the market to shop' is a major 'challenge' to overcome. Particularly when those who are affected the most often depend on walking and public transportation -- complicated by the fact that there are often few stores in their neighborhood who sell produce.
In my research since yesterday, I've come across several 'markets on wheels'... where produce markets in buses are DRIVING into inner city 'deserts' where no produce markets exist... and bringing the produce to the people... and have or will include links to those pages at our compilation page:
http://www.rawfoodnetwork.com/organic_produce_for_all.html where I am also aggregating the various suggestions that people are making here.
Then there has to be 'motivation'... fueled by 'awareness'... in turn fueled by education.
That's where the 'Real Food America Foundation' can make it's biggest impact... through raising the 'awareness' in everyone of the link between what you eat and how you look and feel.
Here are just a few 'brainstormed' ideas how this can be done:
Making it 'cool' to eat veggies. Teaching folks what a vegetable IS to begin with. Maybe associating it being 'cool' to eat 'real food' with a group of admired celebrities... and there's a rapidly growing list. Soliciting those celebrities and having them make 'public service' videos.... for free. Get radio and TV stations to run 'public service video' for free. Making a series of free 'downloadable' ebooks that make it 'cool' to eat healthy... and embed the videos/commercials featuring celebrities in those videos. Create a cool TV show and have it picked up by Oprah... or the Food Network... or ??? Create street teams and make it 'cool' to be part of that street team... and promote 'traveling 'Real Food America' shows that go from town to town... presenting 'the message' in fun and creative ways.
I remember when I watched the opening segments of Jamie Oliver's "Food Revoluton" http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/sch...
that many of the school children he was working with didn't know what many vegetables were because they had never seen them! So part of Jamie's job was to educate the kids and their parents about the most basic concept: the concept of 'vegetables' as something outside of a french fry or an onion ring!
BTW, the various aspects of Jamie's 'Food Revolution' are well worth studying and emulating as a way to 'raise awareness' on a mass scale.
Even though Jamie's diet doesn't represent what you or I would consider to be 'ideal', he did make a huge impact in improving the diets of the residents of Huntington, WV, both through teaching the parents and kids how to cook 'real food', and by changing the food served in the school cafeteria from premade frozen garbage to 'real food'... winning over many (but not all) hearts and minds in the process.
And I believe that keeping the food advocated 'realistic' by featuring 'healthy versions' of foods that people already love and are eating -- which is basically what Jamie Oliver endeavored to do -- is key to getting the most people on board.
I've always recognized the need to be 'inclusive' and to have a raw or mostly raw diet be as broadly appealing to as many people as possible. I've also always recognized that many people can't afford the expense of eating 'totally organic" and have sought to show folks how to eat well inexpensively.... with our page with the verbose title "How to eat well on a raw and living food diet when you can't afford health food store produce and you don't have the time it takes to do a lot of chopping and raw food preparation" being one I'm most proud of!
This page covers many aspects which need to be included in any 'educational program'... and comes directly out of my own experience of living well on a budget.
Really love this... thank you so much for doing this.
I didn't have a chance to read the comments yet, but, are you talking about "mini farms" located in the states that can bring the fresh food, or a major farm or farms located somewhere in the US that's purpose is to provide food for the less fortunate? I know about some land in VA. With some help, I may be able to acquire it and use it for that purpose. Only, I know it's not very green to have to send food from VA around the US. Let me know.
Penni, Jacqueline Corbett brought this discussion to my attention. The idea of opening and running organic community gardens has been manifesting itself in me for at least 6 months.
I'm in the LA area, where of course we have an abundance of organic local produce at the farmers markets and specialty health food stores, but we also have an abundance of residents who are poor and cannot afford produce like this. These are the people who buy their produce at the 99 cent markets (where there are no organic offerings) and the mainstream grocery stores, which offer a very meager amount of organic produce. They're also very uneducated in nutrition, let alone the subject of eating raw food.
I want to open these gardens and teach the poor how to grow their own food, then offer free classes on how to prepare raw meals using the bounty of what they grow. I also want to offer free classes on juicing and any other natural healing modalities.
I would very much like to be included in anything you find out. I am challenged by the reality of having to keep a job during the week, to pay the bills, but am keeping myself open to any solutions to this dream of mine, and now, as I have learned, this dream of ours.
All of this is so wonderful and so fasinating to read...and the idea of getting more people to eat raw fruits and vegs just inspires me to try to think of more ways to help..even if it's just within my own community. My hubby and I have had a garden for years; and for the last several years we have supplied an elderly couple down the road from us, plus numerous neighbors who don't garden, with extra produce fom our garden; and then last year I contacted the director of the local Senior Citizen Center and they were tickled to get all our extra tomatoes, and cukes, and etc. If we all try to help a little, great things can be accomplished.
I believe this will come to pass!!!!!