Since I was a child, I have heard it said that "everyone eats for a living." In fact, I have yet to meet anyone that survives purely on air or water. All rumors aside, it's a significant concern that all of us who do eat learn how to honor our food supply as a primary issue impacting the health of our children, our biosphere and life itself.
The issues of food, health and ecological awareness have always been with me. In fact, I was raised on an urban farm growing hundreds of fruits and vegetables and offering innovative educational programs for at-risk youth. Our farm was quite unusual, however, as it was literally surrounded by 10 housing complexes (swimming pools next to our peach trees!) and 22 fast-food restaurants within a 5-mile radius! My first year of public elementary school was quite a shock: french fries, hamburgers, and sugar-coated candy covered in plastic galore! I even had to eat my avocado, basil and goat-cheese sandwich in the bathroom, for fear of being ridiculed for being too "healthy".
This was during the 1980's and early 1990's, when the housing development boom was still cashing in on cheap farmland and moving country people to cities with the promise that they may forget the toils of food and farming once and for all. On our small 12 acres in central-coast California, my family was thrust into the struggles of farmworker rights with Cesar Chavez, forced to fight against GMO's and industrial agriculture by creating the first organic food legislation, and combatting the attack of a fast-food nation gone mad!
As seen through the callused hands of a farmer (my father) and through the tireless heart of a public health care nurse (my mother), the struggle for health in our community was a prime subject at dinner time --- and the prayer for a better world never missed a bite. Over the years, our small farm (http://www.fairviewgardens.org/) became "somewhat famous", and my friends eventually began to appreciate things like nutrition, healthy food and the importance a secure food system. We even learned that strawberries and nectarines could be tastier than any candy bar!
Today, as an educator and author @ BALANCE Edutainment
, I am more very concerned about creating a culture of appreciation for our food and children, whilst building the legislative backbone to support this popular demand. You can check out PachasPajamas.com
for more about how we're integrating real issues into world pop culture where our children spend most of their time.
And who can deny that the health of our world's children is paramount to a positive future? So, let's come together and stand up for these core issues while we still have a voice in the matter. *Parents, families and all who eat should promote healthier snacks in schools! Tell the USDA: Promote the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)! Click here: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/SnacksInSchool/
For the children,