“This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy. To eat with reckless abandon, without conscience, without knowledge; folks, this ain’t normal.” ~ Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
Food is at the core of everything we do. As fuel, food energizes our minds and bodies, giving us the power to conquer both mental and physical feats. As medicine, food affects our wellbeing, nourishing us with the vital nutrients necessary to boost moods and fight disease. As an experience, food has the power to unite people; connecting loved ones, strangers and even diverse cultures together to break bread. With this in mind, it’s evident that what we choose to put into our bodies directly impacts our health, economies, communities, soil, and planet. Yet, not all foods are created equal.
Despite all the progress we’ve experienced in the last century, food has actually lost what makes it special. Somewhere along the way, our fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle has created a culture that prioritizes convenience over quality. As a result, and at the expense of human and environmental health, today’s “Frankenfoods” (i.e. packaged meals made with pre-cooked, overly processed, nutritionally void, and chemically laden ingredients) are dominating our pantries and grocery stores.
The shift back to a more traditional food system is vital if we want to ensure that the growing population and future generations are fed, nourished and healthy. Yet, access continues to be a major obstacle in our quest for food justice. Despite that 805 million people in the world are food insecure, one third of all food produced globally goes uneaten. And that’s not even the half of it. The environmental and social impacts of food waste are wreaking havoc on our planet. In fact, if it were a country, food waste would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, right behind China and the United States.
The good news is that we’re in the midst of a real food revolution! Consumers (just like you) are creating solutions to global food challenges and are demanding their right to know what’s in their food, who grew it, how it was grown, and where it came from. We’re slowly (but surely) remembering that food is at the core of our diverse cultures and traditions, having united families, friends and strangers around the table for centuries.
So how can you contribute to the real food movement? The power is in your hands – right at the tip of your fork. Whenever possible, choose organic, non-GMO, pasture-raised, grass-fed, biodynamic, and sustainably grown food. Opting for food grown with integrity might seem like an insignificant choice at first, but over time, your buying habits add up in massive ways.
To get started, check out today’s GOOD READ, The Center for Food Safety’s “5 Cool Foods Principles” and programs like Turning Green’s The Conscious Kitchen. This unprecedented program partners with schools to implement meals based on five foundational terms — fresh, local, organic, seasonal, and non-GMO (FLOSN). These terms set the intention for purchasing and serving food that prioritizes people and planet. The Conscious Kitchen is a far cry from the school food that is status quo; overly processed, pre packaged and heat-and-serve options.
What does it mean to be a responsible consumer? Well, for starters, it means being informed about and understanding food labels and terminology. Here are a few things to think about as you get started on your own food journey.
Where did my food come from? Who grows it? How does it get to my plate?
Upload a PDF Document with your responses and visual. Include a screenshot of your social media post, along with any comments it got. You must include your name (or team name), username, email, and school or it will not count for points.
What you buy and who you buy it from matters a lot. In the quest for food justice for all, it’s important to vote with your dollar for a food system you believe in. All too often people compromise health for cheap, poor quality food. Start with a few small changes, and become a part of the sustainable food revolution.
Ready to put your cooking skills to the test? Using the Conscious Kitchen FLOSN criteria as your guide, prepare a delicious meal for yourself and at least three friends.
Keep in mind that since this is a 2 day challenge, you have until the end of the second day to send in your deliverables.
Upload a PDF document with a full report, including your meal prep, menu, recipes, ingredients, instructions, and plans for leftovers and waste. Include 3 photos and/or a short video (2 minutes or less) from the feast, along with a screenshot of your social media post. Include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.
Due on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 6 am PT
More and more of us are demanding FLOSN food. Farmers are growing it and chefs are preparing farm to fork cuisine. With passion and deep commitment to the land, soil, waterways and community, they’re transforming local foodsheds.
A foodshed is defined by the flow of food and resources within an area – food flows from farm to fork; the land it grows on, the route it travels, the markets it passes through, and finally, the table it lands on. Even though nowadays the food market is global, buying from local farms and grocers is vital to supporting local communities and economies.
Upload a PDF Document with your map and responses. Include the complete profile of your individual and the video of your interview. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.
Up to 150 Points. Awarded at the Discretion of the PGC Team
Due on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 6 am PT
The only way we think real change happens on campuses is when passionate and empowered students (you!) lead that change. How many times have you complained about a lack of access to healthy food options on your campus? Now we are asking you to do something about it and we will help support you in any way that we can!
Now is your chance to come up with ideas, solutions. Enlist 6 passionate foodie friends to help you develop a green food initiative that addresses an issue unique to your school.
Upload a PDF Document with a summary of what you discussed at your Progressive Dinner and the meeting with your school dining hall leadership, the strategic plan for your green initiative, and photos from your Progressive Dinner with a screenshot of your social media post. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.