This past Wednesday, we were out in the gardens again. It was too hot for folks in the elderly community to come help out as was planned, so we walked over to a local summer camp and invited students to come instead.
Students got to pick (and taste/smell/touch) the very first fully grown pepper of the year and we all spent a lot of time weeding.
The weeding was particularly enjoyable to me, which was a surprise. Usually, weeding is a pretty monotonous job for me, but on that day, the young people used the time to talk about school, share knowledge, and just get to know each other better. There are some brilliantly wicked story tellers in our group!
These past few weeks have really hit home for me that “food” is an essential part of community—but in a much more complex way than dominate narratives around food and community would have us believe. That is, unlike the dominant narrative around food that “community” only happens around the *cooking and eating* parts—cooking and eating the food is actually the *last* step in the whole process. Just a small example: how can adults influence what youth eat if they have no relationship with youth prior to the point of gathering to eat?
What would happen if we reimagined the “youth obesity crisis” as a crisis of (stressed, underfunded, post-industrial) communities rather than a crisis of individual choices?