Thursday, December 06, 2007

Making a Wish

Think about all of the ways we wish for things. Wish upon a star, a coin in a fountain, a birthday candle extinguished; all with a silent wish attached. Always with the warning: Don't say it or it won't come true. When you think about it, this is pretty stupid. I mean, if you are just silent, how is anything ever going to happen, especially if there are others who can help?

I recently got an invite to American Public Media's web project "The Consumer's Dilemma." In the project, you can view other people's thoughts on making the world better and more sustainable, and you can submit your own desire or idea. The ideas are reviewed, and can be browsed and searched. So, if you ever wished silently that the world was a better place, well, now you don't have to be so silent and it might even come true.

What did I wish for? A bit complicated, but here goes. A friend who is a local farmer and I were talking about the "dream CSA." His thought was to have the farm not just supply food to the families that support it, but also walking trails and fishing and hands-on experience. To this, I added "Oh, and a kitchen where people can learn how to cook their produce and food with a teaching garden!" And produce from the farm to go to supporting local food banks.

You can't just hand off a bag a produce and be done, though. Anyone in a CSA knows the kind of time it takes to prepare a meal from scratch. It also takes pantry staples. Not an easy task for anyone busy just trying to make ends meet.

I want to marry the idea of one of those Super-Supper-build-your-meal places with the donated local produce and meats (or an urban garden center attached) and the pooling of food stamp money to buy the staples in bulk at a discount. Thus, very busy "working poor" parents (often single, working moms) could have all the advantages of fresh produce, bulk food purchase discounts, AND ready-to-go healthy meals. Sort of an end-to-end solution.

If you think about it, this is the exact demographic that meal-prep places would serve best (if they were non-profit), plus the concept has empowerment, education, cultural and a social group benefits to it.

That was my idea/wish. Now, go share yours.

2 comments:

mollyjade said...

How very timely. Did you see that WIC just added fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to their program? It was mostly dairy and eggs before.

Michelle said...

After hearing about you and your blog for ages, I came by for a visit! It's time we met...especially after reading this post.

I own What's Cooking, a certified green business that teaches healthy cooking classes to children. About 8 months ago, we launched What's Cooking Weekly, an online menu planning service designed to help families cook and eat healthy and seasonal meals together. Each week we give subscribers recipes, grocery lists, nutrition information and tips on getting kids into the kitchen for 5 meals every week. Our goal is to get families in touch with their food and to cook and eat well together. Feedback has been great - kids are less fussy, now that they are involved; grocery bills are going down,now that people shop with a plan in mind; and more families are going to the farmer's market.

So, while it isn't quite the cooking school AT the farm, it's certainly a step in the right direction...

Come by for a visit: www.whatscookingweekly.com or see some of my other ramblings at the What's Cooking Blogz: www.whatscookingblog.com