Food. We all need it. Some of us live in food deserts. Some of us live in food swamps. Finding the best options for food is not always easy. Here, we hope to make it easier for you. We will be featuring many different types of food resources: Farmers’ Markets, Urban Agriculture, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), community gardens, urban foraging, distribution services for left-over food at dining halls, food banks, food conferences, and foodie events. Real food for people who really need it.
Several decades ago, it was all but illegal for farmers to sell directly to consumers in many states. In 1978, California Governor Jerry Brown established the California Direct Marketing Regulations. Today, California has more farmers’ markets than any other state, and there are over 8,000 farmer’s markets nationwide. While the farm to consumer movement has made great strides over the last few decades, other forces have been working to undermine consumer access to real food, establishing massive subsidies for junk food commodities, and consolidating corporate control over the food system. When you go to shop at a farmers’ market, it is an important act – politically, economically, and most of all – and action that supports your health.
The only answer to the processed food problem (and processed food disease), is real food. Getting real food directly from the farmer is best of all options, so please support your local farmers’ markets. We want to hear from you and learn about the farmers’ market in your community, so please send us a photo of your market and a brief description of why you enjoy shopping there.
Most people are familiar with food drives – they have either donated to one or organized one (or both)! Traditional food drives are great but they come with limitations. They are typically designed to raise canned (non-perishable) goods and rely upon people who live close enough and have time to get to a collection point to make donations. Often times people donate food that is not usable – it’s expired, or the can is damaged or sometimes it’s the wrong stuff (pickled beets, anyone?).
Amp Your Good is a national organization that has developed Crowd-Feeding to fix all of that. Crowd-Feeding ensures that every donation counts. Crowd-Feeding enables food drives to raise healthy food: perishable food like fresh fruits and vegetables, organic food, whole meals and lots of other healthy food. Why? Because people facing hunger also struggle with diet related health issues – things like diabetes, obesity and hypertension – due to lack of access to healthy food. Crowd-Feeding makes it easy and fun to organize a food drive or donate to one.
According to the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA), there are over 18,000 community gardens across the U.S. The tradition is global, and community gardens can be traced back through our ancient history. The ACGA provides a community garden finder here. If you don’t have room at home for your own garden, then a community garden is a great solution – and a great way to make friends in your community. The history of community gardens in the U.S. is fascinating. More people than ever are growing their own food, so why not join the fun?
Food Banks exist in almost every community. The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks secures and distributes more than 3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger. Contact your local community food bank to find food or click here to read about public assistance programs.
Here is a link to find a food bank near you.
Real Food Hacks
Hack the Food System
“What we really need to be concerned about is the big picture, getting our children off of this processed junk food. It all goes back to eating a diet of processed foods.” –Dr. Laura Schmidt
The chemical industry has hacked our food system. They call it “processed food” and they even want us to believe it is good for us. In their model, foods are “formulated,” resulting in over *10,000 chemicals being added to our food supply, including “refined” sugar in 75% of all processed food products sold in the U.S. Processed food is an experiment that has failed.
We’re taking back our food system with real food hacks – clean, real food that is. Incredibly delicious meals made from whole ingredients in 30 minutes or less. Simple recipes prepared in your kitchen – food your Grandmother would recognize. No additives. No ultra-processing. How radical is that?
To demonstrate how easy and fun all this is, we are hosting “Real Food Hackathons” – competitive, community based events that are a mix of “Iron Chef” with Real Food. Hackathon teams compete to prepare a real food meal in 30 minutes or less. We’re “hacking” real food to demonstrate it can be prepared quickly and easily! Each team is provided with core ingredients, including an array of fresh, seasonal vegetables, a variety of protein, and whole grain options.
Here are the winners of the world’s first Real Food Hackathon, held at the IRN world premier of Sugar Coated, November 6, 2015 in Berkeley, California. Several teams competed (18 Reasons, Leah’s Pantry, and The Minimalist Cook), and Leah’s Pantry won the competition – earning the distinguished “Golden Fork” award.
“It was the coolest event I’ve ever been to in my professional career by far! I had a great time and got to meet some really amazing people.” -Jill Watson, Registered Dietitian
Check out these easy and affordable Real Food Hacks!
Hack #1 (Click on Image for Details)
Do you have a real – clean – food hack? Click here for details, then send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org.