The premiere episode of FoodSpeaks went off without a hitch on December 12th, 2012 as Doron Comerchero, Maya Salsedo and Deonte McClure took to the mic to address food issues facing youth and their efforts in the food movement. Featured on KZSC 88.1 the second Wednesday of each month, FoodSpeaks is a collective voice that aims to promote the ideas, culture, and people that make up the food movement here in Santa Cruz County. Led by our own Doron, Santa Cruz County Farmer’s Market organizers Nesh Dhillon and Nicole Zahm, and Kate’s Kitchen Garden’s Kate Purcell, the show will feature guest speakers on topics ranging from food justice, to farm labor, to food economics, to at-home gardening projects, and more.
In the first show, titled “Youth and the Food Justice Movement”, Doron, Maya, and Deonte spoke candidly about the work they have done locally with FoodWhat and nationally with Rooted in Community. They also explained how they have transferred the lessons of their work into their peer and family culture and their everyday lives. The goal of this show was to showcase youth involvement in food movement work, and these two youth did a stellar job of reppin’ their age group!
Maya discussed her 2012 Brower Youth Award for her work on the “Youth Food Bill of Rights” and expressed her desire to continuing mobilizing youth nationally to make significant changes that will ultimately lead to equal access and equitable distribution of fresh, healthy foods. Maya grew up in a food insecure household that relied heavily on processed, unhealthy, fast foods. She explained how the juxtaposition of her upbringing with the knowledge she gleaned from FoodWhat and food justice work has propelled her to take action on many levels. Maya uses her personal transformation to inform the work she does, and catalyzes this energy to create big picture change.
Deonte had the local slant, focusing predominantly on how his involvement with FoodWhat has affected the choices he makes in his life every day as he learns to eat, live, and be healthier. Doron asked Deonte, “ So, it’s Friday night - you and your friends have all been out partying - and you roll up to Taco Bell for some late night snacks. What do you order off the menu?” Questions like these highlight the central role of unhealthy, fast foods in teen’s lives and display the dynamics of peer pressure in a youth’s food decisions. Deonte handled the questions with finesse, highlighting his awareness of nutrition and healthful habits, and said that he would just try to order the healthiest thing on the menu.
Deonte and Maya explained that, often, there just aren’t any healthy choices available and youth are impelled to make poor food choices due to a lack of variety in their markets and neighborhoods. They expressed their frustration with this situation, and their desire to work to change it in their schools, communities, and world. Their message came through loud and clear, youth want equal access to fresh, healthy foods, and Maya and Deonte are leading the way to make it happen!
Listen to the show here!