New this year, on Wednesdays, FoodWhat brings our program to Watsonville and operates at a local farm partner, Live Earth Farm. Amongst chickens and farm dogs, we dug furrows and spread compost to prepare the field for planting. We pulled apart onion seedlings, laid them out, and planted them into the ground in no time. Before leaving the fields when our work was done, everybody harvested chard for today's lunch!
Warm from working in the sun, Doron led us through a workshop on seemingly refreshing beverages. The focus of the workshop highlighted a key ingredient in most of the drinks youth turn to when we're thirsty: processed sugar. We talked about all of the ways this sneaky ingredient can affect our moods, the way we treat others, how well we can focus in school, and our bodies. To combat the negative consequences of consuming mass amounts of processed sugars, Farmer D showed us how to read nutrition labels, paying close attention to serving size. Even though a drink may list 20 grams of sugar per serving, who would have thought most of the beverages we consume within minutes actually contain two or three servings? That's 60 grams of sugar! We measured sugar to see exactly how much goes into our bodies every time we buy one of these sweet drinks.
With a startling example of the ingredients within sodas, energy drinks, and sweet teas, we turned to alternatives. We learned that affordable brands like Juice Squeeze and locally-produced Martinelli's Sparkling Juices quench our thirst without the dose of processed sugar. Instead, these drinks give our bodies natural, unprocessed sugars from fruit. We also looked at how every dollar we spend is our vote...and our vote is our power. So we learned the term "Youth Dollar Power!" Another perk to buying Martinelli's products is using our youth power power on convenient, healthy drinks that also provide jobs for our families and friends here in Watsonville.
Then it was taco time! We chopped up freshly harvested chard along with carrots, onions, and avocados. We shredded some cheese, prepared masa for making tortillas, and put the beans on the stove top. With our veggies softened and our tortillas perfectly golden, the taco bar was open for business! The day ended enjoying our lunch and discussing our triumphs to motivate us for another exciting day on the farm next week.