Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We had a BLAST at the Radical Food Jam!!

This past Friday our Associate Director, Alex, and three FoodWhat Alumni, Jazz, Max and Damian, spent the evening at the MAH, Santa Cruz Museum of Arts and History, for a third Fridays event called  the "Radical Food Jam". This event was designed to engage Santa Cruz'ans with local food artisans, community gardens, and other food-focused groups in an effort to show the colors and diversity of the Santa Cruz food culture.

The FoodWhat crew spent their time at the "Jam" teaching children how to pot lettuce starts, explaining the meaning of a food system through the Real Food Wheel, and exploring concepts around access and equity through the Food Justice Wall. Damian manned the lettuce starts area where he taught kids how to scoop just the right amount of soil into their pots, top it, tamp it, and water it. He explained that in a month, they would have a delicious salad to harvest! Jazz covered the Real Food Wheel and the FoodWhat information station where she spoke candidly about the organization and her participation in the programs. Max managed the Food Justice Wall where he told the story of food in West Oakland and Santa Cruz and asked community members to weigh in on the the clear inequality and lack of equal distribution of resources.

We were able to give the community a clear picture of what FoodWhat is all about -- but it wasn't all seriousness and workshops! The crew took full advantage of the event offerings from Penny Ice Creamery cones to the Radical Baker's gluten-free muffins -- and Max even participated in the kale eating contest!

Here is what Wallace Baines at the Santa Cruz Sentinel had to say about the event:

"..The Radical Food Jam isn't all about play. It will also examine issues surrounding food, nutrition and the food system. The Santa Cruz Community Farmers Markets, for instance, is getting into the act by bringing in a real tree branch and asking visitor to decorate it with paper leaves and fruit, on which will be written memories, thoughts and ideas associated with food.

"It's designed to be a thoughtful activity to get people to reach back and think why is food important to me?" said Nicole Zahm of the SCCFM, which runs the farmers markets in downtown, Felton, West Side, Live Oak and Scotts Valley. "People come to a place of thinking about food in a larger context besides just 'what am I going to eat today?'"

Doron Comerchero, the director of the local organization Food, What?! said his organization will also take part in Radical Food Jam with displays that get people thinking about issues of food justice and what people who work in the farming and food industry face in the workplace and in their standards of living.

Food, What?! will install the Food Justice Wall comparing two real workers in contrasting situations when it comes to labor conditions. It will also compare Santa Cruz to Oakland in terms of access to affordable and nutritious food.

"It paints a picture of what kind of access we have in this community, as opposed to other communities," said Comerchero".

Huge THANK YOU to the MAH for inviting us to participate! 

1 comment:

Nina Simon said...

It was awesome to have you guys at the Radical Food Jam to bring some "radical" thinking and action into the mix. These events are only as powerful as the diverse partners who make them possible - thank YOU!