The consumer has all the power

After today, a lot has changed about the way I feel about my food.

Since the 'Meet your farmer’ activity with Danielle, I definitely feel more confident about how to tell where my food comes from. Now I know that I can look at the packaging to see not only the nutrition facts, but also where the food was sources, and this information will help me to make more morally conscious decisions about what I am eating.

Danielle also taught us about the different terminology that describes certain foods. I learned the Halal meat describes meat from animals that leaved long, healthy lives, and were slaughtered humanly. Furthermore, kosher produces are healthy, regulated Jewish products that must follow strict guidelines. These were terms that I didn’t know before.

As a group, we discussed why certain people don’t eat specific foods for various reasons. For instance, some faiths don’t allow port to be eaten. More over, many people are vegetarian in rejection of animal cruelty. Along with these are so many more small, individual house rules that govern what and what not is eaten in every family.

Lastly, we did a group activity, in which I learned what kind of questions I should be asking to food producers about their products. Danielle stated: the consumer has all the power when it comes to what they buy.  
~ Peter R

The food system is more complicated than I knew

I have learned that the food system is much more complicated than I originally knew. I understood that there were food inequalities, but I was not aware of the mass scale that it effects people in their daily lives. I have learned about food deserts, and how MAP and community gardens are trying to change this, and bring produce and healthy foods to these areas.

Questions I ask food producers are:
Are your products organically grown?
Are they sustainably farmer?
Are you certified organic?
Where is your farm located?
Do you feel farm shares?
What do you grow on your farm in terms of produce?

I want to know what they do to the food and I don’t want to assume something that might not be true. ~Marie

What happens to food before it gets to me?

How I think about food changed because I want to know what process the food went through before getting to me. For instance, was it sprayed with insecticide? Is it organically grown? What was added to it before getting to me? I would like to know if it is affordable for me, and mostly, was my meat processed Halal or not?  ~Sophia

Questions to ask a food producer

After today, me eating healthier, looking and asking for more healthy food has changed. Now I know what to ask when going to a farmers market. There are some questions that I would ask a food producer. Where do you foods come from? Is is organically grown? Is it fresh? are you spraying any chemicals on the food? Do you take food stamps, or have any deals?  ~Delilah 

"Can I pay your farm a visit?"

I am a lot more aware about the fact that farmers can sometimes leave out important information , like if they used chemicals on their produce. Also, a farm can have everything you were looking for, but if the connection is not right, then there is no trust between farmer and customer, and you may not want to feed your family their food. The ‘Know your farmer’ lesson may have been one of the best [we did this summer] - I felt like I was really at a farmer’s market.

If there is a questions I would ask farmers it would be "can I pay your farm a visit?" 


You should know what you're eating

The way I think about my food has kind of changed because now I think of where it comes from. I didn’t really think about where it comes from before, but now I can see why it’s important. You should know what you’re eating. I would ask food producers if they added pesticides. For meat producers, I would ask if they treated the animals with care or fed them hormones.  ~ Isabella
I feel that killing animals in a humane way is still not good at all. I also changed the way I thought about produce. I would ask food producers: Are there pesticides in your food? Is your food fresh? Why do you have to hurt animals? Do you accept SNAP?  ~ Dakota

You need to ask where your food comes from

You need to ask questions about where your food comes from, or else you will be missing lots of information. If you don’t ask, food producers are not required to tell you anything. I would want to ask producers if they use pesticides, if their food is organic and what their treatment of animals is. It is important to ask these questions to truly know what you are eating. ~ Pepper S

Meet Mariama

My name is Mariama and I am a senior at International Prep. I am a youth facilitator at the National Federation for Just Communities and a student at the Upward Bound Program.

Meet Sophia

My name is Sophia and I’ve known MAP for a year and a half. This summer I got a change to work with MAP. It’s very interesting and fun cause we get exposed to opportunities like visiting the West Side Bazaar which I got to see my cultural food and clothing. MAP also lets us harvest crops from the farm, which I never did before. My favorite part was the citizenship and organizing, cause it improved by public speaking, and helped me know about my rights as a student in school.