Not to detract from the value of having fresh fruits and vegetables available in urban food deserts, but the article “Vegetable Truck Pushes Nutrition in Detroit” by David Runk, Associated Press, August 11, 2009, referenced in Dana’s posting highlights yet another opportunity within neighborhood-based food systems:
“I can’t say if they have their own jingle, but I can imagine the sadness a child might feel when they run out to the front yard telling, “Ice Cream!” and instead find lettuce and string beans. But it’s about time eating healthy goes mainstream. Two Detroit teens hired to help with the vegetable truck service were presented with zucchini and had no idea what it was.”1
The last sentence suggests that people would benefit not only by having access to fresh, locally-grown food, but by having it processed / prepared on the spot into tasty meals that preserve natural nutritional value and are served quickly, conveniently, and affordably.
Perhaps some Veggie Vans or Peaches and Greens trucks could be outfitted as mobile kitchens that offer a full-range of options for neighborhood residents concerning their food supply. Then, imagine that the source of fresh food for those mobile kitchens is local in terms of food produced on vacant lots and abandoned properties in the neighborhood rather than within 100 miles. Then, imagine further that the owners / operators of the mobile kitchens are residents of the same neighborhood so that a complete food system begins to take shape within the community.
This lays the underpinnings for a local economy based, in part, on a local food system. It initiates a process by which resources are “grown” in the community, reinvested in the community, and used to strengthen the community through wider participation. This a local food system that truly means something to those who own it and care about it – community members.
Imagine. And with only a couple of converted vans and trucks to get it underway!
Originally posted to Local Food Systems by Steve Bosserman on Friday, October 2, 2009 16:31
- Version of article with this quote is not available online ↩