Yesterday I went to the Eat Café to participate in the Urban Consulate‘s discussion about Food and Race. What could be better, an opportunity to visit the Eat Café and find out what that was like, while hearing about the issues of food and race. The panelists were Dwayne Wharton from the Food Trust, Kirtrina Baxter from Soil Generation, and Noelle Warford of the Urban Tree Connection. I met lots of other people and at introductions realized that there were more interesting people in the room who would be fascinating to meet. I did get to chat to the founder of the Eat Café, Mariana Chilton.
One of the questions at the end of the dialogue asked what one thing would you lobby on. The panelists answered that they wanted land and resources for African Americans, and proper regulations about shelf life labeling, amongst other things. I woke up this morning realizing that I would ask for education. Properly funded and fully supported public education especially in the poorer neighborhoods. Education at all levels from pre-K to elderly, formal and informal. Make the inner city public schools something that the suburbanites desire and are jealous of. Also do the same for the rural school districts. Give all children access to the same resources and opportunities; science camps, art camps, drama camps. Additionally, while we are on the topic of food and race, make sure that food science, agriculture, cooking, nutrition, food culture, and food history is taught properly at all levels to all. Give them the opportunity to say “no, I’ve tried that and I don’t want to do it.” Let’s move away from the fact that only 10% of Americans like cooking, perhaps if more of us knew how to cook well, more of us would cook!