In January 2009, I attended Food As Medicine in San Francisco, CA. As I was listening to Dr. Jeffrey Bland talk about the health benefits of super foods, it occurred to me that for the majority of Americans, having a diet full of nutrient dense super foods may never be a reality. Millions of Americans have a diet comprised of the types of food we associate with liquor stores, corner markets and food pantries –fast, packaged, cheap, and processed with high amounts of fat, sugar, sodium and other preservatives.
I reflected on my own experience of food drives when I was growing up: reaching to the back of my pantry to pull expired or unwanted items to donate. There was a big disconnect between an expired soup can and the families it was going to feed.
Sitting there in the super food lecture, I wrote down the words “super food drive – a food drive to collect super foods for people in need”. My idea was to transform existing emergency food systems (food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens) into providers of nutrient dense foods for individuals and families in need.
4 months ago, I spent $8 to purchase seeds for planting spinach and red leaf lettuce in my garden. I was impressed with how quickly greens grow with fertile soil, water and sunshine! My planter box is bursting with full bodied greenery. I eat at least one large salad every day and haven’t had to buy greens for over 2 months now. I even give away heads of lettuce to friends when they come to visit.