After living in San Francisco for a few months, we’ve come to realize that nutrition and health education here require necessary improvements and are some of the biggest issues at hand.
Most meals consist solely of white or beige colored foods. For example, a typical lunch meal includes white rice (made with saltwater, garlic and pig lard), boiled yuca and a fried egg. Soup is another common dish here that usually contains noodles, potatoes, herbs and packets of MSG. When you ask the average household why they don’t eat more vegetables, they say they ‘aren’t accustomed to them’. Although there is potential for a more colorful diet, they prefer their usual white and beige palettes instead. Curtis, Valerie and I are hopeful that with a little boost and lots of time, we can inspire change in the local diet.
After one couple donated us a plot of their land, we’ve been working hard with our little pueblo to create a community vegetable garden. Digging and tilling and digging more, we’ve started to create healthy and happy beds to plant our seeds in. The soil here requires constant watering and watching to make sure the local pollitos (chicks) don’t eat our baby plants (as we discovered they loved). As of now, we have lettuce, cucumbers, cilantro and tomatoes in the ground. And in another week or two, we hope to have the rest of the seeds planted, filling the community space with a large variety of veggies and herbs. Hopefully our hard work can inspire the village people with new and delicious edible options.
In addition to the Huerto Comunal, we’ve been working hard to bring health awareness to the kids in our class. With fun games, stories and lots of good tools, we’ve been helping them to better understand their bodies, nutrition, water/food intake, etc.
We hope with the classes, the garden and some extra side projects, we can see a positive change in the diets and lives of the people of San Francisco and possibly bring more variety and colors to San Francisco’s tables.
With the help of the community, we know anything is possible.