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Feed The Family with Soul...How To?

Increasing access to food should be done from a community-centered approach — meaning working with the community to increase nutritious options based on the cultural foodway.

Photo by Mic Theory

Enhancing Food Accessibility through Community Collaboration

Improving food accessibility is a multifaceted endeavor that requires a comprehensive community-focused approach. This approach involves engaging with local residents to understand their unique needs and preferences when it comes to food choices. By collaborating with community members, it becomes possible to develop strategies that not only increase the availability of healthy food options but also ensure that these options are culturally relevant and respectful of local traditions. By working closely with residents, stakeholders can identify barriers to accessing nutritious foods and co-create solutions that address these challenges effectively. This collaborative process fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment within the community, as residents become actively involved in shaping their food environment.

Furthermore, incorporating cultural traditions into the promotion of healthy eating can help foster a sense of pride and connection to one's heritage. By celebrating and honoring diverse cultural practices related to food, communities can create a more inclusive and welcoming food environment that resonates with residents on a personal level. In essence, a community-focused approach to improving food accessibility not only expands the range of healthy food options available but also strengthens social ties, promotes cultural preservation, and empowers residents to take an active role in shaping their food landscape for the better.

Here's a salad suggestion: Consider purchasing whole lettuce heads and creating your own combinations. Experiment with a blend of romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole, or any other fresh head lettuce. Keep your mix fresh by storing it in a gallon-sized zip-close bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. To prolong its freshness, ensure that your greens are thoroughly dried after washing and cutting before putting them back in the fridge.

For fruit enthusiasts: Those who enjoy fruits should be aware that certain fruits, such as apples, release ethylene gas which can accelerate the ripening process of nearby fruits in a fruit bowl. Monitoring the ripening of your fruits and relocating them to the refrigerator or separating them from fruits that are overly ripe can reduce food wastage.

Enhance the flavor and health benefits of your meals by utilizing spices. Create your own seasoning mixes to save both time and money. Cultivate fresh herbs which can be easily replenished at a low cost, even in a city setting using a tower garden. These herbs provide robust flavors, allowing you to reduce your reliance on excessive salt and sugar. On the downside, some spice retailers may be excessively pricey and spices have a limited shelf life. After a year or two of storage, their flavor tends to diminish. For spices that are used infrequently, consider purchasing them from the bulk section where the cost per ounce is typically lower, enabling you to acquire only what you need. exchange mixes, cuttings and seeds with neighbors also into fresh herbs and spices!

Although organic produce is usually more expensive than conventional produce, the investment is justified as it is more economical to promote good health than to cover medical expenses after an illness. GMO and processed foods rank as the top health risks after drug addiction and alcohol consumption. If the potential exposure to pesticides worries you, being aware of the most and least contaminated foods can assist you in deciding between organic and conventional produce, ultimately leading to cost savings. Educate yourself on the labeling of GMO foods to safeguard your family against nutrient-deficient and genetically modified produce.

Investing in a membership at warehouse club stores such as Costco or Sam's Club typically requires an initial payment of $45-$60 for a one-year subscription. While it may seem counterintuitive to pay just to access the store, this upfront cost can prove beneficial in the long term, particularly when focusing on purchasing essential items like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit, and pasta. These products often come at a significantly lower price compared to traditional grocery stores. Although you may need to buy in larger quantities to enjoy savings, staple items are consumed quickly. Moreover, proper storage methods, such as keeping olive oil in a cool, dry place and storing nuts in the freezer, can help maintain their freshness for a longer period.

Choosing to have a vegetarian or vegan meal once a week or more can help you save money, broaden your cooking skills, and reduce your environmental impact, all while meat prices remain high. Russet potatoes are a budget-friendly option at just $1.05 per pound and can be easily prepared by stuffing or roasting them. A 12-ounce block of firm tofu is another affordable choice at around $3.00. Additionally, eggs can be enjoyed in various dishes like omelets, quiches, waffles, or scrambles, with a dozen typically costing around $3.90, allowing you to see significant savings in no time.

To make a money saving Veggie Broth, save vegetable scraps like carrot tops, onion ends, celery leaves, etc. Store them in a mason jar in the freezer. Once you have accumulated approximately three full jars, transfer the scraps to a large pot and cover them with water. Optionally, include a few whole black peppercorns and some fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme. Add 1-2 tsp of salt or adjust to your preference. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.


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