For my Hunger Relief Project (an assignment for the internship) I decided to participate in a fundraiser for Manna Food Center hosted by The Bench Restaurant in the Marriott hotel, which happens to be located right next door to the Sodexo USA Headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. On March 16, the restaurant contributed 10% of all of their profits from the entire day to Manna Food Center. I found the best part of this fundraiser to be that, unlike most fundraisers of this kind, patrons did not have to mention the event in order for the proceeds to go to the cause.
After sitting down at the table and weighing my menu options, I had narrowed my potential selections down to the crab cake appetizer, the crab cake sandwich, and the crab cake entrée. With careful consideration and deliberation with the waitress, I selected my prandial victim. Let’s just say it was a bad day to be a crab cake sandwich on ciabatta with a side of sweet potato fries; especially since it came with a crazy awesome old bay remoulade – and the remoulade had capers!
I kind of have a thing for capers (and it’s pretty serious), which by the way are very high in quercetin, a phytochemical that helps support your body’s detoxification system (I know right, winning!). But I digress…or did I? I mean, I think I met a triple bottom line here: I took a small bite out of food insecurity, I had a taste-bud rockin’ meal, and I got a little natural detoxification support just in time for my spring-clean-eating prep (more on that coming soon). I can’t help but to imagine a food system where people could dine at a restaurant where every menu item was nutrient-dense; the ingredients were sourced from farmers and purveyors committed to responsible, safe and sustainable practices; and investments are made towards building social capital by supporting fair wages, food security and health equity. I believe it is a basic right for EVERYONE to live in a food secure, health equitable and sustainable world that nurtures and nourishes ALL OF US to live a whole and full life. I’ve been told I’m a visionary (that’s my loose translation of being called weird) and I totally and whole-heartedly believe that we can bring this vision to fruition. However, I know that this cannot be accomplished without a fight. It’s going to take awareness, advocacy and action. I’m ravenous for change and I’m curious to know what you think. Do you think this vision is a long shot or not? What are some solutions that you think can eradicate these social injustices? Furthermore, what do you think are the root causes of lifestyle-related chronic disease and hunger?