Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Waging War on Waste

Down in Arizona...

Photo: Man in the Maze
Tens of thousands of pounds of produce are being dumped into landfills on a regular basis.

The reasons are economic, but the results are humanly tragic as people in the surrounding towns suffer from a lack of good nutrition - or the ability to pay for nutritious food, or even get to the market to buy it.

Fortunately down in Arizona there are also people like Yolanda Soto and the good folks of the Borderlands Food Bank who salvage thirty to forty MILLION pounds of food every growing season, distributing it to the hungry, the needy, the undernourished.

Across the fiery desert...

Nurturing growth near Tucson - Las Aventuras
A group called Native Seeds / SEARCH is doing something remarkable.

Remarkably important and remarkably simple.

They are growing a bank of seeds that will not only preserve the very existence of the endangered plants and crops these seeds give life to, but offer local farmers and ordinary citizens the opportunity to produce crops and grow their gardens in an area hit by the one-two punch of increasing impoverishment and rising temperatures.

Native Seeds also educates people in agriculture as they provide these seeds of food and life in an effort to reincarnate the thriving agricultural environment that began at least 500 years ago - by the ancestors of the same people who struggle there now.

And on the big screen...

Phil Buccellato and Jesse Ash give us all a good look at the ongoing tragedy of food gone to waste - and the people who are working to change that - in 'Man in the Maze', winner in the 2015 Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge.

Watch their 8-minute eye-opener right here.

And let's all be thankful, this Thanksgiving and always, for the food we have on our tables.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Parallel Heritage

Roberto Morales Connects to His Childhood...and to Other Children

Southern California's San Gabriel Mountains are now a Designated U.S. National Monument, thanks in part to the efforts of Nicaraguan-born Roberto Morales.

Mr. Morales, in this Sierra Magazine interview, gives us a look at where he came from, why he was drawn to the San Gabriels and why he feels what he is doing is worthwhile - not just for him but for the children he touches as a community activist and Outward Bound educator.

On working with inner city youth Mr. Morales clearly gets while he gives. "When a youth from South Central L.A. gets into the mountains and says, 'I didn't realize the world was so big,' the moment stays with you," he explains. He also tells us that his kids, when asked what someone who loves the mountains loooks like, they typically respond with 'It's someone with a beard.'

Mr. Morales is not the only person working to introduce more children to the beauty of a world they don't even know exists, but as one of many his efforts are to be applauded...and emulated.