The Community Health & Holistic Eating mobile app will be based on the fact that community and autonomy are very important elements in determining health and also on the idea that the production, marketing, and consumption of food is key to nearly everything.
It will also incorporate the ideas of Joel Salatin and the ideas presented in Dan Barber’s The Third Plate, Will Allen’s The Good Food Revolution, and Dr. Daphne Miller’s Farmacology.
We need a theology of abundance to deal with the outcomes of our technology, the massive fruitfulness that the Creator God baked into us. We need a theology of abundance equal to the grace and generosity found in the blood of Jesus poured out for many. We need a theology of abundance commensurate with the superabundant presence of the Holy Spirit that can flood our senses, short-circuit our rationale. Unfortunately, our economics is built on a model of scarcity, and our theology feels equally impoverished.
We have begun by developing three maps:
- Farm-to-Table Restaurants
- High Road Restaurants
- Black-owned Restaurants in Harlem
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell:
[Stewart Wolf and John Bruhn] had to get [the medical establishment] to realize that you couldn’t understand why someone was healthy if all you did was think about their individual choices or actions in isolation…. You had to appreciate the idea that community — the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with — has a profound effect on who we are.
The Status Syndrome by Sir Micheal Marmot:
Autonomy—how much control you have over your life—and the opportunities you have for full social engagement and participation are crucial for health, well-being, and longevity. It is inequality in these that plays a big part in producing the social gradient in health.
[T]he issues that confront most Americans directly are income, food (thereby, agriculture), health and climate change. (And, of course, war, but let’s leave that aside for now.)
These are all related: You can’t address climate change without fixing agriculture, you can’t fix health without improving diet, you can’t improve diet without addressing income, and so on. The production, marketing and consumption of food is key to nearly everything. (It’s one of the keys to war, too, because large-scale agriculture is dependent on control of global land, oil, minerals and water.)
Food is more than individual ingredients—it’s a web of interconnected systems. Hence, we should follow the example of our ancestors and start eating the produce that the earth wants to give, instead of demanding that the earth cough up the items on our grocery lists.
At the northern outskirts of Milwaukee, stand 14 greenhouses on two acres of land. This is Growing Power, the only land within the Milwaukee city limits zoned as farmland. Founded by MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow Will Allen, Growing Power is an active farm producing tons of food each year, a food distribution hub, and a training center. Will Allen is the author of The Good Food Revolution.
According to Will Allen’s The Good Food Revolution:
The history of agriculture in the United States is largely a history of racial exploitation. From the slavery that formed the rural economy of the South to the mistreatment of migrant farm workers that continues to this day, our food has too often been made possible by someone else’s suffering. And that someone else tends not to be white….
The great tragedy for many African Americans…is that in losing touch with the land and with traditions handed down for generations, they also lost an important set of skills: how to grow and prepare healthy food….
The Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United annually releases the National Diners’ Guide which rates the country’s largest 150 restaurant chains and also lists “high-road” restaurants that go above and beyond what the law requires and that work with ROC to improve the industry.
Research by the Economic Policy Institute found that 51.3 percent of young Black high school graduates are underemployed. Yet, a recent report by Nielsen and Essence estimates that Black buying power will reach $1.3 trillion in the next few years. If we were talking about countries, that would be the 16th biggest economy in the world.
According to a New York Times article about Maggie Anderson, the author of Our Black Year, a study by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that between half a million and a million jobs could be created if higher-income Black households spent only $1 of every $10 at Black-owned stores and other enterprises. Yet only a tiny fraction of Black buying power is spent at Black-owned businesses.