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FALL 2016

PROVECH ROVECHO MIAD BRIDGE

MIAD BRIDGE

FALL 2016

IN THIS ISSUE:

SEED BREEDING MILWAUKEE'S GOOD FOOD MOVEMENT SWEET WATER ORGANICS


EDITOR

LETTER FROM THE

As an immigrant, I find it interesting and fascinating to learn from other cultures. I moved here almost 6 years ago but I still can remember how hard it was to understand and to be sensitive of what others consider a common part of their lives. It took me almost 3 years to be able to not only understand but also appreciate different cultures for what they are. Living in a country defined as a melting pot surely has its intricacies. One of them is the food. The act of eating is complex and it should be taken seriously. We now live in a world where we have to be aware of what we put in our bodies because food is no longer what it used to be. It has been so modified in order to fit our busy lifestyle that now almost everything that we buy needs some sort of clarification about its origin. "Organic", "non GMO", "100% real cheese", "natural ingredients, no additives". These clarifications are somehow needed to make the consumer feel safe. How can we be more informed about food culture so we can eat healthily? It can be overwhelming to look at the big picture. So, let's start simple. Let's take a look at Milwaukee.

PROVECHO presents you a sneak peek of the many heroes that help our city to become a better place to live in. They made the commitment of not only feed us with quality food but also to inform us, to educate us so we can be more aware of our nutrition. By doing these things, they have successfully created places where a sense of community and service are always present. Are you interested on becoming part of this movement? This issue of MIAD bridge also provides a glimpse of the many different ways that can help improve our city's food system. Milwaukee still has a long way to go in terms of food education but everyone can be a part of this. Changing the way we eat, supporting local farmers, volunteering at organizations that feed those in need... the list is endless. Remember that small changes can make a big difference. I hope that you enjoy what you are about to read. "Provecho" to everyone!

Daniela Valle Chavelas

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An Interview With Bruce Friedrich of The Good Food Institute.

OPINION

Learn how to make Elbow Tomato Soup.

HANDS - ON

Is scratch cooking a possible cure for the obesity epidemic?

REFLECTION

DEPARTMENTS

FEATURES SEED BREEDING

Chefs, farmers and UW scientists team up for flavorful produce.

MILWAUKEE'S GOOD FOOD MOVEMENT

Get to known the local heroes who help our city become a better place.

SWEET WATER ORGANICS

A place to reflect about service and community.

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REFLECTION

My lack of knowledge of the American culture made me thought that scratch cooking was common in here as it is in Mexico. After interacting more with people and getting to know more about this country, I realized scratch cooking is not the prevailing way of making food, which made me wonder if there is a relationship between scratch cooking and obesity.

Food culture refers to “the practices, attitudes, and beliefs as well as the networks and institutions surrounding the production, distribution, and consumption of food”. How is food culture in America? From my experience living here and working on food service, I can tell that Americans love to eat huge portions of food. Not only that, people love to eat at fastfood restaurants/regular restaurants.

SCRATCH COOKING

THE POSSIBLE "CURE" FOR OBESITY Written and illustrated by Daniela Valle Chavelas

S

o, for starters, what is actually cooking? Michael Pollan, an important journalist, activist and author of many highly acclaimed books, explores the concept of cooking and how is becoming a lost art. In his article for The New York Times magazine Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch, he consults Harry Balzer, a food-marketing researcher at NDP. Balzer gives his opinion about

the matter saying the definition of cooking has “grown so broad as to be meaningless”. Therefore, he and his team had to come up with a definition of cooking so people can give more accurate responses for their research. The definition that they came up with interprets scratch cooking as “preparing a main dish that requires some degree of assembly of elements”. So, according to this definition, even if people use processed foods it will still be considered cooking from scratch as long as they combine them with other ingredients (which can be either raw or processed foods too).

Processed foods are everywhere. It is almost impossible not to find food that is included in this category. People think processed foods are limited to cookies, chips, and carbonated drinks, but the truth is that most of the food that we eat has being processed for its preservation and consumption. Their popularity lies in the fact that they are a convenient way of cooking and therefore, they make up the majority of products that are offered in supermarkets and convenience stores. What is the big deal about processed foods? The issue about them is that they contain high levels of sugar, fat, and salt. These three flavors are known to be pretty easy to get addicted to, causing people to want to eat them without any regulation. So, it is important to moderate our consumption of these products as well as to learn how to read and interpret food labels.

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REFLECTION

...IT IS NE WITH BEIN AB


Food labels are tricky to understand but it is a necessary knowledge to acquire if we want to make smart choices about what we eat. Released on 2014, the movie Bite Size (directed by Corbing Billings) presents the lives of four kids around the country who are dealing with obesity. One of the kids, Moises Gutierrez, is one of two kids that learned how to properly read food labels. He was 11 years olds by the time that the movie was being filmed. After a visit to the doctor with his mom (Maria), Moises

I have being working as a cashier since almost two

is warned that he has dark marks on the back of his

years and during that time I have learned a lot about

neck, which is a clear sign that he will develop diabetes

food in general. Most of the stuff that I learn comes

at a young age. His mother gets extremely concerned

directly from customers that like to share different

about this and finally takes action. Both join MEND, a

aspects of their lifestyle, such as healthy food habits,

10-week long program that teaches people how to read

fitness, outdoor activities, organic products, and

food labels, and nutritional facts.

vegan/vegetarian recipes. The majority of customers that Outpost has love to buy food from the produce

They put what they learned into practice by going

department. Popular fruits and vegetables include

to supermarkets and comparing the same food but

apples, broccoli, lettuce, kale, cauliflower, celery,

different brands. They categorize foods as “MED

lemons, limes, avocado, berries and citrus. Some

friendly” or “MED unfriendly”. By the end of the movie,

customers have told me that they love to cook soups and

the Gutierrez family looks not only healthier but also

stews from scratch, which is why they buy so much food

much happier than at the beginning of the movie. It

from the produce department. On the other hand, I have

is safe to assume that before the MED program, Maria

also notice a good amount of people buying prepared

cooked using processed foods with lots of chemicals

meals, such as soup and burritos. This happens

and additives but this program changed that.

particularly when big families shop there, which is

understandable because they have more people to feed

We live in a modern era where information is easily

and it is more convenient for them to buy prepared

more available to us compared to the past. I currently

meals for the whole family. Other popular area at

at Outpost Natural Foods, a locally-owned cooperative.

Outpost is the bulk department. This department offers

This type of business model means that Outpost is

a great variety of grains, flours, nuts, beans, dried

voluntary owned and controlled by the people who

fruits, oats, etc… It is safe to assume that people that

use it (meaning the customers). People that shop there

tend to buy from the bulk area are going to cook their

know that products might be a little bit pricey compared

meals from scratch.

to other supermarkets but they are willing to pay more for better quality food. Outpost has exceptional

After doing my research, I looked back to Mexican

customer service, especially when it comes to answering

eating habits. Scratch cooking is part of my culture but

customer’s questions about the products and services

that does not mean that we are excused of the obesity

that the store offers. There have been multiple times

epidemic. When I was still living in Mexico, I heard that

that customers come with questions about products

Mexicans had overcome the United States in the obesity

or just brands in general and I, as an employee, am

epidemic. America is portrayed as the land of fast-food,

required to help them as much as I can. If for whatever

therefore, it did not make sense to me that my country

reason I cannot help them because I am already busy

was in a worse situation. As stated at the beginning of

with other customer or I do not know the answer, I am

this essay, scratch cooking is the most prevailing way

required to get someone from the customer service

of getting food in Mexico, so why did that happen? The

department. Customers love that Outpost’s employees

answer might have to do with other factors besides the

always take a step forward and get them more

way we cook. It also entails the quality of the food that

information about products that they are interested in.

we buy, the amount of food that we eat, how often do we

ECESSARY TO START NG MORE INFORMED BOUT WHAT WE EAT.

eat, and the time that we eat. There are so many things to consider when fighting the obesity epidemic, but it is necessary to start with being more informed about what we eat. Programs like the MED program are just one way to approach people and engage them into a healthier lifestyle. We should start thinking about other methods to offer the same service that the MED program does. By expanding this network of knowledge, people will get more interested on everything that relates to the way they eat and cook.

REFLECTION

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HANDS-ON

COOK IT

YOURSELF For that reason, this month in "Hands-On" we decided that you could learn a super easy recipe to try these holidays.

Cooking from scratch is delicious but (depending in your lifestyle) it can be tedious and time-consuming. Other thing to consider is experience. What if you're not familiar with the most basic cooking skills? This is a common situation among college students but it's important to be able to feed yourself.

Learn how to make Elbow Tomato Soup

Written and illustrated by Daniela Valle Chavelas

Serves: 2 Calories: 75 calories Preparation time: 35 min Ingredients 1 median red tomato 1/2 median onion 1 clove garlic 4 cups of water 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 1 cup dried elbow pasta 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1. In a blender, mix the tomato, onion, garlic and cilantro and 1 cup of water and put aside. Optional, once blended, strain the liquid.

2. In a medium pan, heat the oil and sautĂŠ the pasta for 1 to 2 minutes turning constantly.

3. Once the pasta has a light brown color, pour the blender ingredients into pan.

4. In medium heat, add the remaining cups of water and salt, and let it boil for about 25 minutes or until pasta is soft.

5. Serve hot.

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HANDS - ON


HANDS - ON

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SEED BREEDING Chefs, farmers and UW scientists team up for flavorful produce

Written by Nico Savidge Illustrated by Kimberly Brunner

THE SPREAD OF DISHES THAT FILLED TABLES IN A CHURCH BASEMENT NEAR THE UW-MADISON CAMPUS ONE NIGHT THIS FALL WOULD HAVE BEEN THE ENVY OF ANY MADISON FOODIE. THERE WERE BEETS WITH FARRO KOJI, YOGURT AND PICKLED CARROTS, THE CREATION OF A PIG IN A FUR COAT CHEF DAN BONANNO.

SEED BREEDING

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WHEN YOU TRY 27 DIFFERENT TYPES OF KALE IN THE MORNING… YOU THINK ABOUT KALE IN A WAY YOU’VE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT BEFORE.

T

he Underground Food Collective’s Jonny Hunter served a squash puree with corn, onions and peppers. Tory Miller, the star chef behind four Madison restaurants, prepared a paella with squash and kale.

vegetables more attractive to people to eat … and then

As impressive as the lineup of chefs was, the stars of

we can also benefit as far as restaurants go, because our

that October night were the ingredients they used.

vegetables will be way better than anyone else’s.” Farmers and chefs both want flavorful produce, says

The squash, corn, peppers, carrots, kale — just about

Julie Dawson, the UW-Madison professor who runs the

all of the ingredients that went into the dishes — were

initiative. Connecting them with UW professors’ deep

some of the early results of a UW-Madison program that

knowledge of plant breeding and horticulture can help

has brought professors, plant breeders, organic farmers

them get it, Dawson says.

and some of the city’s top chefs together with the goal of creating more flavorful fruits and vegetables for local agriculture.

“It’s something we can do as a public institution that really serves the farmers of the state that are trying to get more local produce into the market,” she said.

Bonanno, Hunter, Miller and Eric Benedict of the recently opened Cafe Hollander have played an integral role in the program, which is now wrapping up its second growing season, volunteering their finely tuned tastes and knowledge of the restaurant business to give farmers and breeders detailed feedback on the new varieties of produce they create. “This is one of the cooler things that’s happening in

FLAVOR IS TOP PRIORITY When farmers and seed companies breed produce, they

food in the world right now,” Hunter said. “We could

usually do so with production — not taste — in mind,

really do something extraordinary here that makes

said Miller. They want vegetables that can withstand hundreds or thousands of miles of travel; that will ripen

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SEED BREEDING


after they’re picked and that have a uniform appearance so they’ll look good on supermarket shelves. But in the UW-Madison program, flavor is “a priority from the beginning of the breeding process,” Dawson said. The breeders take some practical concerns into account —

dishes. People think of heirloom varieties of tomatoes or

chefs want vegetables that can withstand some time in

other vegetables as being the most flavorful, she said,

storage at their restaurants, and whatever produce they

but those varieties are themselves the result of breeding

develop has to grow well in Wisconsin and the upper

and selection by farmers and gardeners.

Midwest, Dawson said. But for the most part, the program focuses on finding and breeding varieties of fruits and vegetables with specific flavors and textures in mind.So far that has

“There’s no reason why we can’t continue that selection to breed varieties that are really excellent for local and organic agriculture, and also to have the highest quality and best flavor,” Dawson said.

included peppers that pack a moderate punch of heat, squash with higher sugar content that will caramelize when roasted, potatoes with a firmer texture that won’t disintegrate in soups, and corn with a more savory taste, rather than the ubiquitous sweet varieties. The program works with 15 direct-market farmers — smaller operations that sell their produce directly to restaurants, community-supported agriculture programs and some markets. Those flavor traits can set the farmers’ fruits and vegetables apart, Dawson said, and also give chefs ingredients that can make for tastier

CHEFS ARE CENTRAL With such an emphasis on flavor, the researchers must extensively taste-test the fruits and vegetables grown through the program, often enlisting students, staff and faculty in various UW-Madison agricultural departments to help evaluate the many varieties of produce. At one recent tasting, volunteers slowly moved down

THIS IS ONE OF THE COOLER THINGS THAT’S HAPPENING IN FOOD IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

SEED BREEDING

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because if restaurants like Bonanno’s A Pig In a Fur Coat or Miller’s L’Etoile use the new varieties, that could help farmers to market them to consumers, Simon said. a line of roasting pans with butternut squash and plastic tubs of kale, sampling each variety and filling out forms evaluating their color, sweetness, acidity and texture. Researchers also set up taste tests at farmers markets around Wisconsin to get a sense of what the general public thinks of the varieties, and local farmers taking part in the program give feedback on how well the vegetables grow and what sort of yield they see from the crops. But some of the program’s best feedback comes from the chefs — Miller, Hunter, Bonanno and Benedict — who have spent hours tasting different kinds of tomatoes, peppers and corn to discern which have just the right flavor profile. “When you try 27 different types of kale in the morning … you think about kale in a way you’ve never thought about it before,” Hunter said. Kale grown in warm weather tends to be more bitter, so the program is working to develop a variety that will be sweeter in the summer. “You’ve really got to concentrate

on tasting something,” he said.

The chefs can pick up on the subtle differences in flavor and texture between varieties that might be lost on less discerning palates, said Philipp Simon, a UW-Madison professor and carrot breeder. That knowledge can give researchers very specific feedback on what does and doesn’t work. “They’re very good at describing what they want,” Simon said. “Nothing against the average consumer, but they just say, ‘better’ and ‘good’ and those kinds of descriptions don’t help us very much.

“We get a lot more detailed kind of information from these professionals.”

EXCITED BY THE FUTURE The chefs say they often find themselves thinking about the dishes they could build around the new varieties of fruits and vegetables while they’re taking part in the taste tests. “How I’m going to use the food is going through my mind already,” Bonanno said. That can benefit the farmers involved in the program,

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SEED BREEDING

It will still be several years before those new varieties are widely available. But the chefs and researchers involved in the program are excited for the future,when the new and unique vegetables they helped engineer could be found in community-supported agriculture boxes and restaurants around Madison. “What we’re hoping for is a Wisconsin pepper, or those tomatoes that we developed or that we searched for,” Miller said. “That’s going to be the raddest thing five years

from now.”


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WE’RE LOOKING FOR A

CULTURAL PARADIGM SHIFT

THEY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO WILL NOT LEAVE THIS PLANET WITHOUT FIRST BETTERING IT, THE CITIZENS WHO SIMPLY CANNOT LIVE THEIR LIVES IGNORING THE FACT THAT THEY SHARE A COMMUNITY WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM HUNGER. Written by Sarah Biondich Photography by Daniela Valle Chavelas

MILWAUKEE’S GOOD FOOD MOVEMENT

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Our city certainly doesn’t lack for heroes, and this list hardly captures the swelling number of folks who improve Milwaukee every day by making sure their neighbors have safe, equitable access to healthy food, but these individuals and the organizations they work with are contributing on a tremendous scale and deserve special recognition for their hard work.

The individuals devoted to improving Milwaukee’s food system contribute to the movement for various reasons—be it economic, social, environmental, spiritual, personal, educational or a combination of such—but the end result is the same: Milwaukee is a better place because the people listed below live and work here.

WILL ALLEN, GROWING POWER

There are many cities in the United States making important strides in urban agriculture, but they don’t have Will Allen. The founder and CEO of Growing Power has not only put Milwaukee on the urban ag map, he has catapulted our city to capital-status. His genius is in the way he has formulated his methodology for cultivating, harvesting and delivering healthy foods and serving the very real need of feeding people. A prolific and inspiring speaker, Allen is constantly teaching others the way of urban ag, which means the everyday operation of Growing Power is often in the hands of his devoted army of staff, interns and volunteers.

MARTHA DAVIS KIPCAK, CENTER FOR RESILIENT CITIES When Davis Kipcak joined the Center for Resilient Cities —a nonprofit organization that garners public and private resources to provide the infrastructure and assistance needed to help underserved communities thrive and be resilient—as food program manager in July, she brought with her years of experience working to help individuals empower and nourish themselves. Davis Kipcak explains that what she does—as a regional governor for Slow Food USA, as a member of Growing Power’s board of directors, or as a member of the Milwaukee Food Council—is simply hospitality. She “brings people to the table” because “to do transforming food system work means to do it in a very relational way.”

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MILWAUKEE’S GOOD FOOD MOVEMENT


DEB DEACON, THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of Wisconsin farmers’ markets that only comes from visiting 30 to 40 a year, Deacon hit the ground running when she decided to open Milwaukee’s first winter farmers’ market at State Fair

the season for farmers wanting to sell their goods, the

JOSH FRAUNDORF & JAMES GODSIL, SWEET WATER ORGANICS

market also gives low-income households access to high-

Inspired by Will Allen’s Growing Power, Fraundorf and

quality, locally produced vegetables,fruit, cheese and meat

Godsil created the world’s first large-scale commercial

for an extra six months.

aquaponic fish and vegetable farm in a repurposed

Park last year. The market allows purchases to be made with QUEST Cards (debit cards for food stamps), so in addition to extending

factory building. The owners’ goal is to help stimulate a leading 21st-century industry that provides jobs, produces sustainable food and helps revitalize the

PAULETTE FLYNN, SHARE Paulette Flynn founded SHARE with other like-minded individuals in San Diego in 1983 to help people who did

city’s unused manufacturing buildings, a mission that is exhaustively detailed on Godsil’s online resource (www. MilwaukeeRenaissance.com). Fraundorf and Godsil strive for a lasting, positive social impact through Sweet Water’s nonprofit foundation, which is developing programs in education andfor kids at risk.

not want to be on public assistance, but who needed to stretch their food dollars. SHARE, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Wisconsin this year, provides access to

Flynn, who is responsible for purchasing all of the food

YOUNG KIM, FONDY FOOD CENTER

that SHARE distributes to more than 20,000 people

Before becoming executive director of the Fondy

per month, is particularly proud of the organization’s

Food Center in 2003, Young Kim likened his past work

Mobile Market program, a food sale service that brings

experience “to being handed a bucket and told to run

high-quality, healthy foods at affordable prices to

around and catch rainwater leaking through the ceiling.”

Milwaukee neighborhoods.

The work he’s doing at Fondy, connecting Milwaukee’s

good, nutritious food at a reduced cost through a volunteerrun, community-based distribution system.

North Side with locally grown food from farm to table, is “climbing on the roof and patching the leak.” The center also operates and manwages the Fondy Farmers Market, one of the city’s largest producer-only markets, which attracts 3,000-4,000 visitors a week, as well as a number of programs that aim to remove barriers that prevent people from having good, clean food at fair prices.

MILWAUKEE’S GOOD FOOD MOVEMENT

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GRETCHEN MEAD, VICTORY GARDEN INITIATIVE “We’re looking for a cultural paradigm shift,” says Gretchen Mead, director of the Victory Garden Initiative. After a career as a clinical social worker, Mead felt she could make a larger impact if she could transform the ailing food system that was encumbering her clients. If you’re not going to join this charming and magnetic dynamo on her mission to grow food in all places—back yards, front yards, rooftops and patios—get out of her

He is exceptionally generous with his time, whether he’s cooking breakfast at the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers’ Market or visiting tables on a hectic Saturday night.

way. She is a prolific community organizer with a gift for empowering others to become leaders.

KYMM MUTCH, MILWAUKEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS NUTRITION SERVICES As director of nutrition services for MPS, Mutch is responsible for feeding our city’s children, serving 31,000 breakfasts, 57,000 lunches and 6,000 after-school snacks per school day. Along with her master’s degree in counseling and 25 years of experience working as a dietitian focusing on child and adolescent nutrition, Mutch brings an entrepreneurial spirit to her work.

VENICE WILLIAMS, SEEDFOLKS YOUTH MINISTRY “You can’t feed the body and not feed the soul at the same time,” explains Williams, a Lutheran minister who has been working in Milwaukee for more than 20 years. Williams is responsible for creating and implementing the handson programming at Alice’s Garden, a 2-acre community garden in the Johnsons Park neighborhood that currently supports 100 families and community organizations growing fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. Williams strives to assist families in living healthier lives on a variety of levels, through engaging children’s programming and adult environmental and agricultural education.

MPS students are enjoying whole-grain breads, fresh fruits and a variety of vegetables because of the relationships Mutch has forged with local suppliers, like Growing Power.

PETER SANDRONI, LA MERENDA If you want to know what integrity actually tastes like, enjoy a meal at La Merenda, where chef/owner Peter Sandroni has the uncanny ability to practice alchemy, transforming ingredients into something magical. Beyond the fact that he’s a remarkable chef, Sandroni is dedicated to sourcing his ingredients locally.

MILWAUKEE’S GOOD FOOD MOVEMENT

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SWEET

WATER ORGANICS Final Service Learning Paper

Written by Anna Stephens Photography by Daniela Valle Chavelas

THIS SEMESTER I VOLUNTEERED 43 HOURS AT SWEET WATER ORGANICS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF BAY VIEW. MY RESPONSIBILITIES THERE INCLUDED MAINTAINING THE GENERAL STORE HELPING OUT WITH THINGS LIKE MERCHANDISING, STOCK AND WORKING WITH CUSTOMERS. I ENJOYED THESE TASKS BECAUSE THEY ENABLED ME TO WORK WITH PEOPLE, TO EDUCATE VISITORS COMING ON TOURS, AS WELL AS AN AVENUE TO APPLY MY ARTISTIC INTERESTS.

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SWEET WATER ORGANICS


PHOTO BY DANIELA VALLE CHAVELAS

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PHOTO BY DANIELA VALLE CHAVELAS

M

y supervisors, Toni Johns and Margaret Muza, were two very enthusiastic individuals who made the work environment exciting and fun. We were constantly brainstorming

creative projects to do and through our collective

classes are offered yearlong throughout the Sweet Water

dedication, we accomplished many of them. Coming

complex. Because it is completely run off of volunteers,

into work, seeing what had to be done such as painting

they are always bringing people in for tours, seeking

a work space, or making a sign and physically doing it,

new help and trying to get the word out. Whether

left me with a sense of gratification when seeing the

you are interested in composting, the science of

result of our efforts put in.

hydroponics or the art of merchandising there are jobs/ volunteer opportunities available for nearly everyone. What is particularly great about the activities that go on there are how hands-on they are. Learning is doing at

PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES OFFERED AT SWEET WATER

Sweet Water and nearly all tasks given at the foundation involve making it happen and working with others.

and resources, which benefit the community. Their

DO THEY FULFILL THEIR MISSION?

alternative ways of urban farming provide an infinite

According to their mission statement, “The Sweet Water

amount of education and job opportunities within their

word. Fish farming, planting, harvesting and teaching

Foundation develops intergenerational and interdisciplinary educational programming for sustainability with a focus on the potential of urban agriculture and aquaculture in the 21st century setting.” What is commendable about

all take place under the same roof. Activities and

this is how they have addressed important issues

Sweet Water as a whole reflects a philosophy of creating “transformative change” through sustainable tools,

headquarters. What makes their on-goings unique is that it is a collaborative effort in every sense of the

relating to the community (nutrition, agriculture, sustainable methods in urban farming) and they have

EVERYONE IS VALUED, EVERY JOB IS RELATIVE.

proceeded to give back, through the opportunities they offer and through the distribution of their crops. Their mission statement and methodology behind their efforts reflect their honest approach to attempting to solve very pertinent issues through solutions with longevity. How have they achieved this? I believe they have done this through dedication and hard work. For being an organization primarily run by volunteers, they have found some very dedicated and knowledgeable

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SWEET WATER ORGANICS


A POWERFUL MOMENT Aside from the many jobs I took on working in the general store, I sought out to organize a volunteer individuals who have put in the time and work to

appreciation event one that would in essence help bring

expand the foundation. What began in 2008, as an

people together and celebrate their hard work. What

abandoned warehouse, designated to store train cars,

I proposed was a potluck gathering open to everyone

is now a flourishing oasis of thriving agriculture, a

who was a part of Sweet Water, friends and family as

center for learning and a spectacle of modern science.

well included. I worked with my two supervisors, as

I don’t think Sweet Water would be what it is today if

well as a guy named Jeff Redmond who was head of

it weren’t for the shared sense of pride, purpose and

the art projects held at the foundation. Jeff became

responsibility the people who work there have. Their

an important contact for this endeavor and for future

expansion and success of how the foundation functions

projects as well.

today have been built from the ground up, literally, with a collective drive and passion for what goes on.

There, at the warehouse I discovered that he has all the materials necessary for screen-printing. He even had

For example, one common job there is harvesting

several screens already burned and ready to go which

lettuce. This job is something that most anyone could

had Sweet Water’s logo on them! This was very exciting

do if taught. However you might wonder what motivates

for me, as a printmaking major that gave me motivation

these volunteers to come in on a weekly basis on their

to want to include this as part of our event. Preparation

own time to stand for hours without pay to pick leaves

for the potluck took a few weeks. I spent hours cleaning

of this seemingly precious hydro-lettuce? If there

the printing materials which hadn’t been used for a

weren’t a sense of community there, with a genuine

while, scrubbing squeegees and so on, in the trenches

interest and passion for the tasks that needed to be

of sweet water’s back warehouse. What seemed like

done, none of this would happen, or survive for that

gritty job from the get-go, turned out to be more than

matter. There seems to be a shared sense of pride and

worth while for people were more than excited to get

importance for the activities that go on there.

their custom shirts made. The event took place in Sweet Water’s newly established art gallery space, which is

For instance, if the lettuce pickers didn’t come in to

right next to the general store. Jeff had hung some of his

work how would the fish in the same system, survive?

work in the space that week to promote the new edition,

If there weren’t any fish left, how would Sweet Water go

which was another aspect that excited people.

on to provide The Green Kitchen (and countless other local businesses) the staple, nutritious ingredients they

The turnout of the event was great. We had about 50

need to serve their customers? Without this on their

people come and participate. Families, founders and

menu, would customers come back; would they stay

young volunteers all came and donated a dish to pass.

in business? Sweet Water’s business model/ collective

What was scheduled as a 5-hour event turned into a

efforts function like a food chain. No single task is

daylong extravaganza of live printing, music and games.

undermined in the process of production. Everyone is

I took on the task of printing shirts throughout the

valued, every job is relative.

whole day. What made is more than satisfying was the joy that people seemed to get out of receiving a shirt. Families and their kids were able to participate, the

SWEET WATER ORGANICS

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SWEET WATER ORGANICS

PHOTO BY DANIELA VALLE CHAVELAS


investigation on the meanings of community (or Gemeinschaft) left me with countless ideas to consider. To start, I found it compelling that he based his definitions (or comparisons for that matter) on the element of human will. Meaning, the ways in which moms went crazy! It was funny to see people make runs to the thrift store to keep on bringing clothing back to be printed on. Jeff especially seemed thrilled that his equipment was being put to use, and his screens were so appreciated. I myself, lost track of time because it was so much fun, and can say that it surpassed anyof my expectations. The experience in itself embedded a gratifying sense of community and collective accomplishment. It goes to show that again, the people who I got to know there are just genuinely awesome people! As for the future, myself and the people who helped me plan that event want to make a public version of our potluck happen for the summer. We are determined to make it happen and motivated by how much fun we had. In turn, this could be a great way of recruiting more volunteers to help continue to expand Sweet Water. Hosting it in the outdoor area of Sweet Water would be a great way of making it visible to people passing by. Inviting local vendors, musicians and neighboring businesses will be a great thing for the community. Jeff was kind enough to offer his screen-printing materials again/ anytime needed, which I am very grateful and excited about. I have plans for the near future to work with him on a mural project there as well, which is to be taking place in early summer. This is something, which I have wanted to do for some time there now. The plan is to paint a large portion of the exterior of the building, which now sits untouched. Not only will this advertise for visitors, but help make for a more inviting outdoor area for events to be hosted. Needless to say, I am very excited to continue to work with and create projects at Sweet Water!

READINGS THIS SEMESTER

a community functions, or changes can be measured by the willingness of its residents. I found this idea particularly relative to the progressive environment I was in at Sweet Water Organics. There, the people who ran the foundation faced a seemingly unrealistic business model. That being, a volunteer-run foundation that sells fish and vegetables for nearly no-profit at all. However, as discussed previously, through getting to know these people, their motivation and success has come out of a shared sense of purpose and collective will. This is what Tonnie might have considered as a harmonious way of working, unknowingly being a part of something bigger. Tonnie also discussed the importance of connecting with others, and the dangers of distancing ourselves from other communities. In turn what this results in is a barrier of fear, which I find particularly relative to the city of Milwaukee. It is no mystery that our city continues to be labeled as one of the most segregated cities in the nation. This very complex issue has everything to do with our government, politicians, investors as well as our neighbors and residents who are faced with economical challenges that permit a whole lot of progress to be made. If there’s one aspect to this issue that I find particularly compelling it is how we as a community can come together as a people to voice these changes that need to be made. Tonnie discusses this idea thoroughly in stressing how much power and responsibility that we as residents have to bind together. In his chapter Disillusion he states,

“The substance of the common spirit has become so weak or the link connecting him with the others worn so thin that it has to be excluded from consideration. In contrast to the family and co-operative relationship, this is true of all relations among separate individuals where there is no common understanding, and no time-honored custom or belief creates a common bond.” In this chapter he emphasizes the consequences of not trying to connect with others over differences the main

Over the course of this semester I have been interested

one being fear. What can be interpreted as a form of

in the readings we have been given which discuss the

segregation is what he describes as a mental psychological

power of community. Ferdinand Tonnie’s writings on

war. This being a result of no communication between

discussing his term of Gemeinschaft vs. Gesellschaft for example were one, which I found to be relative to my personal volunteer experience. His expansive

THE EXPERIENCE IN ITSELF EMBEDDED A GRATIFYING SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND COLLECTIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT. SWEET WATER ORGANICS

25


PHOTO BY DANIELA VALLE CHAVELAS

groups of different backgrounds, letting the stereotypes be the only thing that function between them. On page 2 he explains, “Even peaceful and neighborly relations are in reality based upon a warlike situation. This is, according to our concepts, the condition of Gesellschaftlike civilization, in which peace and commerce are maintained through conventions and the underlying mutual fear.” (Tonnie) These social issues can be applied to many of the neighborhoods, which remain segregated in our city. However a major component to consider in the spirit of change is again, the power we have a people who make up what Tonnie refers to as “The Real State”.

“Without knowledge of wind and current, without some sense of purpose, men and societies do not keep afloat for long, morally or economically, by bailing out of the water.” Just as we as members of the community have responsibility to work towards making progress in our communities, so does our government. Furthermore, many of the economical issues, which Milwaukee faces, cannot be fixed without the help and attention from its society. A topic, which I focused on this semester, in particular was our city’s infrastructure and how it seems to be more than dysfunctional in relationship to its residents. In particular, the downtown area where countless buildings seems to sit vacant, when the number of Milwaukee’s homeless population increases. This issue, along with segregation, I do believe can be connected through the misuse and unbalanced amount of funding which seems to be lacking from our government towards infrastructure. This of course, is much easier said than done for many reasons. One being, the amount of investments that goes toward tourism in the city of Milwaukee. In the state of Wisconsin alone, tourism brings in around $13 billion dollars a year in annual business, bringing in around 66,000 jobs. Therefore, being one of our state’s major cities Milwaukee alone invests billions of dollars into tourism infrastructure to help sustain the industry. Summerfest for example, is just one of the many sites where these investments are channeled.But an obvious question that I seem to continue to wonder is if Milwaukee has all this money, why do we continue to struggle with seemingly simpler problems like public transportation, the lack of homeless shelters, food pantry’s and community centers? As Judt states on page 169, “Societies are complex and contain conflicting

interests.” Therefore there is not just one simple solution to any of these issues. An interesting point that he goes onto discuss is the ways in which society influences how and what we see as things of value. He discusses how the society has encouraged us to invest more and more in private interests in order to benefit ourselves. In doing so, he proposes that we have evolved as a society to dismiss issues of well being for one another. He poses the question:

26

SWEET WATER ORGANICS


“What if we factored into our estimates of productivity, efficiency, or well-being the difference between a humiliating handout and a benefit as of right? We might conclude that the provision of universal social services, public health insurance, or subsidized public transportation was actually a cost-effective way to achieve our common objectives.”

I have always been very driven by the process of making things. I do think this is one reason why I enjoyed working at Sweet Water so much. Everything from harvesting lettuce, catching fish and the event we threw was extremely hands on and process-driven. Being able

If there’s one thing I believe in it’s the importance

to experience first hand the pay-off of hard work and to

of bringing these issues down to a very human-to-

see a change in the place after putting in hard work was

human level. We can read about all these things as

extremely satisfying. Likewise, having the openness to

much as we want, and granted there is vital that we

craft new events and projects was very motivating. Of

educate ourselves on different ideas, however I believe

course running a business of any kind being run off of

in the value of doing things. Going back to Tonnie’s

volunteers is risky and has its pros and cons. However

emphasis on the power of the people, I strongly agree

this is an aspect of Sweet Water, which I enjoyed the

with this. Daniel Judt also discussed this in his article

most because it offered flexibility and creativity to go

“Rethinking Politics in the Classroom” which talked

into the planning of new projects.

about teaching younger students about politics and the importance of sparking conversations on controversial

The people that I worked with played a huge role in

issues early on. The over arching idea here was the

everything too. Getting to know the charismatic co-

value placed on making things relative. Whether it is an

workers at the warehouse was just as much fun as the

experience, an idea or something spontaneous I believe

jobs themselves. Being around entertaining individuals

that there can be a lot gained through reflection and

who were so dedicated and creatively motivated, was an

thoughtful consideration. This is how we can better our

encouraging environment to be a part of. After all, it is

communities and ourselves.

because of these people who come in and spend their time there who make the place run. The event that I am proposing is a long-term project

CONNECTIONS & INSIGHT

in which all of these unique components to Sweet Water will be embraced. The market is meant to be an

Over the course of this semester I can say that

extension to the creative environment at the warehouse.

volunteering has opened my eyes on ideas of

In this way, I hope people are encouraged to make

community and the importance of making connections.

their part of it what ever they want whether it means

The readings we have been given as well as in class

selling product, performing or helping print shirts. In

discussions have brought up some very important

a larger context, I think this will be very good for the

points such as the power we have as people and the

neighborhood, which in itself has lots of artists, vendors

responsibility we have to demand change. However, I

and creative people looking for outlets in which to

do believe the most impact experience I have gotten

showcase their work. Getting people interested, means

from this course has been through the volunteer work

getting people motivated to get involved and that’s the

itself. Sweet water was a great setting where art and

most important thing I’ve learned this semester.

community work went hand in hand. This type of creative environment is one in which I can see myself

(414) 289-6030 director@FriedensPantry.org friedenspantry.org

la Paz, Hope House, and Zion Rock.

4 locations: Coggs Center, Despensa de

across Milwaukee. They currently have

Friedens is a network of food pantries

FRIEDENS COMMUNITY MINISTRY, INC.

feedingamericawi.org

Milwaukee: 414-931-7400 or 800-236-1208 Fox Valley: 920-202-3690 or 888-643-7074

different programs.

and individuals through a number of

provides nutritious food to families

Founded in 1982, this organization

FEEDING AMERICA EASTERN WISCONSIN

262-518-2009 volunteer@riverwestfoodpantry.org riverwestfoodpantry.org

useful resources.

program that connects shoppers to

experience.They also have a mentorship

food through an interactive shopping

health by providing access to nutritious

The Riverwest Food pantry improves

RIVERWEST FOOD PANTRY

hungertaskforce.org

414-777-0483 info@hungertaskforce.org

homeless shelters.

different pantries, soup kitchens and

They provide free and healthy food to

leading anti-hunger organization.

The Hunger Task force is Milwaukee's

HUNGER TASK FORCE OF MILWAUKEE

OPPORTUNITIES

VOLUNTEER

continuing being a part of.

SWEET WATER ORGANICS

27


OPINION

TRANSFORMING OUR FOOD SYSTEM One of the core principles of humane education is focusing on transforming our systems so that they’re more restorative, just, and humane for all. Our food system has far-reaching effects on people, animals, and the earth, so we need new initiatives that reenvision how and what we produce to eat.

An Interview With Bruce Friedrich of The Good Food Institute

Written by Zoe Weil Illustrated by Daniela Valle Chavelas

B

ruce Friedrich is the executive director of the The Good Food Institute (GFI), a new organization dedicated to “creating a healthy, humane, and sustainable food supply.” Bruce holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center, Grinnell College, Johns Hopkins University, and the London School of Economics.He has held leadership roles for the past two decades at top nonprofit organizations working on animal agriculture issues.

In addition to his work for GFI, Bruce is a managing trustee of New Crop Capital, a venture capital fund that invests in plant and culture-based alternatives to animal agriculture, as well as tech platforms that advance plant-based eating. Bruce also taught for two years in inner city Baltimore through Teach for America, and was Teacher of the Year for his school his second year. I spoke with Bruce about the GFI and our changing food system.

WHY DID YOU START THE GOOD FOOD INSTITUTE? GFI is focused on disrupting animal agriculture by promoting the commercial success of plant-based and cultured alternatives. People make their food choices based on convenience, taste, and price, so that’s where we’re focusing—on making the alternatives to animal products more convenient, tasty, and price-competitive.

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OPINION


HUMANE EDUCATION MAKES AN INVALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO CREATING THE WORLD WE’RE ALL WORKING TOWARD. WHAT ARE YOUR STRATEGIES FOR CREATING CHANGE IN OUR FOOD SYSTEM? We’re doing a host of things that we think will help, but four big ones are:

1. Working with start-ups to create and ensure the success of more and more plant and culture-based

there is just not enough time to get to them all. We need to hire staff, so that we can divide and conquer. And 2) raising money. We want to raise about $1.6 million to be fully operational, and that’s going to take some time.

companies;

2. Working with companies on maximum distribution; 3. Working in universities to influence more people (food scientists, synthetic biologists, entrepreneurs) to move into this space;

4. Working at a high level to promote the space by

IMAGINING A FUTURE IN WHICH ANIMALS ARE NO LONGER EXPLOITED AND ABUSED FOR FOOD, WHAT DO YOU THINK THE HISTORY BOOKS WILL SAY ABOUT THE STRATEGIES THAT HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT IN CAUSING SUCH A SHIFT?

encouraging industry and governments to get involved

I think the history books will discuss a confluence of

in funding it, as a part of their efforts on behalf of

factors, including the bending toward justice that is

sustainability and against climate change.

the inexorable path of history, as Dr. King rightly noted from a faith vantage, and as Steven Pinker explained in great detail in The Better Angels of Our Nature:

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES AND OBSTACLES? So far, we have been blessed by nothing but openings, no obstacles. The challenges are not really challenges in the conventional sense, either. The only two big challenges at this point are: 1) Finding enough hours in the day. Our list of projects is about 20 miles long, and

Why Violence Has Declined (a book which I highly recommend to anyone who is ever feeling discouraged in their work to make the world a kinder place—hold on and keep fighting; we’re going to get there!). Anyway, I think the history books will note the vast numbers of people and activities that inevitably brought us to animal liberation.

HOW DOES HUMANE EDUCATION FIT INTO YOUR STRATEGY? Humane education makes an invaluable contribution

PEOPLE MAKE THEIR FOOD CHOICES BASED ON CONVENIENCE, TASTE, AND PRICE, SO THAT’S WHERE WE’RE FOCUSING.

to creating the world we’re all working toward: a world where no one is hungry, homeless, or without health care—anywhere in the world; a world where conflict is resolved nonviolently; a world where all animals are treated with the same respect most of us confer on our dogs and cats.

OPINION

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CONTRIBUTORS

EDITOR IN CHIEF Daniela Valle Chavelas

ASSISTANT EDITOR Adam Setala

ART DIRECTION Daniela Valle Chavelas

ILLUSTRATIONS Kimberly Brunner Daniela Valle Chavelas

PHOTOGRAPHY Daniela Valle Chavelas

WRITERS Sarah Biondich Shepherd Express Nico Savidge Anna Stephens Zoe Weil Institute for Humane Education www.HumaneEducation.org Bruce Friedrich http://www.gfi.org/our-team

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WE ALL EAT, AND IT WOULD BE A SAD WASTE OF OPPORTUNITY

TO EAT BADLY.

Anna Thomas

PHOTO BY DANIELA VALLE CHAVELAS



MIAD Bridge 2016