PROVECH ROVECHO MIAD BRIDGE
IN THIS ISSUE:
SEED BREEDING MILWAUKEE'S GOOD FOOD MOVEMENT SWEET WATER ORGANICS
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
28 6 4
An Interview With Bruce Friedrich of The Good Food Institute.
Learn how to make Elbow Tomato Soup.
HANDS - ON
Is scratch cooking a possible cure for the obesity epidemic?
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.
8 14 20
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.
THE POSSIBLE "CURE" FOR OBESITY Written and illustrated by Daniela Valle Chavelas
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.
...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.
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.
HANDS - ON
HANDS - ON
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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
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
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.”
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.”
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
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
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.
SWEET WATER ORGANICS
PHOTO BY DANIELA VALLE CHAVELAS
PHOTO BY DANIELA VALLE CHAVELAS
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
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
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
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:
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.
Milwaukee: 414-931-7400 or 800-236-1208 Fox Valley: 920-202-3690 or 888-643-7074
and individuals through a number of
provides nutritious food to families
Founded in 1982, this organization
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262-518-2009 firstname.lastname@example.org riverwestfoodpantry.org
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
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
continuing being a part of.
SWEET WATER ORGANICS
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
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.
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.
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.
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
WE ALL EAT, AND IT WOULD BE A SAD WASTE OF OPPORTUNITY
TO EAT BADLY.
PHOTO BY DANIELA VALLE CHAVELAS