By Marina Budrys, Marketing Intern
I have been very fortunate to grow up in a family that valued eating healthy meals together. While fava beans were not my favorite at age 8 (although I did have to try three bites), I am eternally grateful to my parents for introducing me to every variety of vegetable at a young age. This early introduction to whole foods, grains, and an understanding from where my food came from is at the base of why food justice and food education is so important to me. As I grew up, attended different schools, and was exposed to multiple different lifestyles, I realized that the way I was raised was not the norm: eating home cooked meals was not as common as I had experienced.
An internship at Healthy Planet intrigued me because it focused on achievable and feasible goals. Planting school gardens has been shown to increase the amount of vegetables that children want to eat. Just knowing what vegetable is what and how they grow creates a curiosity and interest in healthy eating. Healthy Planet is battling obesity-related and nutrition related diseases one garden at a time and this work is essential to future generations and their health. As a growing organization, Healthy Planet has successfully transformed 39 schools to include garden-based learning in their curriculum. This is big. As Jamie Oliver points out in his Ted talk, even an hour or two of learning what different vegetables are, increases the chances of eating them. If an hour or two can do that, think what a school and community garden can do!
I’m looking forward to gaining and strengthening skills in successful and informative marketing techniques and to understand the value of both effective communication and social media presence. Effective communication is at the base of recruiting and informing schools, children, and their families to be part of a growing movement to change their eating and cooking methods. Through these platforms, I hope to reach and educate students, health advocates, and develop lasting relationships with those in the food justice world.