In the first few days of starting school out west a month ago, we were asked the question, "As environmental educators, how are you going to change the world?" It was a daunting question, but it has stuck with me, so I end up thinking about it every day. And the answer that I keep coming back to is food!
I have met some incredible people over the past month and I keep meeting more. Last week, 220 private school boys came to our Centre to kick off their school year for 4 days, learning how to canoe, kayak, conquer their fear of heights and become a cohesive team - a group that will rely heavily on one another throughout the coming year. A few new staff joined the team for this group and within the span of 4 days, I had 2 new best friends!
Katherine lives in Toronto and serves at a Jamie Kennedy restaurant downtown - the restaurant serves local, organic food that will leave you never settling for an ordinary restaurant again. She is passionate about food and relayed stories to me about not clearing customer's plates until they had eaten the organic carrots that were seemingly a garnish... ("Are you sure you are done with that? Do you realize how much love has gone into growing those carrots?!?") She's amazing.
I also met Sarah, who seems to have many titles, but the only one that has stuck with me is 'holistic nutritionist'. We connected immediately as I shared my vision of starting school food gardens across Ontario. And although moving to Denmark, she promised to play a role from a distance! She too has a blog about food and health, and has some incredible photos and recipes... here's the link. She is truly an incredible individual!
Paul Hawken is an environmentalist and author who's most recent book is called Blessed Unrest. He writes about a growing movement - upwards of 2 million organizations - who are working towards ecological sustainability and social justice. He is in awe of this movement - the passion that people have and the commitment that they are making to help change the world. Katherine and Sarah are two such women in my growing list of people I meet on my day to day journey of finding optimism on a planet that seems to be suffering so much.