Nearly every program we offer offers an educational component. To us, education is not only one of the most important pathways out of poverty, but also one of the most layered and convoluted.
Understanding that providing food access and teaching people how to grow food are only two parts of solving the causes of hunger, we collect gently-used cookware, cooking utensils, plates, etc that can be redistributed to those who are without. These distributions coincide with community-based cooking education, ranging from how to perform basic food preparation to preparing quick, easy, nutritious meals.
We often get asked why cooking/nutrition education is so important. Typically the ones asking this are the ones who haven’t actually spent time around those they are trying to “help”, and thus, cannot really understand. “Why” is best explained with a simple example. Most of us know that freshly prepared food is better for you than processed foods. Let’s say you would like to teach someone to make salsa from scratch. You give them a recipe card and a tomato to start. The assumption is that you have given them all the necessary tools required to start making salsa, correct? Wrong. You are assuming a few things.
1. That they have a knife and cutting board in which to slice and dice the tomato.
2. That they know what “dice” even means. If they don’t have the knife and they have never been shown what dicing is, then this recipe is inaccessible to them and essentially worthless. Put yourself in the shoes of the person who is reading the recipe card and you can begin to see why it is easier to just go purchase the unhealthy jar of processed salsa from the dollar store, even though it may actually cost more than making it yourself. StarkFresh is committed to the success of cooking/nutrition classes being held throughout the county by helping host or coordinate classes, but also by assisting with fresh food purchases and solving distribution challenges for several of these programs.
Teaching people where their food comes from is something that is more needed than you realize. Without fail, there is at least one person in each group that comes out to visit one of our farm sites that doesn’t know basic facts about where food comes from. It is not uncommon to hear comments about how someone thought lettuce came out of bags, or that mint tastes like gum, or disgust that a carrot has “dirt” on it and so it needs to be thrown away.
This is not an issue of intelligence or ignorance, it is an issue of education. Not being taught the knowledge needed to be able to make informed food choices or be able to feed yourself is quite the problem nowadays.
Taking someone outside their comfort zone and then bringing them back gently into a new “safe” zone of knowledge has been the most effective means of teaching someone something new.
Whether that’s learning how to do something new or just encouraging you to challenge your previous “truths” and showing you that your fears were without merit, we do all that we can to help you find your way.
From hosting film screenings, hosting workgroups, leading tours, holding open houses, teaching classes and workshops and other events we integrate meaningful education into all that we do.