While young people often have the reputation of being picky eaters and filling their plates with only chicken nuggets and French fries, that’s hardly applicable to all teens and twenty-somethings. In fact, in 2014, many youth are working to solve the crucial problems of our food system — including childhood obesity, food deserts and high prices.
Enter Food Tank, a think tank that’s working to build a global community for healthy eaters. It has set its sights on young people who are developing and employing local ideas that can, and already are, having a widespread impact where it really matters. Here, three foodies that make Food Tank — and us — excited about the (edible) future.
Can you imagine having an online cooking show and publishing a cookbook all before you turned 15? That’s exactly what Remmi Smith did — and that’s not all the Tulsa, Okla. resident is doing to inspire her fellow teens to cook nutritious meals. She’s also a student health ambassador for Sodexo, a food service company, and is a member of Future Chefs, which helps urban teens find work in the restaurant industry after graduation.
Tyson Gersh, 25, is playing the long game with Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI), a nonprofit organization he founded that works directly with communities to convert empty lots into working produce farms. With an aim to “promote education, sustainability and community,” as its website says, MUFI’s 2,500 volunteers are creating a new generation of self-sufficient, local food producers, while also making people more aware of the origins of their food.
We all know that kids love sweets, and it’s okay to indulge them once in a while. At the young age of 13, Nicky Bronner wasn’t about to lay down when his parents tried to deprive him the processed junk foods he loved. So he and his father started Unreal Foods, a brand of sweets made from sustainable palm oil, grass-fed dairy and traceable cocoa and excluding corn syrup, GMOs and preservatives. Today, at 17, Nicky’s candy is now available at big chains like Target and Kroger, putting healthier snacking delights into mouths all over the U.S.
Read about the other innovators at EcoWatch.