Where do ideas come from? How do people realize what it is that they love? One ongoing question in my head is whether our paths are determined by pivotal moments? Or are they ongoing?
Last summer, Mischa and I wandered through a children’s toy store in Toronto. We made our way to the back of the store to find a giant, laminated map of Canada staring at us. Mischa says to me, ‘lets go on a road trip.’ Thinking of being cramped up in a car, not to mention all of the consequent gas emissions, my initial instinct shuts him down but then I respond, ‘how about on bikes?’ -‘Deal’ he claims, ‘and I guess while we are at it, we should do it with a purpose.’ ‘How about for food?’ I respond.
This simple conservation was a trigger for one of the greatest projects I have ever worked on. As we began to talk about this wild adventure of ours, take part in workshops and read about our food system we realized that there was a place for us in remodeling our world to have a better connection with food for a sustainable future. In the fall, Mischa, Andrew and I co founded Seed by Seed, and education nonprofit that aims to reconnect communities with their food and empower youth to be ambassadors of change to remold our food system. We coupled our passions and talents of youth empowerment and facilitation, environmental science and systems thinking and social networking to create an outlet of change and over the past year we have had countless meetings, conversations and brainstorming sessions that have helped shape the vision of Seed by Seed.
We believe that we have reached a tipping point with our food system where we no longer know where our food comes from, how it is grown, processed or made on its journey from seed to plate. This is having adverse effects on our health, communities and environment. We hope to be an outlet for people to encourage people to reconnect with their food by giving presentations and workshops to youth about what our current system looks like and how by making conscious choices we have the power to reshape it.
Our story truly begins on May 3rd we will be leaving for our national speaking tour; bikes, tents and sleeping mats on hand. We aim to connect with 30 school/ community groups and offer them our presentation about our food system and facilitate action-focused workshops. We also hope that the journey will teach us about Canada’s current food system and sustainable initiatives across the country. We want to share what we experience and learn; from the beginnings of Seed by Seed planning, our cycling tour, and beyond. Follow our blog for more posts and videos of our journey, and we would love to hear about your relationship with one of the most fundamental and enjoyed parts of our society; food.
My journey with food, like many others, began at a young age. I mean; my first word was more in response to an empty milk bottle. As the years went on I have countless memories of waking up to the sound of my dad scrambling eggs; classroom potlucks, birthday cakes and fish and chips on the beach in New Zealand. My family and I ate dinner together every day. We each had our designated spots at the dinner table and it was a weekly routine for all four of us to squeeze into our car and head off to Pack n’ Save to grocery shop each Sunday. Jake and I would get to choose one treat for the week, and it was always my job to carry the baguette; a responsibility that I took very seriously.
The environment has also played a fundamental role in shaping me. My primary school was epic. We had worm farms, pollinator gardens, school bunny rabbits, tree-planting days and countless presenters coming into our school to share with us why our environment is so important. As I have grown up, simply being outside is one of my favourite ways to pass the time and I find it fascinating to learn about the science behind our natural world.
I also grew up as an idealistic, ambitious youth who had a dream that someday I could change the world. I just didn’t know exactly how. Lots of things excited me and the more schools years that passed and the more I traveled, the most I realized how complex our world is. I can remember countless conversations with friends and my family as we all made decisions about our futures in attempt to find out place in the world.
In first year university I sent my mum an email titled ‘I think I have figured out my life.’ A bold statement, I understand, and although by no means do I have my life sussed out, I remember this moment so well. Studying environmental science with a passion for international development, I was confused how I could mend these two worlds. Then one night it came to me; food. Food is really our most intimate link with our environment. There is major environmental catastrophe associated to the production, transportation, consumption and waste on food’s journey from seed to plate. At the same time, food also directly relates to health, poverty and happiness. I then realized that by coupling these two passions of mine, I could get the best of both worlds and not only help improve our environment, but help people too. Seed by Seed is an ongoing journey that gives me an outlet for both of these passions. I hope that by following our blog you can be part of this ongoing journey too.