It’s not just because we are poor. We do everything at Mezzacello because I believe in this mission. I could hire it out, yes. But I could not maintain it. I would never be able to do this. It takes skin in the game, the whole #AppliedSTEM reality of #Mezzacello. I truly believe that the future belongs to those who can understand the REAL costs of our food and our lives. Just an honest sustainable future. A future where food is available for the body, the soul, and the mind. #ReframeFood.
Many people may not be aware that I have a medical condition that makes my relationship to food and eating very difficult and expensive. If you’ve seen photos of me on social media laying around after meals, it’s not because I am lazy; It’s because I have the privilege to be alive and associate with family, colleagues, and gracious friends who are willing to accommodate me. I am forced to trade time to eat. I have to lay down and digest food in exchange for the privilege of eating. I cannot remain standing after eating or I face diabetic shock and dumping syndrome. I am supposed to lay flat for 30 minutes but that is tough to do all the time. And I cannot eat processed food. Full stop. This means access to fresh food in my diet every day is an existential need.
That is a very expensive proposition. Just go to Whole Foods and buy your fresh food. It’s expensive. Now consider going to Kroger, Giant Eagle or even Aldi’s and buying that same food every day. It’s one thing to be on a diet for a bit, but quite another thing for that to BE your diet. The bill is unsustainable. The question about why I have to do things myself becomes obvious very quickly. It’s an economic reason. It also gives me 30 minutes to think and reflect about my condition and my relationship to food or any problem or challenge in my life three times a day, everyday. Oh, and It is also a global sustainability issue.
Global Climate Change
According to the United Nations there are three immediate impending threats as a result of global climate change:
- water access
- food security
- adequate nutritional access
This is what motivates me intellectually. I need a system to insure that I have access to fresh food. But the UN is telling me this is a growing concern around the world. I’m already seeing the impact on food production in Ohio and the rest of the Midwest because of climate change. I say act now to develop systems and strategies to create “Ag Oases” in the densely populated cities. This starts at Mezzacello. I take my systems, my ecologies, my water sources, and my resources very seriously. I am not a prepper. I am an education advocate who sees a tool that can make life easier and more secure IF people are willing to put the work in. And there’s the rub. Most people see food as easy and always there. They say the same thing about water. I may be a Cassandra, but I have experience and data on my side. I will teach, model, entertain. But mostly I will do the work because I know what the true price of food access and security.