23 million Americans live in “food deserts” or “food swamps”. That is about 1 in 14 Americans. A “food desert” is an area where there is no or very little access to truly healthy food. Typically if there is no grocery store within a mile in an urban area it is considered a food desert. There is however an abundance of junk food at corner stores and fast food restaurants. Because there isn’t actually a lack of food but rather an abundance of unhealthy, highly processed, low-nutrient food in these communities the term food desert is much less accurate than food swamp. These areas are a swamp of unhealthy food.
FOOD FOR ALL! Tour
May 30th – September 2016
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia,
West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York
We believe that every American citizen not only deserves, but CAN eat a healthy, nutritious, and delicious diet. But we are aware that for many Americans there are barriers that stand in the way of this. 50 million Americans are food insecure. 23 million Americans live in food deserts. More than 45 million Americans receive financial assistance for food. Enough food is wasted to approximately feed another entire American population. A third of all Americans are obese. Nearly 10% of American have diabetes. Food corporations, lobbyists, and advertising misguide Americans who are trying to eat healthy, while putting profit over their customers’ health. Lastly, there is a plethora of social barriers for millions of Americans.
Shad got rid of his trash can one year ago, and he challenges you to #BanTheCan too! That’s right, his house has NO trash can! I got rid of my trash can about 3 years ago, and it totally changed the way that I looked at the world around me.
Here’s how you can say goodbye to the trash can it using the 5 R’s- refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle.
Check out this farm! They are completely off the grid, grow about 70% of their own food, send absolutely no trash off their land, and they grow over 200 edible and useful plants on their farm! Plus, they have chickens for eggs and meat, pigs and goats. They practice permaculture principles and are truly working with the land, rather than against it. You can walk around this farm for hours, always coming upon new naturally growing things to eat, or make healing teas from.
This blog is about the planning, preparation, and gear for Off the Grid Across the USA. It’s sort of the behind the scenes of the big adventure and designed to be a tool for anyone who wants to do a similar adventure. Because of the off the grid rules I set for this adventure, it took many hours of planning and preparation. I would guess that I put well over 100 hours of work before leaving. That was in a pretty short period of time too, as I didn’t commit to the adventure until early 2013, just a few months before I embarked on April 20th.
On September 13th, 2015, I embarked on one of my wildest adventures yet. I left my house with the clothes on my body and a medium sized backpack with very basic gear knowing I wouldn’t be home for at least two and a half months. I had some food in my bag and $40 in my pocket as well but those would only serve me for the next 18 hours.
I was headed to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, a city and a country that I had never stepped foot in before. I had somewhat of a plan, to travel from Brazil to Panama but I didn’t know how I was going to manage it. That’s over 7,000 miles clear across the continent of South America through the vastly diverse countries of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and ultimately Panama. I sort of knew what awaited me but to be honest I really just wanted to get lost along the way. Scorching jungles, freezing mountains, blazing deserts, some of the harshest places on Earth sat between myself and my destination. I had 72 days to do all of this and enjoy it.
I’ve been downsizing my life for more than 5 years and it’s been a very transitional process. For awhile, I went back and forth between getting rid of stuff and accumulating more stuff, but for at least the last 4 years I’ve been pretty much on the path of decreasing the amount of stuff that I have. Many times I would go through everything in my house and get rid of all the stuff I wasn’t using. My criteria would typically be if I hadn’t used something in 6 months or a year then I’d find a better home for it. A lot of the time that would result in me getting rid of as much as half of my stuff!
I receive a lot of messages from students and parents who tell me they are bothered by how much food their school is wasting. Many of them feel like there is nothing that they can do about it. The really good news is that there is so much that can be done to end food waste at your school! Hundreds or thousands of schools have implemented programs to reduce food waste and put the extra food to good use. To help you end food waste at your school I’ve had the Executive Director of write this guest blog. I’m confident that he can provide the help and the resources for you to get things going at your school. And for those of you attending university you can start a Food Recovery Network or Campus Kitchens Project chapter on your campus!
If you’ve paid any attention to my work over the last years, have a Facebook account or pay any attention to media then you probably know that we’ve got a serious problem of food waste in the United States and around the world. I’ve dived into 1,000’s of dumpsters across the United States to show just how much perfectly good food is going to waste. My TEDx talk will catch you up on the issue from how much we’re wasting, to why it matters, and the solutions.