Organics for Everyone

The organic movement has earned high marks for its environmental
accomplishments, but when it comes to socioeconomic issues, the
high-minded ethos falls flat. Access to the wholesome nutrition of
organic food is simply barred by the niche market’s high price
tags. So how do we make quality food available to all? A few groups
are cooking up some innovative solutions.

At the One World Café in Salt Lake City, customers set the price
for their organic, fair-trade meals.
Urbanite reports that One World
provides options for all customers, from homeless patrons to
business folks on their lunch breaks. A daily free entrée is
always on the menu and the restaurant offers a ‘hand-up, not a
hand-out’ option by exchanging meal coupons for every hour of
volunteer service. At the end of the day, says founder Denise
Cerreta, the restaurant ends up with a fair price for the
staff’s work.

Cerreta, who established the café in 2003, spreads the
restaurant’s ideals by counseling those with similar
entrepreneurial ambitions through her nonprofit,
One
World Everybody Eats
. SAME (So All May Eat) Café, for example,
followed in One World’s footsteps and opened the doors of its
community-based venue in Denver last year.

While pay-what-you-can restaurants are emerging elsewhere,
sometimes a little home cooking is what people need most. To get
wholesome ingredients into household kitchens,
People’s
Grocery
in Oakland, California, doles out organic vittles in a
vibrantly refurbished postal truck.
According to Plenty, the truck
travels through local neighborhoods, playing hip-hop music and
setting up tables with fresh produce at numerous posts along its
route.

The activists behind People’s Grocery began their efforts in
2002 by teaching nutrition classes and starting a community garden.
Eventually, though, founders Malaika Edwards, Leander Sellers, and
Brahm Ahmadi realized that nutrition classes weren’t enough;
knowing how to prepare a meal without access to its ingredients is
futile. So they began stocking the truck with local organic foods,
distributing their wares to nearly 3,500 community members. To meet
the growing demand, People’s Grocery plans to open a permanent
location in 2008.

Go there >>
Where Everyone Has a Seat at the Table

Go there, too >>
Not Your Average Turnip Truck

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