Fast Food is a form of oppression. Here is something we can do about it.
Fast food is oppressive and people living in food deserts do not have viable options for fresh food, especially vegetables.
Imagine you live in a low income urban area. You’re 17 years old and you’ve just left school. You’re on your walk home you’re starving after a long day of trying to pay attention and you’re craving a snack before you start your homework. There’s some greasy Chinese food, a McDonald’s, a local Fried Chicken spot and a bodega. No matter what you choose – you’re going to end up with something that doesn’t help you focus, gives you a short energy spurt and leaves you craving more unhealthy food around dinner time.
Fast food is addictive, cheap, and convenient. For kids and young people living in these areas, they become indoctrinated to these flavors at a young age. Burgers, fries, and soda are the sources of perpetual disease, discomfort and suffering in the neighborhood: heart disease, diabetes and obesity to name a few. Not to mention the way fast food makes you feel – the inevitable lethargy after the ephemeral fat and sugar rush. Who wants to do anything after a Big Mac and Fries?
In NYC alone 750,000 people live in food deserts. 66,000 are diagnosed with diabetes. 34% are overweight and 25% are obese.
Children are especially vulnerable due to genetic imprinting and other consequences from malnutrition over generations. Also, their options are limited to what their parents can buy them.
On a local scale, food deserts are an obstacle to kids and their parents reaching optimal health due to lack of nutritious options that are affordable and high quality. Instead, urban residents regularly choose to consume processed meats and other unnatural items that are detrimental to their health, but fit budget and convenience.
On a national scale, the excessive demand for cheap meat in America affects and contributes to industrial meat production, which, because of the resources required for feed etc, is the leading cause of food shortage in our country.
On a global scale, overproduction in the meat industry is also contributing largely to climate change, which has a tendency to effect the poorest people the most aggressively.
Create a fast food veggie-based spot that provides convenient access to tasty, affordable food high in vegetable servings that satisfy residents’ desire for comfortable food and simultaneously their nutritional needs unmet in food deserts, in a kid friendly way, whether that means fun to eat, a toy with a kids meal, or a playground.
That’s the premise of Loud Mouth Eats. The theory is that vegetable based foods should be cheap and simple to replicate and can be cooked to resonate with familiar tastes. Unlike most vegan options in NYC, which have the tendency to be high-brow and expensive, we will be targeting kids and their parents with fast food prices, ideally as cheap as McDonalds.
Here are some photos from our third test kitchen over this past weekend:
We want to provide a location for kids and their parents to eat one healthy, inexpensive, delicious meal a day filled with several servings of vegetables, and second, create healthier and sustainable alternatives to the fast food culture and reduce cost perceptions of eating vegetable based food.
We want to create healthier and sustainable fast food choices that provide a person a viable option for an inexpensive, delicious meal a day filled with several servings of vegetables.
We would also be providing local jobs and food training so that the community surrounding Loud Mouth Eats has ownership of the solution, creating a model that can be replicated in other communities. Hosting cooking workshops and community events as well as catering schools and PTA meetings would also be ways to engage the community and foster ownership.
If we can vegan soul food affordable, fun and cool — we believe it could make a big difference in the lives of the kids living in these neighborhoods and get them way more excited about healthy food.
So feel free to reach out on Facebook with any of your ideas and let me know about any other projects you’ve seen similar that have been successful or failed!
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it give it a like or a share :)