Just for Organization

Friday, July 11, 2014

Community Food Lab

It's been a busy summer so far. I know you are like, "Whatttt? Summer? Busy? That doesn't make sense!" Well, it is the known truth. Anyway, I will not delay this post any longer.

The same day that I went to go talk to CompostNow's Justin, I also met with Community Food Lab's Erin. That was a very efficient day due to the fact that both of their headquarters shared the same creative environment/building. No wonder these two companies are making such an impact! They are neighbors and are supporting one another.

The talk with Erin, the master behind the Community Food Lab, started simply with defining the term "community garden". Community gardens = social connection + substance. Now the social connection comes into play when people help during times of disasters, or even just to "bring everyone up". The spectrum for the social connection is as vast as can be, like an infinite number line.

The Raleigh Food Corridor is a new food system that Erin is working on! It is the aimed at getting everyone involved. So think of this: you are taking a stroll downtown and then suddenly, the chef of a restaurant walks out of his restaurant and across the street to the urban garden to talk to the farmer and get fresh ingredients. Wouldn't that be super cool?

One of the most interesting things, and believe me that the whole conversation was extremely captivating, that Erin talked about is Community Food Lab's specialty in "design thinking". In his background, Erin was/is an architect and teaches at NC State when he is not handling the food system. The focus of the company is to engage in this design thinking (testing new ideas, working in ambiguous situations, etc) with local food systems to create healthier communities. Examples of projects that have been completed or are undergoing progress include the Morrisville farmers market on Main Street, the Durham food hub, and healthy corner stores (especially in the food desert of Wake County) The healthy corner stores are basically transformed convenient stores that sell healthier foods.

The newest edition in their book mini-series that they are working on! I was blessed to be gifted a copy! Thank you, Erin!

Now, the Lab doesn't just go out and change people's lives doing these projects, they also publish different books that focus on topics like community gardens, food distribution, etc. Their goal is to change the WHOLE system! And I believe that they can.

You can download a PDF form of this on their website!

Erin finished off the talk with expressing a very game-changing point-of-view: linking everyone together (organizations, stores, groups, companies, etc) so that all do not lose steam and all can support one another to create a better food system for our community.

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