We don’t always have to buy into the systems that society has established as the norm. This is the point that Andrew Barker makes in his TED Talk.
Barker is reinventing how the food system works throughout his local community. He is pioneering the idea of free food for all.
The Grow Free Movement
Barker started out by handing out free seedlings from his garden. He quickly learned that many families find it challenging to buy nutritious, wholesome food. In response, Barker worked to expand his efforts. His work was met with strong community support and evolved into the organization called Grow Free.
Grow Free’s goal is to help people throughout the community to source free healthy food. Their motto: Take what you need. Give what you can.
On their Facebook page, Grow Free explains the problem with the food system:
We have unwittingly disconnected from the most important aspect of living – our food, and our disconnection from our food has created an underlying and pervasive sickness in the community. Currently our “food” is sprayed with poisonous chemicals, grown in depleted soil, transported huge distances, altered or gassed for longevity, processed beyond recognition, has ingredients we can’t pronounce, wrapped in plastic and expensive.
When it could and should be grown in vigorous soil, grown locally, picked recently, be clear of chemicals and toxins and FREE!
The beautiful thing is that Barker believes that all food should be free, without expectations of anything in return.
On a collective basis, we currently produce more food than we need. Yet, we are ineffective in equally distributing this food. Barker is nurturing an interesting new model when it comes to food distribution. Could a simple act of growing or preparing food and sharing it with others for free, make nutritious food more accessible to the people that need it? In the long-run, could it change our society for the better?
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