Food Day Post: Youth Voices from Brainfood!

This week on the Bite of Brainfood Blog, we thought we’d feature the blog post that Brainfood recently contributed to the Food Day Blog. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Food Day is a national event that uses the phrases “real food, just food” to describe its focus. Food Day seeks to “inspire Americans to change their diets and our food policies.” Food Day is a project of the Center for Science and the Public Interest, and has dozens of national partner organizations. The Food Day Blog is a wonderful collection of stories, recipes, articles, and other glimpses into inspiring work happening all over the nation that is transforming the food system. When Brainfood was contacted about publishing a post on the Food Day blog, we were honored to be a part of such an important project! And our first thought, of course, was to put our student voices front and center. We were thrilled to be able to use this opportunity to amplify youth voices and give our participants a national audience for their writing about Brainfood. You can check out the post on the Food Day Blog here, but we wanted to make sure to share these student contributions on our own blog as well. Check out these two examples of student perspectives from our Tuesday/Thursday Kitchen All Stars class at Chinatown this year!


Name: Yacho Gibson
Biography: I'm 17 years old. Born and raised in Washington D.C., I love to learn new things and am always looking for great opportunities. I have an affinity for art and music.
Brainfood has opened my eyes to a broader way of thinking. Before my Brainfood experience, I never truly recognized the importance of food and the effects it has on everyone in the world, simply because I took the importance of it lightly. Now I see that food is more than just something you eat. Food brings people together. Food saves lives. Food makes people happy. It is even a way of life for some people. My transition into being a Brainfoodian was easy and I consider it to be a very significant experience. I have  learned so much-- from chopping techniques to how to make a homemade pizza to the importance of preventing cross contamination (A.K.A "chicken fingers", as we call it here). Now I am spreading knowledge, teaching my elders healthier methods of cooking. It has gotten to a point where they want to know what I've learned because we’re now starting to incorporate Brainfood techniques into the way we cook at home. I’m even sharing with my friends; giving them recipes of some of their favorite foods that are quite different, but just as delicious and healthier for them. I would 100% recommend anyone to sign up for Brainfood.
 Brainfoodian: one who spreads the magic of food.
Name: Kaylan Bullock
Biography: I am a sophomore at School without Walls. I enjoy writing during my free time. As a writer, I have been able to write posts for a music blog and have won several essay contests.
I was introduced to Brainfood by my peers and thought it would be a great idea to earn community service hours through a program all about cooking. I am now over halfway into the Brainfood Kitchen All-Stars program, and I have learned that although cooking and eating food is a perk of being a part of Brainfood, the organization is much more than that. Brainfood uses food as a tool to build life skills with youth, while bettering the community to bring everyone together. As an All-Star, I have met teens from other schools that I can relate to and bond with that I never would have met without joining Brainfood. Teaching teenagers like myself how to cook is bettering the community because we are the future, and if we are able to impact what our family and friends consume, we are certainly making a difference.
Even though Brainfood is a food related organization, we have discussions beyond food that relate to current events such as the deaths of Michael Brown from Missouri and the Muslim students from North Carolina. Therefore, when the staff mentioned we were going to celebrate Black History Month at Brainfood, I was not surprised. For Black History Month, we are recognizing different African Americans that have a career in food, impacting their community with youth programs similar to Brainfood. We have discussed Bryant Terry's (author of Afro Vegan) accomplishments, in addition to youth programs such as Soul Fire Farm and Drive Change, as examples of African American involvement in food. Each class we recognize a different African American is a class that I learn something new about history being made among people of my heritage.


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