We all know that not everybody has a “green-thumb”, and that it’s much easier to just order a pizza or a cheesesteak from a store down the block, but what can a little bit of determination and the right resources do to make dinner a little less greasy and a lot more beneficial to your body.
“We have a lot of data in our field that shows, people who that eat more fruits and vegetables are healthier” states Professor Julie Anne Henstenburg, director of La Salle’s Nutrition Program. According to Henstenburg, however, the real issue with eating healthy here isn’t just knowing what to start eating, but where and how to get that fresh produce?.
That’s precisely where La Salle’s Nutrition Program comes in.
According to Henstenburg, the area around La Salle University was considered a food desert until the Fresh Grocer was established. Fresh food however, doesn’t come cheap, and there lies the second problem.When people are dealing with financial hardships and daily stress, they don’t have the money or time to be more conscious dietary consumers.
Henstenburg determinedly declares, “In the areas where we have poverty, low economic status and SNAP benefits… I wanna go in there and make people eat better, help people eat better.” She says it’s not that other organizations don’t already try, but there are limits to what a single person can do. Going person-by-person to try and remedy an issue of malnutrition that pertains to an entire community is effective but not all that can be done.
One possible solution Henstenburg proposes is that a possible shift in income for minimum wage jobs would allow more consumers with more cash to buy better produce. Other solutions that students can get more involved in are helping community gardens, which could also possibly cut down on the cost of transportation. Finally, residents of the area are being encouraged to invest into turning their land into a modern-day victory garden. Despite the high density residency of the area the idea is nothing to scoff at as Henstenburg eagerly reminds us that “You can do quite a lot with a small plot.”