Green Plate Special’s mission is to help end childhood obesity and other food-related diseases by inspiring and empowering youth to grow, cook, and eat healthy foods.
In our teaching garden youth go beyond growing common vegetables like tomatoes and lettuce to planting, caring for, and harvesting foods they may never have heard of much less eaten, from scarlet runner beans to radishes, kale, cabbages, and many other vegetables and herbs.
But teaching someone the basic skills of urban food growing does not mean that a vegetable becomes part of a daily meal. For that to happen, youth go into our teaching kitchen where they smell, handle, and taste new foods. We go beyond learning how to read recipes or nutritional labels to focusing on the hands-on skills of technique-based cooking (such as the basics of soups and stews), knife-handling and other safety skills, and the many ways of cooking common foods, such as how eggs and milk make a breakfast of scrambled eggs as easily as an inexpensive dinner of a broccoli-tomato frittata.
These immediate skills will have the long-term impact of fostering life-long, healthy eating.