This past weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a course on basic nutrition. Now, I am not a nutritionist. I am just a mom who is concerned about health and writes about it on her blog. It was therefore truly an honor to give the class as part of a conference that was put together for the people of Pueblo Nuevo.
Pueblo Nuevo is a small subdivision outside of Laredo, TX. In this little community consisting mostly of trailers, nopales (cactus), and a lot of dust, the people are warm and inviting. They are mostly of Mexican descent and their diet includes white rice, tortillas, and beef. Their means are limited and their budgets are very tight. So as you can imagine, I was a little nervous about how receptive they would be on a talk that condemns white bread, white rice, and some other foods that are a part of their daily diet.
And yet, they surprised me. Some were furiously taking notes. Others approached me after the class with questions. Despite my terrible Spanish, the message seemed to get through. And I do not believe it was because of the messenger. I think it was because they were so eager to learn. They were eager to be healthier and feed their families healthier meals. But as I looked at this group of amazing women, I was frustrated to know that our current food system makes the healthiest food cost prohibitive for people on limited budgets, like those in Pueblo Nuevo. We subsidize farmers producing bad food while essentially “tax” more responsible farmers. That makes certain organic and natural products that much more expensive and out of reach for a large part of our population.
One little church is fighting to change that with their philosophy that the doors to preach Christ are opened when you help meet physical needs. Thank you to New Vision Community Church for working to bring healthier food to the people of Pueblo Nuevo in addition to spiritual food. New Vision is developing programs to teach the residents there how to grow their own pesticide-free produce, and will be making farm fresh eggs available at their ranch, Ein-Gedi They will also be opening an extension of their Joseph Store House in Pueblo Nuevo so that the residents can have access to heavily discounted organic and gourmet foods. It is a model I hope other organizations will copy.