Urban Renewal Part III – Why Equitable Food Access Matters To Us

Urban Renewal Part III – Why Equitable Food Access Matters To Us

Food insecurity in Alabama

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In Part III of our publication on Non-Urban Renewal, we will introduce the details of our Urban Agriculture Pilot in conjunction with the city of Glens Falls and why this project aligns with our values, with one particular team member sharing their personal insights and thoughts.

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The roots of our company are deeply embedded in equitable food access. The idea for Re-Nuble was sparked during SAT-prep classes in Harlem that our Founder and CEO was volunteering for at that time. She saw the disparity of access. But it wasn’t just her. Others in our team also have a personal mission behind why they do what they do with us.

In his own words, here’s why equitable food access matters to our Manufacturing Manager, Jeff Scott.:

Equitable access to food is all around us in the experiences and life we lead.  And while it is often associated with large metropolitan areas, the truth is it affects the entire country.  Growing up in small town Alabama was in many ways idyllic, with tree lined streets and Little League games it was a quiet and safe place to grow up.

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But behind that image was a reality that we weren’t even aware of.  My parents were blue collar factory workers and we lived paycheck to paycheck.  We didn’t have vacations and we didn’t have anything that wasn’t an absolute necessity.  And sometimes paying bills meant cutting corners.

I grew up on a traditional southern diet.  My mom was the world’s best Spam chef, and she could make it into more things than most people could imagine.  And meat cuts beyond that were heavily marbled.  Vegetables were often locally grown or bought in bulk when fresh and in season. But in the winter and when fresh food wasn’t as affordable, we got creative.

Southern fried food unhealthy

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This included a lot of fried food. We fried meat, we fried potatoes and we even fried vegetables.  And while we didn’t know it at the time, that style of eating had grown out of necessity over the decades because frying with cooking oil or even frying with the fat produced from the meat meant extra calories. 

The southern diet, soul food, and a lot of fusion foods I grew up on were originally created as much for survival as taste. They were meant to get as many calories as possible in you at the least cost.  The impact of that style of eating stayed with me through college.  And it took many years after to understand and fully realize that what we were doing was survival based first and to add taste to the lower end of the food spectrum second.

Access to alternatives that are fresh, healthy, and affordable for all people is a problem.  It affects large and small towns, and many people don’t realize the diets they grew up on can cause health issues later in life.  And many still turn to those diets for the same reason we did as kids…because it was all we had and didn’t know any better.

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In Part IV of our publication on Non-Urban Renewal, we will introduce the details of our Urban Agriculture Pilot in conjunction with the city of Glens Falls.

By Jeff Scott

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