I never put much thought into what kind of food I was putting in my body until recently. The initial idea was if it filled me up at the moment then eat it. I think back to my high school and college days, when I stood on a line at fast food “restaurants” thinking that a so called beef burger or chicken sandwich with trans-fat fries was a responsible way to go. I stopped eating red meat about three years ago. I don’t remember why but it was the best decision I have ever made because it led me down the path of veganism. In 3 years, I slowly weaned myself off of animal products. I have never felt so connected with my food as I do now. My steps feel lighter, my food tastes better, and my mind is clearer.
Today, I am a graduate student at the Silberman School of Social Work, focusing on community organizing. My career aims towards educating people about better eating habits and providing healthy organic food to communities in underprivileged areas.
I have a background in psychology and am a visual artist. I dabble in drawing, painting, but mostly photography. Working in nonprofits in low-income areas has drawn to me to connect all these areas to bring awareness to proper nutrition. My art classes with elementary students have focused on environmental issues, including familiarizing themselves with respecting our planet and our bodies. Children are an essential key to our future. If we provide a better foundation, then we will have a generation that is more compassionate and aware.
My family came to this country from a small village in the mountains of Greece. They were really poor and managed to survive by cultivating the land as much as they could. Their respect of agriculture and food is what connects the present and future with my past. I inherited their history and carry it with me today as a means to revive this appreciation for nature that has faded in our commercialized society.
Unfortunately, most kids in urban neighborhoods aren’t able to connect to the food on their plate. I had the privilege of growing up in a home that not only holds rich history but incorporated it into my own backyard. Spring and summertime were colorful for me and walking out into my backyard was like a trip into a different world. We lived on a busy street in Queens, New York, so to walk into a backyard filled with fresh veggies and beautiful fruits was like a dream.
KALE U. is an amazing organization with stand-up people and I am happy be a part of a team that gives back to our communities through our minds, bodies, and souls.