wicked problem, sustainability, kids, healthy food


Tackling the issue of getting healthier food options into the hands of children presents multiple barriers. For example, with almost one out of three items on the supermarket shelf coming from a genetically modified organism, with school lunches decreasing in nutrition, and with the U.S. Environmental protection agency allowing nearly 1,400 pesticides to be spread throughout our nation, 40 of which have been classified as carcinogens (Epstein, M.D., and Leibson 28-33), this task is becoming progressively more difficult. In order to slow this vicious trend, we propose the long-term goal of creating blueprints for a large community event targeting the children and parents of urban communities. These blueprints are intended to enable any interested party to host their own community event focused on engaging children and parents. These events would bring knowledge and awareness of a variety of different healthy-living and sustainability topics such as the benefits of eating fresh, local food and the ‘how-to’s’ of gardening. In order to achieve this goal, we must begin small; to gather data and learn what is needed as we progress further. Targeting the population that attends the various Farmers’ Markets across Grand Rapids, MI will help to involve our ultimate target audience, the children. However, to ensure that children continue forward with a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle, we must target current and future parents. Our goal is to encourage change not only in our homes, but in children’s schools as well.