When I was a kid, I wouldn't eat vegetables that didn't come from my father's garden. Our backyard was by no means sizable, but instead of installing a pool like most Southern Californians did in the 80s, my dad cultivated a city farm. He filled it with tomatoes and carrots and radishes and cucumbers and peppers. He also planted four Asian pear apple trees because they were too expensive for us to buy in the store, but too delicious to live without. The fondness I've always had for eating his cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine is of the largess that I actually tattooed them on my arm as tribute.
I still reap the benefits of my father's garden, which has grown to include lettuces of all varieties and the most magnificent purple cabbage I've ever seen and tasted. In short, I'm a produce brat. These days, I supplement my family's harvest with cauliflower and berries and alfalfa sprouts and any other beautiful goodies I've got a taste for from the Sunday farmer's market that's a mere mile from my apartment.
What's more, as a waitress at a vegetarian and vegan diner that dishes up organic wholesome meals filled with fresh produce, my access to nature's bounty is always within easy reach. And while many of you reading this may be nodding your heads as you think about all the fruits and veggies that fill your lives, the truth of the matter is that we are actually really fortunate human beings. Nearly 30 million Americans–one in ten to be specific–don't have the opportunity to live and eat like this.
You're not alone if you find this hard to believe, or if this is the first you're hearing of these factoids: sixty-percent of Americans are unaware that within their very own neighborhoods there exists areas that have been coined Food Deserts–places where affordable and easy access to this invaluable food group is simply not a reality. I was so clueless I'm a little embarrassed to admit that when I first saw the term, my eye mistakenly autocorrected and added an extra "s," changing desert to dessert.
But desert it is, and as a Los Angeleno, unfortunately the only scarcity of resources my head's been focused on is the lack of water causing California's epic drought. Food Deserts should not, however, be a foreign concept to me or to any of us, which is why Naked Juice's campaign focused on creating awareness surrounding this issue is especially important to Clementine Daily. Figuring out how to maintain a well-balanced, happy and healthy life is a core part of our mission, and it's important to do that not just for ourselves, but to try and bring choices like these to our larger community as well.
Through Wholesome Wave, Naked Juice has already donated 250,000 pounds of food to people living in Food Deserts, and they're not stopping there, which is where you come in. For every fruit or veggie selfie you take and post on social media with the hashtag #DrinkGoodDoGood, they'll donate ten additional pounds of produce to someone in need. Pretty awesome, right? So why not throw an apple in that selfie you're going to take anyways, add the hashtag and pass the message along to all your friends and followers? Let's call it a selflessly inspired selfie, and let's do it today.
This post is in partnership with Naked Juice. All opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Clementine Daily possible!