Bringing costs down for healthy grocery items selected based on research in retail grocery stores for every lifestyle or culture.
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
This food project has been originally designed for retro-fit towards implementation within a food system in any location but since this system needs to be tested as a prototype pilot program, we wanted to start with local grocery in a familiar location in Lake County where we have lived for quite some time. Personally I have lived on a small five acre farm in South Lake County since my family moved here in 1983 looking for affordable housing in a rural area. Over the years I have worked and lived in the area with a direct connection to small scale family farming along with helping neighbors with livestock on a small scale when asked. Unfortunately times have changed through the years and these small farms are more and more no longer as the younger generations have moved on to a different focus that doesn't involve producing your own food. The educational experience that I was fortunate to be involved in by participating with small scale food production here in Lake County gains more value as the older generation that I remember has done their best to pass down what they were taught when they were kids. This culture is struggling to survive with the new technology absorbing people's time away from the hard work that families would all pitch in to accomplish. This place in Lake County is somewhat unique for California as it has the most affordable living for the state but it also requires more travel and more expenses to survive because it is so rural compared to neighboring counties just south of here in the San Francisco Bay Area. There is a drastic population increase in a relatively short distance along with a drastic cultural difference that is best described as lower class incomes meeting the middle to upper class incomes. This makes it one of the poorest counties in California.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
The history as told based on local stories and culture to scientific findings and archives dates back from research telling of an obsedian hatchet found near Borax Lake excavated in the 1950's with a recent carbon dating going back older than anywhere else in North America as the obsedian was dated back 50,000 years. This was posted and discovered through research in an article posted on a webpage called Ancient Origins with the search of Stone Hatchet Man Lake County resulting in the article.
Borax Lake is very near to Clearlake which centers Lake County with a volcanic mountain called Mount Konocti having Clearlake at its base. These early Native Americans have legends and myths of how it all started here at Clearlake before man walked hunting and gathering from here eventually returning much later. Nomadic life must have been a way of life and we can all keep learning as new findings are mapped out and pieces of the old puzzle take shape telling the old stories once again.
People inhabited this region long before the Spanish Conquistadors brought their horses and missions. Then with the Civil War people found regions out of the way to hold up as Dodgers from a tough war. Once the war ended, eventually the U.S. Army arrived and this brought some more adversity to a region that was changing fast.
Later, the Dust Bowl migrants from Oklahoma found new roots when the country was going through more tough times. This brought alot of culture not only from a distictly different way of life, but also in the journey it took for those families looking for work with most ending up working tough agriculture jobs. Back then there were more farms with diversity. Farms one by one pulled orchards, stopped raising cattle, stopped farming family farms that would host a variety of crops and harvests. Now we were seeing money investors building an economy with goals to compete worldwide in the wine industry. There were a few families in the Napa Valley region near Calistoga, right over a mountain from Lake County, that built the first wineries to compete with the wines of France. They found that the climate and soils had many similarities with great wine growing regions in France including the latitudes and micro-climates where we get that morning fog with 100% humidity during key times of the year for good growing.
Lake County has become more of a wine region with the pear orchards being minimized along with other types of farming in this area. The lake which would have been a large source of food for fishing has signs of high levels of mercury due to mercury mining leaving a bit of a mess leftover from the gold rush days. Mercury was needed in pouring down creeks and stream to spot gold. The Borax was soap at a time of the gold rush. These areas are now studied by researchers and left as a reminder with some people that were tested and affected by the mercury. Fishing is only for the bass pro tour and catfish tournament for trophy. Not a reliable food source any longer especially for small children in large amounts.
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
Six Themes: Environment --> Following current research & science by utilizing data from the food scientists with Environment Working Group 501(c)3. Their updated recent guidelines Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen of foods that they tested for pesticides and chemicals. These foods provide more assurance that the farm sources are following up to date standards by farming conventionally without having the final products contaminated. This route is taking environmental concerns seriously. The Bill Jordan Project will take this research and data to the next stage by reducing the costs for a select group of grocery backed by their research. Items in the Clean 15 are okay to be consumed through conventional farming, but items on the Dirty Dozen must be reduced through only "organic" farming methods as these are more susceptible to contamination. Diets --> The Bill Jordan Project will aim to include food items so that people who are eating different types of diets will have something at reduced price point included within this pilot program food system while keeping in mind that the intentions are a larger scope after testing locally. Economics --> Besides fundraising, economic considerations are part of a secondary phase of this program. This is where a tally per unit sold through P.O.S. register can be tracked through the distribution chains all the way back to farm sources with a commission attached that secures and strengthens a food system over time while also not disrupting the current system in place, only adding incentive to produce the best. Culture --> This program is designed as a pilot program that can be adapted according to regional cultural food preferences alongside being backed by science and the medical fields utilizing the hard work done by EWG's food science team. There is also a future design attached that directly focuses on cultural foods that are important to each specified region. Tech --> Incorporate within inventory software a method to count and track each item sold at the P.O.S. register within the participating grocery store pilot program. Being sure to utilize current bar code inventory systems to filter data within specific supply chain that accounts for each individual employee or distribution partner including to the farm source establishing an agreed commission to be calculated into a dollar amount on a monthly basis which in turn will greatly strengthen the food system from all angles. Once the system can get underway, the momentum can in turn progress once people can understand how it works by seeing for themselves. A slow start by design with a gradual increase in commissions once tests are completed as far as infrastructure of software and people power working at getting more grassroots volunteers to participate.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
Prior to incorporating this idea vision as a 501 C3 non profit I saw signs of a system that is broken fundamentally. Due to personal circumstances surrounding the way my life was affected I wanted to address the problem with something other than complaining. It was recommended to talk about a solution. There was obvious challenges throughout the structure of the entire food system. A little bit of my story will explain the struggles we face together and show how I translated the situation to use these tough times as a learning experience. I had experimental major back surgery in 1989 at 15 years old. With 8 spinal fusions and two 18in. steel rods, it would be a hardship to work 40 hours a week for me. College didn't work out as I had a tough time sitting in desks and focusing so I left. I qualified for Social Security at 18 but wasn't able to get myself to not at least try to work. Not telling people of my disability I would work alongside co-workers in pain learning a lot. I worked hard construction jobs for a little bit changing jobs to heal in between. At about 35 years old I was struggling and there was a long waiting period to be approved for Social Security Disability. I was not to work and live on welfare and food stamps. I always worked and I had to adjust my diet. Stress multiplied adjusting for needs to fit the budget. I saw a food system where for instance as an example: Now, this is not meant to be taken personally at all please. But here's how I see it. You, who work, you can eat what you want. Me, who doesn't work, has to eat what I'm told based on what's the cheapest. Turns out, the cheapest as an example would be margarine. Butter is healthier and what I would choose if given the choice. Margarine is cheaper. People who only purchase due to price point because of budget will buy the cheapest. So I see an inequality with poor funneled to this poor quality ingredients. I believe that by reducing the price point of the healthier option it would build more equality and not allow money to dictate the health of the kids. Those with money would no longer have a power over others simply because of circumstance. Sometimes poverty happens to good people and good families for whatever reason. We need to make it so there isn't a food disparity among us that is creating food inequality. True equality involves the poorest people free access to the same exact ingredients in grocery stores as the wealthiest of wealthy. A place where we can all agree on and homes will have the same meals available regardless of finances in the moment. It takes the same amount of effort to produce expensive food as it does cheap food. Cheaper food in this day in age has been loaded up with additives and preservatives in an outdated system to cut costs and bring capital to processors. None of these challenges can't be overcome.
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
People will have a solid solution to gaining steerage and navigating the future of food systems worldwide. With the power of public funding and cooperation that incorporates their decisions on what to feed their children into a means of having a voice of reason. We the people can now have a direct say so in deciding what we want. As future science and research data is brought to light we can adjust with the times more easily without getting caught up in being marketed with cheap price points on items that are basically approved but not necessarily doctor recommended if there was an option. There is also a further vision involved in this message. A third phase of the project that is based on how we treat each other. Treating neighbors like neighbors rather than enemies or simply non-family humans who just happen to be. This high level vision has more to do with a strategy that has been thought out. Starting domestically with concerns over aggressive behaviors. People are struggling as a whole mentally at times with situations of violence or hate. Bringing this to places that have experienced conflict as a message of caring. Globally speaking now. Areas of concern are zones of conflicts. We see a path to surround a zone of conflict along a perimeter with greatly reduced healthy grocery items lowering regional culture foods along with sharing. This is far more powerful than aggression and will produce better results with global adversaries. It is not more expensive than fighting it out. It's a higher road without making anyone feel higher or lower. Tryptophan could be more easily accessed as a natural form of easing tensions. This is a natural compound found in many foods that doctors talk about to naturally bring harmony. A good model would be areas of poverty or conflict in combination with areas of well to do. To bring a sense of equality and ability to see eye to eye across the dinner table.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
Working class supporting those building farms.
Small Scale family farming.
Planning ahead reducing direct costs to consumers for healthy grocery. Overview 1. Having a lowered price for healthy options with retail grocery brings the type of change needed to further educate consumers without each individual having to extensively research each ingredient and show emphasis with meaning for communities to decide on a fair playing field among a new type of food system without completely starting over utilizing all we have built up to this point.
2. This program brings us more together as a team not dividing based on tax brackets when selecting grocery for the dinner table so as not to base decisions entirely upon our individual bank accounts.
3. People using programs such as SNAP (Food Stamps) and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) will now have another layer of protection providing food security.
4. Purchasing grocery under contract for a term such as a 1 year contract, will ensure that the price point will be consistent through the time period that all parties establish.
5. Adjustments may be necessary for inventories for a period as there will be a calibration period within the marketplace we work with for a starting point to bring this effort to the people. People gain a new responsibility by getting equal quality standards for all not based on the dollar any longer.
6. This program is designed to be a form of education educating children in the long term who become the future shoppers of the world and showing them clearly the healthy options by following the reduced "Price Points". Shopping by the numbers will now have a different meaning. People can have a little more trust in the food system so that we don't have to depend on everyone who shops to read and know all additives and complicated wording for food labeling on everyday shopping. This program would mainly stay with basic essential ingredients that have stood the test of time rather than new food science practice based on preservation and long term storage for shelf lives. That was a necessary period to learn from.
Prior to putting this project together in this form there was 1 year in 2015 that involved field research throughout California, Oregon and Washington State. Working on social skills and going to ask people one basic question was this. "If we could reduce the price for one item that you buy at the grocery store, what would be the most beneficial to your budget month to month?" The answers varied.
A good portion of research was done directly with homeless or nomadic people traveling in unorthodox means hitchhiking or a caravan to gather in woods based on sharing what each could gather along the way with a great emphasis on the music that brought life and meaning to each day. There were many discussions bringing youth and healing veterans of war to the nightly campfire for music and working at bringing solutions to the great divisions we all see that has roots in money.
Some answers on the question for the research was fresh veggies or seeds to grow their own. Other answers included flax seeds because of medicinal purposes. Certain spices that offer healing and health properties such as rosemary, garlic, tyme, sage, oregano and basil. Preventing food waste was also a topic and by reducing costs of surplus to move product would alleviate some of this.
The country of Jamaica was under stress as an island nation with their kids lacking calcium due to diet considerations. They asked a university in China to assist in research to build a system not so dependent on imports with fishing for calcium needs becoming more expensive. The kids were showing signs of calcium deficiency with lack of access to fresh dairy. The recommendation was to purchase 1000 holstein dairy cattle and build off of that dairy herd for milk, cheese and yogurt for calcium with beef being regarded as having a less than optimum feed conversion ratio. They also recommended poultry and pork production. The country of Jamaica then implemented this for their island nation to improve the health of their children and a website called drinkrealmilk.com. Along with the calcium, dairy has been determined long ago to be a good option for Vitamin D to absorb preventing rickets along with other ailments that are tough on growing healthy kids.
The Present Situation: * Currently we stock our homes paycheck to paycheck for the most part. * Stocking up for the future is the only way to "get ahead" of this current market structure by purchasing for the future --> Now. Building contracts with grocery owners as done in other fields like ball players. * We see it like we are in a sense filling the hull of a ship for a voyage we are about to embark on, not relying on future prices or situations to be "as expected" when we arrive. Development up to the present: * The current situation was a good starting point in moving forward to the next form of how we go about difficulties. * As founder, I researched histories of co-ops dating back to 1700's Scotland. This is different. I have a background of growing food since childhood. * Food, Music, and sharing food together as a way of peace, even if its something you don't care for, take a bite, you might accidentally like it. Potential Alternatives: * We could do nothing. Not steering people away from cheap alternatives to sugar-based diets and letting the prices these cheaper alternatives dictate to us rather than working "with" food farmers. * Pros and Cons would include an array of Pros for your receipt at the checkstand, while there will be Cons of the time it takes to set such an endeavor up with testing and adjustments once data is established. * A forecast of costs vary and can be custom. Recommendation: * There are different levels of reduced costs that we can offer. 50% off... 25% off... and also custom discount system that we would sit down and go over item for item hitting lower volume items with greater discounts until the market adjusts, and we adjust to the new norm. * Expected results include an instant public support for this new concept once it can be seen in flight. * Next we would find common ground on selections and start building terms of negotiations. Environmental Working Group would be a key stakeholder as they have a lot of concern and passion for a healthy futuristic food system that does not include harmful chemicals. We will continue to work at building a better relationship with EWG to bring all of their hard work and money spent on research directly to everyday peoples lives. Middletown California is where we are based and are currently looking to formulate a panel of committee members that have the time and interest in seeing this get off the ground. We remind interested individuals that this is experimental and that we have to take that into consideration. As founder with experience in the experimental small aircraft production, we would work closely with farmers, grocery owners, scientists, doctors, and dentists to collaborate on a clear path that can be agreed upon. This program is in the early stages. We will go over building the correct presentation that fits the current media.
Visualizing the future and seeing the year 2050 with various food systems working cohesively would be ideal. In the year 2050 there are people who act in kindness with one another when the see a problem. This nonprofit food project model is expanded to cross oceans with all disputes regulated through a new set of guidelines that focus on disputes settled and discussed over a meal. With leaders eating food that their adversaries eat and vice versa. These diplomatic meals are repeated until a sense of unity is found and the disagreement is mended.
We don't need to fight over anything as we were taught in pre-school as toddlers. We tend to forget. In 2050, once the meal is over, there is a shipment of food fit for travel that requires aging sailed old world style under sail with a clipper ship or barque ship from the days of the past where there was a time of renewable shipping providing seaman work as it takes more hands on deck and more effort to hoist sails and cook along the way learning the trades of old following the trade winds as they're called.
The diplomats sent along their treasured foods to be shared to the land where the dispute with the distant neighbors took place. Both sides meet the requirements as once the ship lands it is sent back with food made for travel back. This form of trade can settle disputes and bring togetherness, equality and happiness using less pollution keeping the land healthy for the future. All done via windpower putting old shipbuilding skills back to work and back to the old ways with sailpower bringing commerce and farming closer together while also implementing new technology navigation for safety. Farmers in 2050 are skilled at all forms of transporting the goods globally without any other means besides the most common sense available energy provided by the Earth and Sun themselves saving oil only for emergency services.
First considerations prior to 2050 was the care for those directly involved in oil and coal being first considered for the new implementations of the old world back to life transitioning the world without forgetting the past including those involved now with the future to avoid aggressive confrontations that are stale-mating and holding us all back. If the worst part is sitting enjoying meals time and time again until a consensus is met then the work gets done at the same time that the agreements and disputes are being worked out. Facing the toughest of problems head on.
This is called "luffing the sails" as we "come about". Making sure all "on board" are ready to duck as the "boom" crosses the deck and cockpit so as no one gets knocked overboard. A good ship captain takes care of their crew and educates all on board long before we "come about". This is done at harbor before setting off on this new adventure.