It’s more than just food

Blog post by FH blogger Allison Vesterfelt

They glowed with pride as we gathered into the small room full of women and children. Light streamed in from the thatched roof. Smoke billowed to the ceiling and curled it’s way outside. We waited patiently for what was about to happen.

This was a weekly meeting for what the community calls the “Agriculture Group,” implemented by an organization called Food for the Hungry but operated completely by community members with the purpose of learning agriculture practices and recipes in order to improve the community’s overall nutrition.

From the minute they told me about this, I was hooked.

It was about 10 years ago that I started to think seriously about health and nutrition in my own life.

Growing up, I thought about my health a little bit. I knew it wasn’t healthy to eat ice cream every night before I went to bed, and that carrot sticks were better for my body than cookies. But I also didn’t spend any time thinking about what was in the packaged and processed food I was eating. I had no idea it was killing me.

At 20 years old, I was diagnosed with a condition called Dietary Fructose Intolerance, which means my body is unable to properly process fructose, a sugar occurring in all fruit, many vegetables, and anything packaged or processed with high fructose corn syrup. I had been eating these foods for years without knowing they were damaging my system, making it virtually impossible for me to absorb nutrients.

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Allison Vesterfelt is an FH blogger who is a writer, managing editor of Prodigal Magazine and author of Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage (Moody, 2013). She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband Darrell.

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