I'm a registered dietitian and have worked to reduce childhood obesity and improve children's diets for more than 30 years. I was also a Food and Society Policy Fellow where I learned from garden-based educators the power of gardens to teach and nourish children.
Richard Louv's best selling, "Last Child in the Woods," further confirms the value of connecting children to nature. What better place than a vegetable garden?
I hope the judge will see Mr. Guerrero as nothing short of a hero for recruiting his young neighbors and forming community over fresh, nourishing food -- true prevention in our war against obesity, diabetes and a host of chronic diseases.
Isn't it better for our children to be working outside as part of a neighborhood community in a garden, rather than spending time inside, alone, in front of TV sets and video games that promote violence and junk food?
Let's work together to change outdated ordinances that ultimately harm public health. Let's celebrate Mr. Guerrero and his army of young urban farmers who are contributing true wealth to our communities. Guerrero is an inspiring teacher, community role model and citizen; Thomas Jefferson would be proud!
Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D.
By Hannah Sayle, Chris Herrington, Chris Shaw, Louis Goggans, Greg Akers and Bruce VanWyngarden
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