RTF: Rewind, eat well and start a food revolution.

Om Boys Food Movement‘ is the result of two young men looking at their grocery store shelves and realizing that not all food is really what it appears to be. In fact when looking at the wide array of brand name food products offered in America’s grocery stores there is a disturbing amount of things that are packed with preservatives and unwanted ingredients. Many of these foods are also deeply ingrained in our American diet and culture. Two of these products are peanut butters and cereal.

Walking by the endless amount of peanut butter jars that claim to be extra chunky or fat free or reduced fat or smooth and creamy, etcetera and ranging in brands that are generic or the well know brand name jars, one realizes they all scream the same thing… a commodity appearing to be a food product and a business model that is strictly there to make money. The team of people behind the food revolution associated with Om Boys Food Movement are working to create food they would eat and they would feed to their friends, family and hopefully the entire world. The Om Boys Food Movement, founded by Adrian Reif and Matt D’amour created a ‘Yumbutter‘ nut-butter line as well as the ‘Food Your Body Likes’ cereals. These products are the first of Adrian and Matt’s food revolution, reversing the damage done by corporate companies selling nut butters and cereals.

  

Adrian and Matt wanted to take food products that are a big part of today’s society and make them good! The variety of peanut butters found in most grocery stores only aisles away from sugary and energy depleting cereals are what is found in most American households. According to the USA National Peanut Board “the average child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before he/she graduates high school.” That is an outstanding amount of a highly processed food product. This is where Yumbutter is introduced as a wholesome, protein rich and pure product that will win any taste test compared with any other nut butters. There is also the ‘Food Your Body Likes’ cereal line, that is jam packed with phytonutrients and sprouted ingredients that “releases enzymes and antioxidants, improves the amino acid, vitamin, and mineral content, and breaks down anti-nutrients.” This is quiet frankly,’Food Your Body Likes’ and will help restore the entire working organism from the inside out.

The idea behind ‘Yumbutter’ nut butters and ‘Food Your Body Likes’cereal is to start small while taking the time to replace the well know jars of peanut butters and air-puffed sugar cereals, disguised as a healthy breakfast option, with real food. Co-founders Adrian and Matt are personally selecting high quality products that range from organic, fair trade bananas for their most recent Yumbutter Potion, Ethical Elvis, to researching the health benefits of sprouted and raw food products for their cereals.

Adrian and Matt are the not the first to use the term ‘food revolution’ while offering some tasty snacks but they are making headway. Their nut butters can be found at a variety of grocery stores in Madison, Milwaukee and even Chicago areas. They started small in order to offer the best quality product but don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Keep a look out for more articles regarding Adrian, Matt, their food revolution and any of the other projects that support their mission of being sustainable, ethical and community-based all while having a full stomach!

All hail a food revolution.

Amy Verhey

Summer 2012 Food Warrior

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RTF: Farmers as social media advocates

When times change they change all sections of society, however only two of those sections tend to cross over and in a major way. Those two are food and the way people talk about food. As a food warrior intern we are working to find out about what is making what, how and when they are doing it as well as how it contributes to the bigger picture. All of these things are believed to not be new questions but perhaps are being expressed differently. Ever since roughly 2004 there has been a rise in how people talk about their passions. Individual passions are art forms and it appears that the most common and definitely most shared are music and food.

With the introduction of MySpace, many users utilized its services to share personal new tracks or their favorite biggest hits. the transformation to Facebook was a way for people in the elite academic circles to connect. Currently looking at the evolution of Facebook it is greatly used as a way for people to share their pictures.

Twitter joined the conversation in 2008 and soon because a place for people to hone in on their niche interests and ‘follow’ handlebars that speak directly to those interests. The live-feed of the Twitter sphere can be a public space for advocacy in food, women’s’ rights, politics in general or even children’s safety over seas.

Many of the pictures that stream through a foodies Facebook newsfeed come from the meals they eat, markets and grocery stores they shop at, restaurants they dine at, and even farms they visit. Today there is strong urge for restaurants, markets and all establishments striving to sell a product to join Facebook. This is even more apparent with the current shift in the food industry that is promoting locally and seasonal ingredients. The tweets that are being updated from these food establishments follow a similar track.

Years ago the majority of Americans were farmers and the food served to a community was different as you traveled across the world. Today you can chow down on something from each end of the universe, not really… but maybe someday? The technological advancements in agriculture, the government and then obviously our food production has removed people from food and even disconnected them from their own cultures. The shift in our food system today is fighting against this disconnect and striving to revert back to the ‘olden days’. The farmers, food artisans, and consumers are doing so because of their ingrained interest of enjoying food that is wholesome, good and clean.

Tying the growing social media spheres along with this shift in our food systems leads to a lot of different conversations. The constant stream of knowledge that each farmer, food artisan and establishment experiences can now be shared with others in the same field. The idea of competition between producers in a market is decreasing to build a community and overall shape society. Social media is a way for the producers to connect with consumers and offer them what is wanted as well as for consumers to learn more about what’s provided. Food systems have always been a two way street communication between producers and consumers, but until now there hasn’t been one sphere for this to happen. Thus introducing social network sites.

For more tangible examples a few of us who are Real Time Farms Food Warriors stumbled upon farmers that are sharing their stories through pictures and information online. Click the images to experience their farm from the virtual side.

  

  

To dive into Food Advocacy in the Twitterverse, check out one of my previous posts discussing just that.

All hail social connections and good food.

Amy Verhey

Summer 2012 Food Warrior