The Chris Voss Show Podcast – Exploring Urban Farming and Food Justice with Erika Allen

Exploring Urban Farming and Food Justice with Erica Allen

About the Guest(s):
Erika Allen is the founder and CEO of Strategic Development and Programs for Urban Growers Collective, an organization focused on creating sustainable and equitable community food systems. She is also the President of Green ERA Educational NFP and co-owner of Green Era Sustainability Partners. Erika Allen has been appointed by the Illinois Governor to the Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education and by the Biden Administration to join the Farm Service Agency Committee for Illinois. She also serves as the co-chair of the Food Equity Council for the city of Chicago.

Episode Summary:
In this episode of The Chris Voss Show, host Chris Voss is joined by Erika Allen, an influential leader in sustainable agriculture and food justice. Erika discusses the importance of growing your own food, especially in urban settings, highlighting the numerous health and community benefits. From food as medicine to creating local economies and addressing food deserts, Erika’s insights are both profound and accessible.

Erika shares the transformative work being conducted at the Urban Growers Collective and the Green Era Campus in Chicago. These projects focus on creating circular food economies that reduce food waste, generate renewable energy, and provide educational opportunities. She emphasizes the role of such initiatives in empowering communities, mitigating climate change, and offering sustainable economic opportunities. This episode is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in sustainable agriculture, food justice, and community development.

Key Takeaways:
Community food systems can drastically improve food security, economic opportunities, and public health, especially in underserved areas.
The Green Era Campus utilizes anaerobic digestion technology to convert food waste into renewable energy and nutrient-rich compost.
Urban Growers Collective focuses on food justice through educational programs, community gardens, and support for local food economies.
Growing your own food not only provides nutritional benefits but also fosters a deeper connection to the environment and community.
Sustainable agriculture projects can serve as powerful tools for trauma-informed care and community healing.

Notable Quotes:
“We all should know how to grow food and to be able to continue our relationship with the earth and with one another through our food system.”
“There’s a correlation between environmental health and our human health.”
“Knowing that one’s life energy can be spent on, you know, creating peace and prosperity within our own communities.”
“The food that we eat, if it’s not nutritionally dense, we’re depriving our systems of the building blocks to repair ourselves.”
“We get addicted to processed foods, and to mitigate that, if you start eating fresh, local foods, it drastically improves your health.”