They packed their bags with Slim Jims and Starburst candy for camp, but soon learned that the best food doesn’t come in plastic wrappers.  The teenage girls that signed up for High Rock’s “Food Revolution” course this summer spent 17 days learning about where their food comes from and why that is a good thing to know.

All of our campers feasted on organic vegetables from the High Rocks gardens, local meats and eggs, and meals made from scratch, but the Food Revolution class, taught by Marlyn McClendon, got a behind-the-scenes look at what went into these meals and the ones they often eat at home or at school.  In many cases, it was a study of stark contrasts.

They learned that they can actually make food that they like without too much trouble.  They picked blueberries and made jam.IMG_0418

They made cheese in an afternoon, and they made refrigerator pickles without even using recipes.   The young women expanded their culinary horizons at the kimchi workshop hosted by Marlyn and her mother.  They visited farms, helped out in gardens, and learned about the wild edibles in our forests and fields.

Below are some excerpts of their writing from the class:

Have you ever wondered why we eat food and what it does for us? For centuries people have eaten food for nutrients but in the last 50 years it has evolved from something we need into something we want. More foods are processed and have lost most of their nutrients which means we don’t need to eat them we just want something that tastes good.  –Gillian

Many people have the option to eat healthier but have overlooked it. I have had a farmer’s market just 13 miles away from where I live and I have never been there. I visited a farmer’s market for the first time during this class. I found that a lot of food is actually cheaper than in the store. For instance, we bought 60 eggs for about $12…  I have a neighbor that has raised and butchered cows for years and I never once thought about buying beef from him.  If you don’t have access to a local farmer, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for unhealthy food.  Almost every grocery store has some form of organic food.


 Growing (food) ourselves, famers markets, and organic foods, are a simple solution to a complicated issue.  Farm-raised cattle and produce grown (at home, with) no genetic modification, and no chemicals, have nutrients to keep us alive and kicking. ”  –Emylee

While they might not go completely cold turkey from Slim Jims and Starburst, they now have the knowledge they need good decisions about what they eat.  They now know why that matters.  In Stephanie’s words:

Food matters because it is your body’s fuel. It is like the gasoline in your vehicle; without the gas or the right kind of gas it won’t run correctly.