H2: The least packaging, of course, is when you take your canvas bag to the farmers market and pick out exactly the products that you want and you bring them home and cook it fresh.
R: Yep, and used to be, I would be resistant to spend a little bit extra money on organic food but I'm really believing now that it's really going to increase my health, my longevity, and I'm going to feel better so it's worth the small extra cost, spending an extra dollar a pound here or there for things.
H1; I think you're right, Rob. I think in the long run, and I'm speaking from my own experience, I think ultimately you're paying more up front but ultimately you're going to reduce your medical bills and that sort of thing.
R: And it's another way to fight. The system, is about big, it's about power, it's about centralization, it's about globalization, and when you buy packaged products that are very processed, that are made by giant multi-billion dollar corporations, you're supporting a system that is maintaining a horrible, corrupt, political system we have. If you get local food grown on local farms and you buy products that are not heavily processed, you're not contributing money into that system and that's really important. The way we're going to change the world is to go local.
H2: That's - that's sort of the drum that we beat as often as, as possible.
H1: Rob, your Bottom Up philosophy signifies to me that you're concerned with empowering regular people. Could you share a story that illustrates a person's or group of people's empowerment?
R: A story that -
H2: illustrates Somebody becoming empowered from the bottom up
R: Well, Bottom Up Empowerment means getting people to become aware that they have their own power-- That they can do things on their own. Finding their power so, my work biofeedback was about that and has been about that, helping people to learn that they have more control over their bodies and their lives than they thought they had. Biofeedback teaches somebody they can learn how to control their heart rate or their brain waves or their muscle tension. Another example, there's a group here - I'm in Chicago right now, there's a group here in Chicago called ArtVanGoGo and their goal is to take art to people who don't have access to a lot of art. You know a lot of schools are being closed. Art and sports departments are being shut down or de-funded, so ArtVanGoGo goes out to different community groups and brings art. Now "why bring art?" They believe art is good for people and there are so many ways that art changes the way people see the world and it gives them different ways to think about things, it gives them ways to feel their own power, their own creativity. So I went along and I took some photographs with one group served by ArtVanGoGo; they were a group of women seventeen to twenty-one years old who were homeless in southside Chicago. And they had just recently gone from being homeless to having an apartment in a HUD facility. The project was to bring some art to them and so the Home Depot donated some flowers and some clay flower pots and potting soil.
R: and ArtVanGoGo brought brushes and paints and some music and the mothers, these women, and most of them are mothers, they started working, some of them with their kids, painting flower pots.
R: And it - it was amazing--first, these are street tough kids. They lived under bridges and one of them, the story goes, when she was given her apartment, said "can I close my eyes when I sleep now?" Oh, why wouldn't you close your eyes? "Because when I'm sleeping under a bridge and I close my eyes I get raped." These are tough kids and they have hard exteriors, but once they started working with the art, it started freeing up a different part of them and they were smiling and, it was just wonderful to see that and the creativity they brought to it was amazing. One of the woman got on her phone and accessed a page of Chinese characters and painted the Chinese characters for love and passion..