Gloria Mario Virginia, Please Eat Wildly
Youth Environmental Hub Team member Hayu Dyah is a long time food advocate and community activist. Explaining why food is an environmental issue, she says: “dietary habits of people unavoidably shape the environment locally and globally.” Through her own organization, Mantasa, she has been an effective advocate for local control of food systems, and the importance of heritage and wild crops in meeting people’s food needs.
While working with Mantasa, Hayu met Gloria Mario Virgina, then an intern in the organization’s office. Their shared interest in sustainable food systems, and particularly wild crops, brought them together, and Hayu has followed Gloria’s work with interest.
They recently reconnected and Hayu learned of Gloria’s pioneering work with “Please Eat Wildly”. Believing that the key to engaging people is showing them how easy and tasty it is to obtain and prepare wild plants as a sustainable food source that is not reliant on industrial agriculture, irrigation, and all of the problems that come with it, Gloria and her team plan a pop-up restaurant serving only wild crops.
The not-for-profit restaurant will also serve as an education center on nutrition, agriculture, and the environment. As Hayu says, “the idea of conservation, biodiversity, and agroecology should not be a concept that is distant for people, especially those in urban areas.” By connecting people to the land in a real (and tasty!) way, it becomes more likely that they will care about biodiversity and become stewards and guardians of the environment.