Fresh and local to get through poverty challenge
As hundreds of Kiwis embrace a spartan diet of lentils and rice for the Live Below the Line challenge this week, Ella Rose will be enjoying a wide variety of nutrient rich, locally sourced meals for her 5 days of living on just $2.25 a day. The artist, musician and campaigner has opted to work with Lyndal Jefferies who runs rEvolution juicing on Waiheke to prepare a comprehensive selection of energizing meals and healthy juices.
The Live Below the Line campaign is designed to focus the national spotlight on the hard choices faced by 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty. Participants spend 5 days below the poverty line as an act of solidarity and to raise funds for a range of leading charities.
Jefferies embraced the mission to prepare 5 days of food for just $11.25. rEvolution has built a loyal and growing base of customers with its model of fresh raw food & juices delivered to their homes. For Rose, the highly nutritious organic juices seemed an obvious place to turn to get through the extreme poverty challenge.
“Once I committed to taking the challenge, I knew I needed to work with rEvolution to get the right balance of healthy foods ” said Rose, “The juices are so full of life and so energizing, I really welcomed the chance to benefit from Lyndal’s extensive knowledge of affordable local food sources."
While highlighting the plight of the world’s poor is a top priority, Rose says the challenge for her is about much more than starving yourself for a charity.
"We live in a world where the numbers of obese people now are greater than the number of people starving, a world where over a billion people are barely surviving on less than NZ$2.25 a day, and where 70% of the extreme poor are women and children,” she said. “I see the challenge as an opportunity for me to make intelligent food choices and to reflect deeply on our relationship to health, nutrition, and our global food production and distribution systems."
For Rose, the challenge embodies the “Think Global, Act Local” motto and offers a chance to discuss positive ideas that challenge the status quo.
“I believe that our planet really is in need of a revolution, a revolution in consciousness about food, about health, and about fairness and resources,” Rose said. “There is something seriously wrong in a world where mass obesity and malnourishment live side by side, where people with too much are killing themselves with food, and people with not enough, are trapped in a cycle of desperation."
Over 1500 people across the country have signed up to take the Live Below the Line challenge. Their experiences will prompt hundreds of conversations about extreme poverty and raise over $500,000 for 23 anti-poverty organizations.
Every day Ella will eat tangelos, apples, smoked fish lettuce wraps, apple pulp truffles and grain and seeds balls along with a daily Green Juice made from organically grown Kale, Cavolo Nero, Spinach, broccoli leaves, mint and apple and green smoothies made from Waiheke grown bananas.
Like Rose, the challenge has forced Jefferies to examine some of the wasteful elements of the food system.
“Plants like broccoli produce so many dark green nutrient rich leaves and they are usually thrown away,” she said. “We can eat so much more of our plants than we realise."
Rose is raising funds for the Global Poverty Project, the organization that coordinates the Live Below the Line challenge.
“Extreme poverty can feel like a problem that is so far away and that we can’t help solve,” said Rose. “This experience of working with Lyndal, reflecting on industrial food systems, the resulting health problems and talking about local alternatives, these are insights that can have a huge impact in the developing world."
For Jefferies, who already runs her business with an ethical 'zero waste' policy, our whole relationship with food production and consumption is out of balance. She works closely with the local community on Waiheke to source her organic fruit and vegetables and to step away from supermarket food systems that consume expensive 'food miles' and often sell cheap food with little or no nutritional value. She is passionate about the health benefits of juicing and says that even on a limited diet that reflects the fiscal restrictions of the Live below the Line challenge, Rose should feel the benefits of not eating processed foods, refined carbohydrates, coffee, chocolate and other staples of the 'modern' diet.
Ella Rose will be living on just $2.25 a day for all food and drink from the 23rd-27th of September. To support her, please go to livebelowtheline.com/nz and search for her name. To find out more about rEvolution, please find them on Facebook: waihekejuicerevolution