Food has the power to impact our lives both emotionally and physically and create bonds among people. When Sweetgreen published a series of photos under the title “School Lunches Around the World,” the collection elicited a range of reactions. Although the photos are, according to Sweetgreen, “not intended to be exact representations of school lunches, but instead, are meant to portray different types of foods found in cafeterias around the world,” they nevertheless raise several questions regarding the quality and nutritional value of cafeteria food and the impact of that food on the wellness of children. A child, who is hungry and malnourished, will most likely perform at a suboptimal level compared to a child who is well fed and healthy. At the other end of the spectrum, children who are obese can also have health complications that may affect their well-being beyond their school years. These concerns continue to stir a melting pot of discussions that go beyond figuring out the types of food and how many calories we consume.
Gardens have a unique ability to ignite the imagination, balance the relationship between humans and nature, and calm the senses in urbanized settings. When I walked through the botanical gardens and the famous Gardens by the Bay, I couldn’t help but believe in and be impressed by Singapore’s vision to become a city in a garden. Our increasing awareness of the negative effects of climate change should encourage us to make more conscious efforts to preserve and reinvigorate the Earth’s natural beauty and healing powers. In a world that is reliant on technology and man-made structures, gardens provide a necessary respite and reminder of a home that we all lost. Continue reading “Gardens of the Future”