Sunday, February 5

Life Update (I started a nonprofit)

 I started a nonprofit.

It's called Rescue.Food.

We have the expansive, enormous vision of eliminating food waste at every step of the supply chain. We find the food no one wants - open containers of catered French toast or a bag of tangerines that has begun to mold or a jar of soup in the back of your fridge or an entire truckload of expired yogurt - process it into something new and desirable and shelf stable, then turn around and send it back into the community.

It's a worthy goal. Something everyone can understand, something that can make an enormous difference in food security and the environment and community togetherness as a whole. It has the possibility of uniting the poor and the rich and helping everyone become better stewards of what they have.

How it works:
  1. Someone finds super cheap food, food destined for the trash, or food is donated by individuals or organizations.
  2. A volunteer Food Hero processes the food into something with at least a 2-week shelf life (usually longer) in their home kitchen. We have dehydrators, zipper bags, and other food processing equipment available to borrow for anyone who needs it, and teach classes on food preservation.
  3. Volunteers can keep up to 20% of any donated food they process.
  4. Food gets labeled according to Utah law, then dropped off at a Rescue.Food kiosk.
  5. Anyone in the community can get super-low-cost or free food from the kiosk. Money spent goes to buy equipment, supplies, and more low-cost food to rescue.

People can also just drop off homemade or shelf-stable food. So we have homemade cookies alongside rescued fruit bread, next to cans of pinto beans.

This week I set up a distribution kiosk (so excited for this!), made bread from damaged industrial cake mix + banana peels, processed moldy apples with a three step alkali / citric acid / lactobacillus regimen to destroy patulin, and met with the local Community Action.

This coming week I'm meeting with Orem City, hopefully setting up another kiosk, experimenting with crazy ingredients, and trying to find more ways to improve distribution.

In other aspects of my life I'm doing great, albeit with a current caveat. I overdosed on vitamins during a food binge a few weeks ago, and developed hypervitaminosis from dangerously high amounts of vitamin A, D, and E. Taking liver supplements and doing my best to detox... and hoping that it takes less than the "up to 4 months" estimated for my body to heal. In the meantime, I'm dealing with brain fog, 25 pounds of sudden weight gain, headaches, simultaneous hunger and nausea, painful fluid swelling in my legs, hair falling out, peeling skin, exhaustion, zero exercise tolerance, and whatever other symptoms I can't remember right now.

...Writing it down makes it seem worse than it feels. I guess I'm glad I asked my little brothers for a blessing after they get home from Church today.

Health-wise, I was down to 150 and on the verge of finishing my short-term intervention to hit 10% body fat. Super excited about the progress I made and feeling healthier. Hoping that comes back very soon.

Emotionally, I've been great as well. I have excess emotional energy and was able to start Rescue.Food, work on random projects at Nature's Fusions, and interact with people around me in ways with which I previously would have struggled.

Spiritually, I'm also in a great place. I love my ward, and host a Sunday potluck where I invite people to come eat with my family each week. It's stressful, but it feels like it makes a difference. Temple-worthy. Focused on God.

I read a handful of research articles on autism and addiction, and one of them found a strong correlation between people with high functioning autism and cyclic obsessions - essentially addictions that can spontaneously switch or change. 

Hence my current addiction to food. Food is all I think about. I feel hungry throughout the day, while I'm eating, even after eating so much that I'm in pain. I wake up in the morning and I'm starving. I wake up at night and I'm starving. Just always, always hungry. It'll go away for a little while, to taunt me, and then jump back. The only thing that has brought respite is doing multi-day fasts. I'm hoping that as soon as I stop focusing on food / getting to a healthy body fat % that food will stop being an obsession. Here's hoping.

My next life goal has something to do with missionary work. And I'm spending most of my free time with Rescue.Food... so I guess it'll be combining those two things together.

Just wanted to share the good things in my life. :)

ps - For people who care, as of Feb 4 there are 2 Rescue.Food kiosks. One is in the Soap Factory - 52 W Center Street in Provo (open Monday and Wednesday - Saturday, 12-9); the other is in the lobby of Nature's Fusions - 57 N 1380 W Orem (open Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30). The Rescue.Food website is - the current list of food, GroupMe for food rescue efforts, our instagram (yeah... I have no visual skill) and other documents are linked there. Our current needs... are help finding an actual space to call our own, as well as obviously more food to rescue, and more people to rescue food.

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