– Rachel Pomeranz
We woke up this morning in Salt Lake City and hopped on the bus to make our way to Zion National Park. During the ride, we watched “Food Inc.”, a movie that describes where our food comes from and reveals some of the harsh realities of the food industry. This movie gave us the opportunity to see that much of our food is the product of a hidden process. It also touched upon the pricing of produce versus fast food and how that effects people’s diets. As we were coming into Zion, we were all in awe of our surroundings. We drove through part of the park on a shuttle and could see the towering, colorful rock formations. We were sandwiched between the large walls with a bright blue sky above us. We hiked along a river, meeting many other nice travelers and squirrels.
We paused our hiking to discuss water, and the ways in which water is taken for granted and wasted. The average American uses 100 gallons of water everyday, an amount that cannot be sustained by the earth’s water supply.
We stopped again to speak about nature. Naomi taught us a new term, nature deficiency disorder. This disorder occurs when one does not spend enough time outside in the wilderness; it can lead to physical and mental health issues. With lives so dependent on electronics, it was easy for many of us to connect. We left Zion and went to a park where Billy’s friend, Scott Fried, who has joined us for a few days, spoke to us about spirituality. He shared his own story about traveling to Israel then had us bless each other. We then learned about Reconstructionist Judaism and had some time to think as Rebecca led us in a service.
After the service, we had a BBQ dinner and played games including football, red rover and relay races. Before heading back to the hotel we discussed what we had learned from “Food Inc.”. The conversation transitioned into speaking about what we and our school cafeterias could do to create a change. Billy left us with the thought that each of us has the ability to create change. His thought was as a consumer, everything we buy is a vote for the world we want.