Gardening teens take the healthy eating challenge

By Lucy Harris
SEEDS executive director
for the Durham VOICE

Fifteen 14-18 year youth of the Durham Inner-city Gardeners (DIG) of SEEDS have accepted a challenge to go 30 days without fast food and soda.

Durham Inner-City Gardeners (DIG) cut up while having a group portrait made during last summer's photo lessons. This summer the youth are vowing to give up fast food for 30 days. (Staff photo by Jock Lauterer)

The Healthy Food-a-Thon is July 19th through August 17th. Also participating are 70+ youth from other gardening organizations in Eastern NC: SWARM (Students Working for an Agricultural Revolutionary Movement) in Goldsboro, Ground Up at Stone House in Mebane, Manos Abiertas at Anathoth Community Garden in Cedar Grove, and Community at Heart in Garner.

Below are DIG’s food bios:


I eat a lot of candy and that’s really it. It’s going to be hard but I think I can manage.

Well on most days I eat at home. It’s every once in a while I will eat from a fast food restaurant or a regular restaurant. I mostly eat chicken and corn and peas. I would usually drink juice and sometimes soda but right now I am mostly drinking milk and water. So yeah this is about what I eat and drink on a regular basis, but I am very addicted to oreo cakesters.

I eat fast food at least twice a week. And usually I get a large soda to go along with my food. I eat candy like every day at least a piece a day.

I eat fast food every other day. I sneak candy every minute about 80 pieces a day.
I eat healthy stuff everyday.

I usually eat fast food about three times a week. I don’t drink whole lot of soda. I eat a lot of chicken and I prefer it baked and rotisserie over fried. I am not very fond of dessert; I don’t eat a lot of sweets. Fruit is my candy. I do snack a lot on a variety things: fruit cups, nutria grain bars, fruits. I am going to try to give up ice cream for the month.

Well I eat fast food almost everyday. It’s either McDonalds, burger king or KFC. I love eating fast food. It has a certain taste. I eat fast food all the time. I can’t imagine going a day without fast food, but I’m going to try!!

I love to eat mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets and McChickens from McDonalds. My worst enemy is sweet tea and I love ranch on everything I eat.

I am 17 years old and I don’t eat fast food any more. I drink water and diet soda.
So I am choosing to stop eating chips for a month and no soda and no fast food.

My eating habits lately have been a lot of fried foods such as fried chicken also I have been eating fast food but sometimes not as much as I did last year before the Healthy food a thon. And another thing is I drink a lot of soda, I drink about 5 cans of soda a week.

I’m a fruit eater normally. There are times when I’m out and can’t get home where I may eat fast food. Working with DIG forces me to eat healthier. I usually cook at home. My weakness is chips. I’m going to refrain from chips, fast food and soda. I’m preparing to challenge myself!!!

Even though my eating habits are not really bad, they’re not perfect. Usually on Sunday mornings I go to fast food restaurants and drink soda about twice a week. However, I would like to challenge myself by giving up on sweet bread because I eat it a lot. Therefore, I am going to quit on fast food, soda and sweet bread for a month.

My eating habits are that I eat fast food about twice a week. I try to cook but it is hard because I need the ingredients. And my family would eat fast food a lot especially my brother. I am going to have a hard time with my brother because I cant stop him eating fast food so he wont support me.

Well I eat fast food like every Friday after work and I can drink a whole liter of soda by myself and I eat a lot of candy and I think they are taking effect because I gained 10 pounds. I have to start eating healthy if I want to be in shape for soccer next year in school. I am going to give up fast food for a month and see if I can do it.

Well usually I don’t eat breakfast but when I do its usually two piece of butter or cheese toast. Lunch I don’t really eat either. At dinner my mom cooks so it’s always healthy. I eat fast food a-lot.

I have fast food about every two weeks or so. I eat out about 4 or 5 times a month. My unhealthy habits: I eat candy (I have to eat candy) like every two days (that’s bad). I’m a big skittles fan. I love skittles. My Diet: for breakfast ( I don’t always eat breakfast) if so, I’ll eat a donut or something (unhealthy). For snacks I eat anything I can find to snack on, ravioli, skittles, twizzlers, muncheez, chips, ice cream, popsicles, etc. Basically junk food ~yummy~ For Dinner my mom cooks and she is a healthy person. My family and I will have a main course meal and 2 side which are normally vegetables. Then I have a dessert after.

Lucy Harris
SEEDS executive director
706 gilbert street
durham, nc 27701