But Anna Lloyd, a senior at the University of Birmingham at Alabama, hopes to change the way kids are eating, through the power of music video.
Lloyd’s “Fresh Grown” features five young performers rapping and dancing in a grocery store and farmers’ market, letting people know that eating healthy foods is cool.
Lloyd began the project after being recruited by the Jones Valley Urban Farm, a nonprofit organization that educates children in Birmingham about the benefits of healthy eating.
Lloyd said she surveyed students from urban schools in the area about their opinions on nutrition, music, websites and television.
“My conclusion was they didn’t think healthy food was cool, but the culture they were most into and they found most cool was the hip-hop culture,” she said. “I thought it’d be unexpected to mix two things that seemed so different and unrelated and would make it more interesting, surprising and memorable.”
With the help of teacher Michele Foreman and the artistic director of a local dance company who auditioned and selected dancers, Lloyd finished the project last month.
The video has been reposted on several websites and even viewed in other countries, Lloyd said.
“My hopes were on a more small scale initially, but I feel the video has already traveled farther on the Internet than I expected it to,” she said.
Though Lloyd made the video to appeal to all children, she said inner city kids are most negatively impacted by poor nutrition.
A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service last year shows that 11.5 million people live in low-income areas more than one mile away from a supermarket where fresh produce and fruit is available and affordable.
“There are a lot of challenges that I think exist for every American family,” Lloyd said. “We need to look at ways to make eating healthier easier, and I certainly think in low income communities it’s even harder for those changes to occur.”
Lloyd said she will continue to use the video to promote awareness on issues of healthy eating. She and those who collaborated on the project are currently pitching the video to television stations.
“To me, it was such a humbling experience,” she said. “It was so cool to see how I would use other people’s talents and showcase them in a way for the better of the kids.”
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