reconnecting families to locally grown, home cooked meals.
For my senior capstone project, I focused on the problems in the American food landscape today, and to find an area that could be improved through better communication design. I discovered that the amount of time spent preparing meals at home has fallen by half since the 1960's, yet we are consuming five hundred more calories a day. Cooking at home with simple ingredients reduces the intake of processed ingredients, therefore promoting healthier diets.
An existing mechanism that promotes cooking at home is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). However, CSA programs are currently underutilized across the United States and often overwhelming for new members. By joining a CSA myself, I was able to gather first-hand experience with the common issues new CSA members face. I then analyzed how graphic communication design can be implemented to facilitate better use of CSA programs.
The final solution: Refresh. Refresh is an organization that connects families to the best CSA for their needs and provides tools to make the most of their share. The organization aims to improve the relationship between families and their food.
Refresh's web component connects families to the best CSA in their area by taking into account the families preferences. It keeps the family connected to the farm through weekly emails, and provides all of the tools needed to successfully cook with a CSA at the user's fingertips.
When a new user joins Refresh, they also receive a kit of durable waterproof materials to help them cook with the CSA vegetables at home.
Cards are collected along with each new vegetable received to help the user identify the vegetable. It provides nutrition facts and most importantly, instructs them on how to store each vegetable properly. The card also guides the user to which cooking strategies are best to use.
Refresh provides 10 key cooking strategies to use with vegetables, these strategies teach the user how to cook with image based techniques and sample recipes that were specifically designed to be flexible for the CSA and easy for a new cook to understand.