Bringing back localized, regenerative, transparent food systems
Sharing her wisdom here is Wen-Jay Ying, Founder and CEO of Local Roots NYC. Hear about how we can combine intuition and our missions to support our work, the health and environmental impact of mono-cropped farms, what we need to know about mislabeling and greenwashing in the food industry, and more.
[2:08] What first inspired Wen-Jay's connection to nature.
[4:36] Kaméa: "What did you initially learn about food injustice that made you want to dive into this space and start Local Roots NYC?"
[5:55] Wen-Jay: "There is so much content about food out there that it can feel kind of intimidating. But if you can make it really fun and a little sexy, I think people are more likely to listen."
[6:44] Wen-Jay explains what Local Roots NYC does.
[8:09] Kaméa: "What was the process like for you to clarify your ideas, hash them out, and then bring them to life?"
[10:20] Kaméa: "Were there any specific roadblocks that you faced as a female, minority business owner?"
[11:15] Wen-Jay discusses how being a female farmer and business owner with a strong intuition can be a strength.
[12:00] Wen-Jay talks about the difference between intuition and creativity.
[14:25] Kaméa: "How did we come to adopt such an unsustainable food system in America?"
[18:35] Wen-Jay explains how localized food systems can actually boost nutrition in our foods and therefore, also their flavors.
[21:26] Wen-Jay and Kaméa discuss how not all whole foods are equal.
[23:12] Wen-Jay: "The more people can understand the problems and challenges in our food systems, then the more they can ask questions and support the people that are value-aligned with what they want in life."
[23:42] Wen-Jay explains talks about greenwashing and mislabeling in the food industry.
[25:31] Kaméa: "How do you think we, as consumers, can better support sustainable food systems without letting the complexity overwhelm us?"
About our Guest
Wen-Jay Ying is the founder and CEO of Local Roots NYC, a small business that has revolutionized the way New Yorkers shop for food. She was awarded 'Entrepreneur of the Year' by former Mayor Bloomberg, 'New Yorker of the Week' by NY1, and 'Ones To Watch' by Cherry Bombe, and she was a special guest invited to attend the 50th year anniversary UN Global Goals Gala due to her work in the field of sustainability and agriculture. Wen-Jay has spoken on various panels and shows about food systems, food waste, and female entrepreneurship, and she's also a guest instructor at the International Culinary Center.
Note from Wen-Jay: "If you live or have a business in NYC and want to start your own Local Roots market, email us info [at] localroots.nyc!"
Keep in touch
Local Roots NYC
Note to self: "Do good work."
Health practice: Wen-Jay is practicing Muay Thai, getting acupuncture, sleeping more, and making sure to spend time with friends.
Sustainability practice: "I'm trying to find easy ways to talk to people so they feel inspired to make changes in their own life."
Element of hope: Wen-Jay is hopeful that regenerative agriculture and minimalist living are becoming more prominent ideas.
Closing words: "Be curious where your food comes from, ask questions, and eat real food."