The Green Communities Coalition holds a "Green Drinks" meeting every month, used to discuss green solutions for the City of Rockford. But this month, they're focusing on green eating, putting "green drinks" into practice.
Jacki Minnihan, from the Rockford Park District, realized a while back that her diet wasn't up to par. After doing some research, she came up with a drink that makes eating healthier a simple task.
"They're raw," says Minnihan, referring to the fruits and veggies she uses. "And when they're raw, all of the nutrients in the fruits and vegetables are really easily to become part of your body. Your body just assimilates them very quickly and easily."
It's a green drink that people often shy away from, just because of it's appearance.
"I actually felt like a little kid," says Stacy Scott, one of Jacki's co-workers. "I looked at it. Then I pushed it away. I brought it back, and I smelled. Then I tasted it, and it was good."
With some fruits, vegetables, and a good old fashioned blender, she's spreading the word about the importance of locally grown vegetables and healthy habits.
"I try then in the summer time to incorporate getting my fruits and vegetables from a local grower," Minnihan says. "And so it's a way for us to help each other as well. Not only is it healthy for me, but it helps the local community by buying products locally."
One guy on board is Allen Penticoff. He's part of the Green Communities Coalition and already buys locally. He's already tested out the green drink, thanks to his wife, but will get a taste of Jacki's concoction at tonight's "Green Drinks" meeting.
"We're so accustomed to having anything we want, anytime we want it," Allen Penticoff says. "In the old days, you ate what grew now. And so we really try to eat in the summer time, when things are fresh and available, as locally as possible."
He says buying local is the wave of the future, and is something communities around the country will have to build upon in the coming years.
"People have to look more at growing things around here, instead of growing corn and shipping it out across the country to make other products with," Penticoff says.
Tonight's Green Drinks meeting is open to the public and begins at 5:30pm at the RMAP building downtown Rockford.