How A Former Gang Member Became A Vegan Chef

Recently, I read the story of this likable young man called Ietef Vita which is really inspiring. It is about a former gang member who has become not only an organic gardener but also a vegan chef. His approach is even more exciting as he uses Hip-Hop music to motivate young adults to reclaim mother earth by teaching them how to become an organic gardener and how to develop healthy diet habits. He has been so successful that he has even become an award winning international recording artist. His so-called “food movement” started in his hometown Denver and has become internationally popular by now. Take time to read his story and to watch the entire video. Definitely, it will inspire you, too!

“Filmmaker JLove Calderon recently released an exciting new documentary entitled ‘From Gangs To Gardens’ which chronicles Ietef Vita’s progression from gang member to organic urban gardener, heading up the Eastside Growers Collective.

“I am more than what you see” ~Ietef Vita

Vita is a hip hop yogi, educator, midwife, emcee, deejay, youth advocate, and seeker of self sustainable life. He started the garden project to heal his neighborhood. “In order for us to see environmental improvement we must begin with the health of ourselves and individuals.”

An oasis in a food desert in Northeast Denver, CO, this project focuses on healthy, organic food. Each plant in the garden is purposeful, putting into themes that are specific to the health disparities found in this community being one of low-income and people of color.

going vegan health benefits

Cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and respiratory challenges are rampant in the Northeast Denver neighborhood. This project was designed to focus on collaboration, utilizing the resources of existing organizations, businesses and individuals.

Vita uses music and the hip hop culture when he speaks, with the goal of motivating young people to participate in the food activist movement, while educating them on the importance of healthy eating, and growing your own food to ensure food security.

In the film, Vita (invited, along with wife Alkemia [pictured below], to the White House to rep for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign) quips: “Tribalism is ingrained in us. We’re supposed to rep our hoods, our community. But when it becomes violent, when it becomes destructive, that’s why I realized that enough of this has happened.”

To watch the entire video, please click here!

Source: Black Going Vegan

 

114 comments

  1. Jessica Marie Reply

    I think it shows a total transformation of character from not caring about life to preserving life. I find it very inspiring and encouraging.

  2. Rachel Whitehurst Reply

    It also shows compassion when u are a vegan. It goes way deeper than just the diet . It shows u care for how these animals are being tortured and killed.

  3. Lia Blain Reply

    Oh. Lol, okay. I always get suspicous when people bring up that someone was a gang banger or prostitute or stripper or whatever. Just trying to understand the motive. That makes sense. Thanks.

  4. Savannah Lauritzen Reply

    Comparing child molesters to gang members… why? Why can’t you just say “Wow good for this man who turned his life around?” Why couldn’t it be positive instead of negative. Maybe next time…

  5. Gale Romolino Reply

    Gang members recruit kids and kill innocent people while selling drugs to kids and everyone else.
    Im glad he could use the money he got from destroying other peoples life to open a nice restaurant, “WOW good for this man who turned his life around ”
    I see he still needs his Gold chain.

  6. Gale Romolino Reply

    Savannah Lauritzen Gang members recruit kids and kill innocent people while selling drugs to kids and everyone else.
    Im glad he could use the money he got from destroying other peoples life to open a nice restaurant, “WOW good for this man who turned his life around ”
    I see he still needs his Gold chain.

  7. Gale Romolino Reply

    Savannah Lauritzen Gang members recruit kids and kill innocent people while selling drugs to kids and everyone else.
    Im glad he could use the money he got from destroying other peoples life to open a nice restaurant, “WOW good for this man who turned his life around ”
    I see he still needs his Gold chain.

  8. Arasia AlkemiaEarth Reply

    Gale Romolino Actually, he never did any of that. He grew up in a gang related community, and was involved as far as hanging out, and then decided it wasn’t for him. He doesn’t own a restaurant, not made any money doing “gang activity”. I know because he is my husband.

  9. Gale Romolino Reply

    Arasia AlkemiaEarth Then you should talk to whoever wrote this because it says (How a Former Gand Member became a Vegan Chef)
    I was wrong about him opening the restaurant, my apologies.
    But the story calls him a Former Gang member..

  10. Karla Petersen Reply

    God-Proud of you, Son! You are testament of overcoming obstacles. Praying you continue achieving MUCH, GOOD success! Blessings!

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