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Jake Gyllenhaal Leads School Fruit and Vegetables Campaign

March 22, 2011, 7:52 am GMT

The 'Jarhead' actor is spearheading a campaign to urge public schools in America to grow their fruit and vegetables.

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal is spearheading a new campaign to prompt America's public schools to grow their own fruit and vegetables. The "Brokeback Mountain" star, who has carved a reputation as one of Hollywood's top chefs, has become a spokesman for the organization Edible Schoolyard.

"We're trying to make it possible to have an edible garden in every public school in America," he explains. "Kids can have a new relationship to nature and to their food and to their diet and an understanding where their food comes from. Kids can take classes in these gardens and learn mathematics by counting vegetables and engage in the world in a different way than we're used to in schools."

"It's basically to take a piece of the concrete out and put in a garden where children can explore and learn and hopefully it changes them. I grew up around edible gardens all over the place in Los Angeles and a little bit outside of Boston, and it's changed my perspective on the world and I think it could change the world."

"My family always emphasized it and it's an incredibly economic way of feeding the family and having everybody learn where your food comes from. It's something that I care deeply about. I remember my niece, when she was first born, and the great irony of her learning how to walk by holding onto tomato plants and how to count with cherry tomatoes."

When a kid grows up that way and is involved with seeing something grow and seeing something die and seeing something be reused, it's a different kind of upbringing. If you can bring that to every kid in America and hopefully some day to every kid in the world, you'd be raising an entire new generation of kids with a different mindset about how to take care of the world and how to treat each other. I think it could be incredibly revolutionary."

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