Ever hear of a soup swap? It’s like a cookie swap but for soup, and it’s a fun and meaningful way to get people together around nourishing food. Ellie attended one for the first time recently that was organized by friends who both happen to be community-focused health professionals, Vera Ruangtragool and Andrew Goldstein. In this episode they talk about why a soup swap has more layered wellness benefits than you might think, and how to go about organizing one.
Vera Ruangtragool is the founder and director of Truly Well, a non-profit that helps individuals and communities build happy, healthy, and meaningful lives. Vera leads guided meditation in English and Spanish and brings people together through events that foster meaningful social connection in the US and abroad. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from UC Berkeley, a Master’s degree in Spanish Translation and Interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University. Through her work and everyday interactions, she is committed to advancing peace and justice through individual, community, and systemic change.
Andrew Goldstein is a public hospital primary care doctor focused on activism and organizing for a variety of health justice issues. In the food arena, he believes access to healthy, delicious food is a right and has worked against cuts to food programs like SNAP, campaigned for taxes on ultra processed foods, and fought against the often harmful policy agendas of big food corporations. At the more personal and community levels, he organizes biking foodcrawls, food swaps, and pantry shares, and has supported food-related mutual aid efforts. Andrew was part of a college eating club whose motto was “Food = Love,” which has stuck with him to this very day and which he tries to have his relationship with Vera embody, whether in their food explorations and cooking together, or in sharing food with their loved ones and neighbors