Published March 26, 2011
When he’s not acting in blockbuster movies, Jake Gyllenhaal is busy with his other passion for a healthier America as an ambassador for Edible Schoolyard, a non-profit organization that seeks to create and sustain an organic garden and landscape that will be integrated into school’s curriculum, culture, and food program.
“(It is a place) where kids can have a new relationship with food and their diet, knowing where their food comes from,” Gyllenhaal told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column while promoting his new action thriller “Source Code.” “These kids can take classes in these gardens and become reunited with the outdoors – take a piece of concrete out and replace it with a garden.”
“Edible Schoolyards” currently exist in California, New York, North Carolina and New Orleans.
But even though the 30-year-old is a huge advocate of educating young ones about nutrition and eating local – he doesn’t necessarily feel that the government should play “big brother” and lay down the law regarding what Americans can and cannot consume, but instead believes it is about having options.
“I am the first person to say that everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. There are lots of reasons why everyone believes what they believe,” he said. “I think you (should be) allowed to grow whatever you want, you’re not forced to grow anything. We are just asking for a little space of the environment.”
And while Gyllenhaal is yet to have kids of his own, the “Prince of Persia” star’s mission to help children adopt healthy habits is inspired by sister Maggie Gyllenhaal’s four-year-old daughter, Ramona.
“I have my niece and seeing my niece walk for the first time and seeing her grab onto tomato plants when she was a little kid and learning how to count with cherry tomatoes (was inspiring.) When a kid grows up seeing something grow, die, and be reused, it’s a different type of upbringing,” he added. “I think that we could raise a different mindset on how to take care of the world and how to take care of each other. I think it can be incredibly revolutionary.”