One of the most important decisions that any community must make is their choice of diet and their primary source of food and nutrition.
Why is this so important? Like everything else in life, any choice has a consequence. The choice of community diet directly affects how healthy people are within the community, the feasibility of sustainability, and what resources and expertise are required for food production.
Since Project TriStar is all about improving the quality of life for its members, great consideration has been given to this choice. Much of this consideration was developed over years of dietary experience by the Project TriStar committee members. As a result, the dietary option of raising livestock and eating meat had been removed from the list of possibilities well before the community was started.
Through extensive experience and research, Project TriStar has determined that a raw vegan diet provides the greatest opportunity for achieving the primary goals of optimal health, long-term sustainability, and food production that is harmonic with the core beliefs of the community. With an exclusive raw vegan diet, food production involves the growing of fruits and vegetables, as well as other plant sources of nutrition such as algae and nuts.
The Food Services Committee is responsible for all activities related to food production, meal preparation, and food delivery. This committee works closely with the Health Services Committee to ensure the production of food meets the nutritional needs of the entire community.
The Project TriStar community is designed to be completely self-sustainable and grow 100% of its food both above ground and within an underground facility, however, both above ground and below ground food production will be implemented simultaneously for as long as above ground operations are viable. Above ground food production will enhance the community diet by providing a wider range of food sources and to help build up a store of reserves that might be helpful during any unusual or unexpected interruptions to subterranean food production operations. Above ground food production will be utilized as long as environmental conditions are safe for human and plant life.
With an exclusive raw vegan diet, meal preparation becomes both easier and more complex. With this dietary regiment, there is no need for electricity, gas, or wood for heating or cooking any food. In other words, there is no baking, no grilling, and no sauteing. This makes meal preparation easier as it saves a tremendous amount of time and energy that would commonly have been expended in equipment, preparation time, cleanup, and heating. This does not mean that items such as hot tea are completely excluded from the community diet. Project TriStar understand the medicinal and therapeutic values that have been associated with warm or hot teas and provides the ability to offer such amenities as needed.
The only thing that could be considered a complexity with a raw vegan diet is preparing meals that are tasty, as well as being nutritious. Project TriStar understands the affects that good tasting food can have on both the pallet and the consciousness. Just as someone may feel energized by having good health, they may also feel more vibrant after eating food that tastes good.
Of course, creating good tasting and nutritious raw vegan cuisine is not an issue or concern for the Project TriStar community members. The community members include raw vegan chefs, as well as hundreds of other people who have years of experience eating and preparing raw vegan cuisine. As such, the community diet is filled with cuisine that will inspire even the most skeptical of pallets.
Meal preparation and dining arrangements in any community can be handled in variety of different ways including everything from individual meal preparation, group preparation, and cafeteria style. To Project TriStar, the concept of community means more than just living and working as a community, but also playing and eating as a community.
In order to accommodate a large community population in the most efficient, practical, and healthy means possible with a raw vegan diet and promoting community, Project TriStar has chosen to implement the cafeteria style with a common dining hall.
All food preparation is managed by the Food Services Committee staff that coordinates kitchen and meal preparation and cleanup activities for the entire community. Consideration is made for special dietary needs, but there is no access for individual meal preparation.
Meals are served in a common buffet or cafeteria fashion. This means meals are served for predefined periods during the day and members are able to choose their meal from a selection of menu items. Menu items may vary from day-to-day or week-to-week in order to accommodate dietary diversity, harvest cycles, and nutritional value.
The Project TriStar kitchen, staff, and meal preparation methods are designed to provide a consistently nutritious and tasteful raw vegan diet for a large number of people with varying schedules and work assignments. In order to provide the greatest fairness among community members, eliminate any issues of favoritism, and provide consistency with the kitchen staff schedule and operations, personal or individual food preparation within the community is not allowed. If any member feels they have a raw vegan recipe or a menu item that is suitable for the benefit of the entire community, they may submit their suggestions to the Food Services Committee.
In any community, there may be instances where a community member is sensitive to specific foods or may require special dietary consideration to support personal healing issues. The Health Services Committee and Food Services Committee work with these members, as needed, to ensure that everyone is tolerant of the raw vegan diet and that any health issues are being addressed.
Every member of the Project TriStar community is encouraged to transition to a raw vegan diet well before entering member orientation. The member orientation period is designed to ensure each member is completely ready for life in the remote and off-the-grid sustainable environment. Part of that preparation is evaluation on whether the member has processed their comfort level or concerns with the raw vegan diet. If a member has any food sensitivities and special considerations, it is recommended those issues be brought to the attention of the Membership Committee during orientation to ensure these issues are addressed before entering the community.
Like most everything in the Project TriStar community, dining arrangements are designed to promote a greater sense of community and personal interaction rather than isolation. As such, meals and dining are organized in the common dining and assembly hall. As one of the larger open spaces within the subterranean facility, this hall can seat and serve up to half of the entire community simultaneously.