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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Desi K. Robinson advocates for accessible healthy food at Earthstock


Desirée (Desi) K. Robinson came to Stony Brook University on Thursday, April 24 during Earthstock to talk to students about her work as a lifestyle reporter and give students tips for healthy eating. The talk was sponsored by the Sustainability Studies Program.

She wore a green knee-length tight skirt with green stockings, a light pink lace tank shirt and hot pink strands in her hair.

Robinson is a health and lifestyle journalist and the creator, producer and host of the radio show “Women in the Making: Tomorrow’s History Today.” It is a radio show that focuses on the ideas and perspective of “today’s girl.”

She grew up in the Bronx. Like many others from similar upbringings, Robinson dealt with the bleak feeling of never rising above the reputation of her neighborhood.

“As I began to grow, I was able to experience life on much broader terms,” she said.

Robinson was one of the first people in her family to go to college. She received an M.B.A. in media management from Metropolitan College of New York and a B.A. in communications from the University of Hartford.

After college, in 2005, she lived with a family in Ecuador where she taught English and dance and worked at a TV studio. She described the country as a “wonderful place of color and people.”

While in Ecuador, Robinson struggled with high blood pressure and even gained weight.

“I was literally a walking stroke,” Robinson said.

Noticing her weight gain, Robinson adjusted her diet to match that of the Ecuadorian locals, which includes fresh, organic food.

Today, 140 pounds lighter, Desi is an advocate and product of a healthy lifestyle.

Following the weight loss, Robinson created the kid-friendly cooking program “What’s Cookin’ in the World, Miss Desi?” The goal of the show is to address childhood obesity and help children understand international culture and food in a more comprehensive way.

Robinson encourages children to grow their own vegetables. She said that if children grow and cook their own vegetables, they are more likely to eat them.

Another contribution that Robinson made to the food justice movement is the creation of DeVyne Crown Farm, which is operated from her home in Corona, Queens. She refers to herself as an “urban belle.”

“Farming is the answer to everything,” Robinson said.

Robinson even urges people in urban areas to start their own farms and begin raising their own crop and stresses the importance of children growing and cooking their own food.

She is incredibly proud of the vegetables she grows and refers to them as her “babies.”

She likes to “spread the wealth” and bring her fresh vegetables to everyone. In 2012 the DeVyne crown farm gave away over 100 pounds of fresh produce.

Robinson believes that the food problem in America stems from legislation. Healthy food, she said, is much more expensive than cheaper, unhealthy alternatives.

“Why is good food a privilege for some and not a right for everybody?” she asked.

Robinson, who was unable to comment before the publication of this article, wants to affect change, and do so while being a “fly diva.” Desi’s future plans involve working on TV. Though she has not quite figured out all of the details yet, she is ambitious.

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