Nalisha Chouraria, is an OzHarvest volunteer and the creator of Curious Gastronaut – an award-winning game that inspires children to explore the edible world using play, imagination & bite-size edible experiments! In our series “Face of OzHarvest”, we chat with Nalisha about Curious Gastronaut, and how volunteering has changed her view of food and food waste.
Why did you decide to volunteer with OzHarvest, and when did you start?
This month marks my three year anniversary at OzHarvest! When I moved to Australia in 2018, I was looking to use my spare time to give back. I wanted to commit to a cause I was passionate about and work alongside others that shared the same passion. I found OzHarvest and haven’t looked back!
Now, I can’t wait to continue this journey not just as a volunteer but also a Proud Supporter through Curious Gastronaut™.
How did you come up with the idea for Curious Gastronaut and why?
When I saw the little humans in my life struggling with pickiness and stressful mealtimes, I decided that it was time to get seriously creative and bring the endless benefits of play to the table (literally). Kids use curiosity and play to learn about the world, so why not the food world? And so Curious Gastronaut was born!
Curious Gastronaut is an award-winning game that combines my passion for food with my experience as a play and child culture designer. Kids are incredibly curious and receptive to new ideas when they are little, so it’s the perfect time to experience as many flavours, textures and aromas as possible.
Curious Gastronaut encourages kids to playfully explore food and eating outside of regular mealtimes, making food exploration as exciting as space exploration! The idea is to teach kids HOW to eat without telling them WHAT to eat so they grow up to become adventurous eaters, creative inventors and life-long explorers.
As a Proud Supporter of OzHarvest, we have pledged to donate 2 meals for every game purchased. I am beyond thrilled to be able to give back to a cause that is so close to my heart and has been a huge part of my life since moving to Australia.
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How has your volunteering experience been with OzHarvest, and what have you learned?
I absolutely love it. I have felt like a valued member of the OzHarvest family since day one. I’ve met so many wonderful people and learnt so much, not just about food, but public speaking, campaigning and, of course, how to be a more conscious consumer.
My work with OzHarvest is constantly shaping the way I think about food and food waste. As an education ambassador, I have the opportunity to inspire children to become passionate food waste warriors. It is really rewarding to see how just a little bit of my time can make such a big impact. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved.
To find out more about Curious Gastronaut head to: https://curiousgastronaut.com/