Green Beat: Food Week starts today

By Karen Weldon

In honor of national Food Day and World Food Day, students from offices and clubs across campus are organizing a week of events from Oct. 14 through Oct. 23 to raise awareness about food sustainability, justice, and health. Sponsored by Oxfam, Sustainability Office, Bon Appétit , MULCH, and the Health and Wellness Center, Food Week will include an array of activities ranging from live screenings of speeches by food activists, to a healthy cooking class, to the first meeting of Food Roots, a club centered around food issues. “There are so many people involved with food on campus, [Food Week] is a great way to bring people together to celebrate and raise awareness about food issues. It’s going to be awesome,” Arielle Lawson ’14, a member of the planning committee, said. Founded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Day (Oct. 16) is celebrated internationally to raise awareness about food justice issues. Macalester’s newly formed chapter of Oxfam International plans to host events that honor Oxfam’s mission to end hunger. At the same time a food sustainability coordinator for Café Mac was organizing national Food Day (Oct. 24), an event sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, to raise awareness about hunger issues, sustainable farming, fair working conditions and healthy eating. Because of the similar goals and dates of the two events, Oxfam and the sustainability office decided to work together, enlisting the help of other campus organizations. The week begins today with a live screening of TEDx Fruitvale, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the campus center TV lounge. The event will consist of five and a half hours of short speeches by farm workers, activists, filmmakers, writers, and businesses on farm work in the past and present. “TEDx talks are simply amazing….[Since this weekend is] Family Fest, going to TEDx Fruitvale would be a really meaningful and fun activity to do with your families… plus each speech is less than 18 minutes long,” Becca Cohen ‘14, a member of the planning committee, said. From Friday through Tuesday, Oxfam will be tabling and displaying posters and discussion questions related to hunger issues. “Less than one percent of the federal government’s budget is spent on foreign aid, and this small amount is already being threatened in Congress by lawmakers attempting to balance the budget. This has serious implications for poverty and hunger fighting work all around the globe. Oxfam will be tabling . . . to get signatures for a petition urging Congress not to cut the aid budget,” said Tsesa Monaghan, the president of Macalester’s Oxfam. On Thursday, Oct. 21, Health and Wellness Center will be hosting an event in which students will have a chance to make a healthy dish using seasonal food products, and will receive a copy of “Healthy Eating: Busy Students on Budget” and new cookbook compiled by the center. The following evening, MULCH will be holding their annual Harvest Fest in Smail Gallery in Olin Rice. According to Abby Colehour ’12, the leader of MULCH, the event will begin with a potluck dinner and will be followed by a performance by the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers and contra dancing. On Saturday, students will have the chance to attend the inaugural meeting of Food Roots, a club dedicated to increasing awareness and support for sustainable, community-based food systems on campus. On Sunday afternoon, students can visit Thousand Hills Cattle, the provider of grass fed beef at Café Mac. During the trip, students will have the chance to talk with Patty Jacobson, the café manager, about how Café Mac works. The week will end with the first meeting of Food Roots. “I am hoping to build a community excited about a local food system, and finding a way to take what’s good about Mac’s food and make it better … and have fun while we’re doing it,” said Abbie Shain, a member of the Food Roots planning committee. For more information about Food Week, contact Karen Weldon at [email protected]