Friday, October 26, 2012

Food in the Nude Recap



Just in case you missed it, October 24th was Food Day! Food Day is a national movement about bringing awareness to the importance of healthy, nutritious, and sustainable foods. To recap the event, I'll be posting about the event we hosted yesterday in Terrace Dining Hall called Food in the Nude!

 As mentioned in the our previous blog, Food in the Nude is an educational activity that shows how far ingredients in typical processed, packaged foods ( we used Cheez-its and Doritos) travel to get to,us, the consumer! We also decoded the long list of ingredients on the back on the package to reveal what exactly these ingredients, like Monosodium Glutamate, mean and how it affects the food product and your body!

This was an activity that I actually participated in myself, during my senior year of high school. My Environmental Science teacher, Mr. Rodewald, did this exact activity in class one day and the results made me change the way I view food forever! (Shout out to Mr. Rodewald for not only his great activity but also for all of his help for this event. Thank you so much, I couldn't have done it without you!). So, because I knew how eye opening this activity was, I was sure it would be a perfect event for Food Day!

The results from the event were definitely elucidating! Some of the big reveals of the event were that Cheez-its and Doritos travel a combined, mind blowing 32,000 miles to get from their original ingredient origin, to their manufacturing plant, to the consumer! That is enough distance to cover over half way around the Earth!! And all of those "food miles" combine to make a collective CO2 emission of 300 tons of CO2! That's crazy!! We also uncovered that Monosodium Glutamate is MSG! The same chemical that used to be found in many Chinese food dishes, known to cause problems such as headaches and bloating, is now used in packaged food products! 

Another important topic that was discussed, that definitely ties into the themes of Food Day, was the importance of buying local food. The solution to avoid the excess food miles and CO2 emissions, that inevitably come with consuming processed, packaged foods is buying local! It doesn't have to travel nearly as far as the packaged foods do and in many cases you know exactly where your food comes from. (I know the name of the lady who grows and sells my greens!) Not only that, but you have more control over what you put into your body and where it comes from. And, you get the added bonus of helping the local members of your community and boosting the local economy! With sounds reasons like that, how could you say no to local?! If you are looking for local food and want to support the Ithaca community, go to the Farmer's Market! Go to www.ithacafarmersmarket.com for times and locations! You can also check out GreenStar a grocery store/co-op on W. Buffalo Street that also offers a variety of local products. To learn more about GreenStar, here: www.greenstar.coop/.
But, you don't even have to leave campus to enjoy local food! We serve a lot of locally sourced food that is spread all over campus! We serve Finger Lakes Fresh greens at the Fresh Food Market in Towers. We also have the delicious fruit and yogurt drink, That Indian Drink at the Pub and in retail locations. In addition, we also have Beet-n-Path ProOATs, a steel cut oatmeal, we serve in Terrace Dining Hall. And in every dining hall we serve Byrne Dairy milk! Which is hormone free and completely sourced from local dairy farmers! And finally, a new addition to campus, Emmy's Organic! They are one of my personal favorites, they are organic, local and vegan macaroons! Find them at all retail locations!fter the presentation, attendees were able to sample samples of another local product we serve on campus, Chobani yogurt! Just like Byrne Dairy, all milk is sourced from local dairy farmers!



Stop Hunger, Helping Hands Campaign!
Food security is also a large part of Food day. Yesterday, we launched our Stop Hunger, Helping Hands Campaign. We are partnered with the Food Bank of the Southern tier and when you go to at any retail location, you can donate $1 or more to your order and it goes directly to the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, in particularly our Backpack Program!


This year, we are participating in the Backpack program. This program gives children who are on assisted lunch programs, a backpack full of food for over the weekend so they don't have to worry about meals when they are not in school. Every backpack costs $3, so any amount of money that you can give can really make a difference! The program is going on until November 9th.
A big thanks to everyone who came out to Food in the Nude! And I hope everyone took a moment to think about where our food comes from and how it effects our health, environment and community! 
-Kat


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