Food Week aims to make students mindful about food choices and resources
Washington University students are gearing up for national Food Day with a week of events sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, Dining Services, the Burning Kumquat and Harvest Health.
The theme of this year’s Food Week is “Know Your Foodprint.” During this week, various events and activities inform Washington University’s community about food justice, health and sustainability not only on campus, but also in the local community.
Activities include a tour of St. Louis’s first rooftop farm, FOOD ROOF, a skill share with the Burning Kumquat teaching students how to pot mini lettuces, a screening and discussion of “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret” with Washington University anthropology and environmental studies professor Glenn Stone and a volunteer event with Harvest Health at Ferguson Municipal Public Library garden.
Jen Carter, sustainability fellow in the Office of Sustainability, tied this year’s theme to Green Monday, a global movement urging individuals to eat vegetarian one day a week.
“Green Monday is all about knowing the relative impacts of your food choices…[and] lowering that food print as much as we can so that we’re as efficient as we can be with our food system,” Carter said.
Food Week also aims to connect students to local sustainable resources.
“[We want students to] understand, not just believe in eating vegetarian or local food, but understanding what that means, where it’s coming from and connecting to the people who are actually growing that food,” Carter said.
Food Week also highlights groups on campus whose missions align with its message. Washington University’s organic farm, the Burning Kumquat, will share their skills on Wednesday with a plant-potting lesson.
“Seeing as Burning Kumquat’s mission is very similar to the theme this year and also we love food—we produce it—it’s inevitable that we would be closely tied with Food Week,” sophomore Claire Elias, co-president of the Burning Kumquat, said.
Like Carter, Elias also emphasized connecting to the source of food.
“It’s good to know where your food comes from, and I feel like [the Burning Kumquat is] using that whole concept—knowing where your food is coming from—and tying that back to the whole local agriculture thing,” Elias said.
Ultimately, Elias said, Food Week aspires to give students a chance to understand sustainable food practices on a more human level.
“[The importance of Food Week] is awareness, but then also making it more personal,” Carter said. “So trying to give people an inside look—not just having the statistic, but what that actually means and putting faces to the statistics, so they get to meet the local farmers and the people who are so passionate about this industry.”