By Laura Riley
Where does our food come from? What is our food actually made of? These questions are genuinely important, but few of us are able to answer them. Rarely do we pause to think about the impact our food choices have on the bigger picture.
This week, October 14-18, three campus organizations: Environmental Club, St. Norbert Garden, and Oxfam America have teamed up to raise awareness of these issues. Since multiple groups were eager to participate in planning an event, they decided to turn World Food Day (Oct. 16)—a global movement to end hunger—into a week long awareness campaign on the St. Norbert campus.
We had the opportunity to speak with Kelsie George ’15 regarding the collaborative event. Kelsie is the Vice President of the St. Norbert Chapter of Oxfam America. “This year it’s a really big goal of Oxfam to collaborate with other groups on campus, so it’s a really exciting event for us. The overall goal of the week is to inspire individuals to be more aware of where our food is coming from and the impact our food choices have.”
The awareness week begins today with Meatless Monday. Today is devoted to raising awareness of the impact that eating less meat can have. By eliminating meat we can reduce water waste, cut methane emissions and help small producers. The campus groups will be encouraging students to refrain from eating meat today. “I chose to stop eating meat because of how wasteful it truly is. A lot of really poor communities are dependent on rice and starches and don’t have access to meat. It’s more of a luxury than a necessity,” said Kelsie.
Tuesday’s event will focus on the environmental effects of food and food production. The Environmental Club will be hosting “Fresh”, a documentary that celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Watch the trailer below. The documentary will be played in the Fort Howard Theater at 6:00 p.m. It is just over an hour long. Check out the Facebook event!
Wednesday’s theme is “buying local”. This day is being led by the St. Norbert Garden. The group’s overall message is to increase awareness of where our food comes from. This aligns with their mission as a garden which supplies locally grown produce to area food pantries. Next week on Saturday, October 26th, the garden will be hosting their first Harvest Festival. Check out the event and RSVP online!
The awareness week will culminate on Friday evening with a World Food Day Celebration hosted by Oxfam America. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Knight Owl. Light refreshments will be provided in addition to a guided discussion about the power we have as consumers.
“Essentially we want to open people’s eyes to the choices they have. Everyone has the opportunity to be more conscious about the decisions they make and the impact they have,” said Kelsie.
Join Oxfam America, the Environmental Club, and St. Norbert Garden in their campaign!