Food Day at NU returns to campus

    Food consciousness will be on full display this week with Northwestern Food Day. The two-day event runs Wednesday and Thursday with programming aimed to increase commitment to promoting better food policies.

    Northwestern Food Day coincides with a national campaign, which serves as “a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies,” according to Food Day’s official website. The national campaign was recently revitalized after it initially began and ended in the '70s.

    Oct. 24 marks the third year of the national Food Day, which will celebrate events in all 50 states. This is the second year Northwestern has hosted a Food Day event. The first occurred in 2011.

    Soad Mana, a Northwestern Food Day coordinator, said she wanted to bring the event to Northwestern after attending the Midwest Real Food Challenge Summit on campus in 2011.

    The Weinberg senior said she hopes to expand on previous Food Day events and continue conversations about food systems, including labor, agriculture, education and food preparation.

    “Food impacts us all,” Mana said. “Our goal is to talk about hunger, low income communities, faith and the ethics of food … and challenge previous conceptions.”

    This year’s events including a PB&J-making station to benefit local food kitchens, panel discussions about food policy and a gardening workshop in the Wild Roots Garden outside Norris.

    Helen Li, co-president of Wild Roots, said the workshop will teach hands-on composting education and methods. She said composting as a college student may seem difficult but can be done effectively.

    She called composting initiatives in campus dining halls “an easy way to be mindful of trash.”

    “The most important thing is to reduce consumption,” Li, a Weinberg senior, said. “It’s all about using what you need and what you have.”

    Northwestern Food Day features collaborations from several campus groups, including: Campus Kitchens, Students for Ecological and Environmental Development, Green Cup, Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights, Wild Roots, SPOON Magazine, Muslim Cultural Students Association, Northwestern Oral Masticators, NU Sustainable Food Talks and Veg Society.

    “We’re at a tipping point,” Li said, adding that previous generations were less aware of food scarcity and resource issues. “Northwestern students have the ability to change what they see around them, for better or for worse.”


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