By Maddy Routon
It’s a new quarter, and the Sustainable Food Systems team is excited to get to work! In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be focusing on educating our campus about food waste and sustainable food choices, as well as disseminating our research in an engaging and productive way.
Our first event will be UCLA’s Earth Day Fair on April 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is hosted by the campus’ biggest environmental super-coalition, E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity, as a part of their Earth Week celebrations. The Sustainable Foods team hopes to use this opportunity for collaboration to kick off our educational campaign with a bang and begin to get a feel for the state of consumer consciousness on campus. The theme of this year’s event is Learn, Create, Act, and we will be attempting to encompass all three platforms as we reach out to students and engage them in the exciting changes happening with food, both at UCLA and in the world at large.
We are currently in the process of developing a cohesive survey that will underscore our objectives: to understand the meanings with which students imbue the foods they eat (cultural, religious, cost-effective, healthy, etc.), the way these meanings affect their dietary choices as consumers, and the way these choices affect the campus and the world. Food waste, our emphasis for this year, will be a focal point for our survey as we seek the root of the problem in order to address and correct it. We hope that through gauging the sentiments towards sustainability, specifically in relation to food, we will be able to better target our educational campaign this quarter to truly affect meaningful change.
However, all work and no play makes SFS a dull team, so members Joseph Martinus and Alice Wong are cooking up some fun games and demonstrations to incorporate hands-on and visual strategies to relate sustainable food practices to our everyday lives. I can’t give away any spoilers; you’ll have to come to the event to play the game (and possibly win tasty prizes) for yourself! You will also have the opportunity to learn the proper way to eat an apple, a demonstration geared toward minimizing waste in a (red) delicious way!
So, if you’re looking for some reprieve from the hot sun, join the SFS team for some refreshing food for thought at the Earth Day Fair on April 23!
Image courtesy of www.blogonair.org