Most people don’t think twice about picking up their local groceries from the supermarket. But where does that food come from? Every piece of food has a story behind it, whether it is mass-produced or grown organically.
After weeks of planning, The Institute of Holistic Health Studies kicked off Food Awareness Month with a convention covering mass-produced food this Monday.
Insight from two guest speakers and an educational video provided about 40 onlookers with new thoughts on organic farming and product consumption, while healthy snacks energized the crowd.
First in the event was a viewing of Nourish, a short film covering the relationship between food and the consumer from a global perspective. The film illustrates how food is connected to global issues such as climate change and public health. Once the film ended, the meat of the convention took off, beginning with 25-year-old organic farmer Anne Louis Cole.
“I have been farming with this elder in our community, Ken Orchard, and he is this expert vegetable farmer,” Cole said. “He grows everything!”
Rainbows End Farm in Sebastopol isCole’s home of the past two years. There are many laborious steps necessary as an organic farmer, said Cole, and they are all very rewarding.
“I have been (Ken’s) only employee for about a year now and it has been a lot of work, but it is amazing how fast time goes by,” Cole said, commenting that he enjoys the variety of the job. One day we are sowing seeds, a little later we are weeding this broccoli that we planted three weeks ago, then we are planting lettuce that we sowed the seeds for weeks ago. It’s amazing to see how much work goes into it.”
Rosie Linares of the Real Food Challenge Club spoke next, sharing the club’s ideology and what they do for the campus community.
“What Real Food Challenge defines as real food is local, humane, fair trade and ecologically sound,” said Linares. “We have standards of what real food is and there is a lot of greenwashing these days. Things are being labeled ‘natural.”
Kayla Chui, a sophomore psychology major, said she walked away knowing more about food and holistic health than before.
“I think it was really successful,” Chui said. “I feel like holistic health is really underrepresented and I think this is a great way to do outreach. These speakers are really connected to what they are doing, so we get solid information.”
The next Food Awareness Month event, covering popular diets, occurs from 5:15 to 6:50 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13 in HSS 306.