UC Berkeley Celebrates Food Day 2015!
By: Lucy Tate, Cal Dining Sustainability Team Coordinator
On Friday, October 23, about 500 UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff members flooded Dwinelle Plaza in celebration of Food Day. Berkeley joined hundreds of cities across the nation this week in commemoration of the national event. Hosted by Cal Dining and in collaboration with SERC, UHS and BFI, the UC Berkeley festivity was celebrated with a vendor fair in which student groups and local vendors gathered in support of Food Day’s common goal of “food that is healthy, affordable, and produced with care for the environment, farm animals, and the people who grow, harvest, and serve it”.
With a focus on emphasizing the importance of a local food system, Cal Dining invited local vendors and on-campus student groups to talk to the public. Most vendors offered free samples or sold their products, using the opportunity to tell eager students about the sustainability of their products and business practices. “I’m super glad I stopped by — I was able to try a lot of really delicious products that were new to me”, said Rachel, a third-year student. Student groups also engaged in a lot of outreach and secured more volunteers and interested supporters on their sign-up lists.
Although the formal celebration of Food Day lasted only on October 23rd at Berkeley, Food Day serves “as a year-long catalyst for healthier diets and a better food system”. The event aims to motivate us to think about implementing changes in our eating habits and becoming involved in addressing food-related issues in our communities. With Cal Dining’s new Be a Green Bear campaign, many UC Berkeley students were actually able to share with their peers how they contribute to this mission at Food Day. Many students also took Food Day’s Eat Real pledge to incorporate enhanced consumption habits within their routines. One booth, the newly transformed Brown’s restaurant showcased how it is easier than ever for students to stay true to their pledges on campus. With a focus on local and plant-forward menu items, students can use their meal points to support local farmers and sustainable food practices. Luckily, Food Day served to connect students with efforts such as these happening on-campus. “This seems like a really great chance to learn about all of the food-related things happening on-campus“, said Diana, a university employee. Hopefully, students move forward with the knowledge and relationships they gained from Food Day to build off current efforts being made to instill changes in our current food system.
featured student groups:
ASUC Senator Wes Adrianson Office, Berkeley Food Institute (BFI), Berkeley Student Food Collective (BSFC), Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy (BOAA), Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), Global Environmental Theme House (GETH), Students of Color for Environmental Justice (SOCEJ), Student Nutrition Advocacy Club (SNAC), Residential Sustainability Program (RSP), Student Organic Garden Association (SOGA),
Brown’s, Farm Fresh to You, Imperfect Produce, Kevita, Peet’s Coffee, Sunridge Farms, Tofu Yu, Yerba Mate