This weekend I went with 6 other members of SFBU to the Real Food Summit at UMASS-Amherst (We actually stayed at Hampshire, but that's another story). It was a great weekend-spending time conversing with 300 other students and adults who were all pro-real food, anti-fast food. There were some great ideas tossed around, good networking opportunities, delicious local vegan food, and a warm spirit despite the frigid temperatures! Vegan options abounded, everyone was drinking out of Mason Jars and Sigg water bottles, and reusable totes were sported on every arm. But it was by no means an all granola-crunchy-hippy-fest (not that that's a bad thing!) . We are Sustainable Foodies-Foodies with a Conscience. The weekend started with a definition of Real Food: Real Food nurtures the earth, the growers, the community and our bodies.
Our current food system is like the Titanic. We have a huge system that's chugging along, but where is it going? We're headed towards a huge iceberg that includes the Global Food crisis, and climate change. But like the Titanic, all it takes it a small part of the system, a rudder as such, to turn this ship around. Students have the potential to be a huge driving force, and not just consumers of Real Food. 4 Billion Dollars a year are spent for food in dining halls, which means we have a huge buying power, and the potential to turn this ship away from the iceberg. We just need to organize and work together to educate others about this situation. Choosing Local vs Organic, In-Season vs Out of Season, and asking What exactly is Sustainable Agriculture? are quandaries that requires a lot of thought and conscious commitment. I plan on exploring those issues and others in future posts.I love food, but specifically, I love food that is good, clean, fair and Real. Food that not only nourishes my body, by does not harm the environment, animals, workers, and helps the community.