Local Food Week has become an annual tradition at the University of California, Davis campus. Hosted by Students for Sustainable Agriculture, the week is oriented toward educating the campus on the importance of eating locally grown and produced foods. The week's events also stress the importance of a socially just and ecologically sound food system. Eating local decreases the number of "food miles" - meaning that less fuel, carbon, and energy overall is used to get the food from farm to plate. Eating locally can also help support small-scale family farms and strengthen the local economy. Local food makes it easier for the consumer to know how their food was produced and to be able to shake the hand of the person who grew it. Eating locally enables one to establish a knowledge of the food that they are consuming, including its origins, the growing practices, the labor practices involved in food production, and so much more.
Many activities have rocked local food week in the past. One exciting event is a collaboration with the Coffee House in an event called "Taste of the CoHo," where the CoHo shows off their locally grown and produced ingredients and products that they use in typical entrees. Students have an opportunity to taste the entrees for free!
Local Food Week is also aimed at building awareness of the presence of the UC Davis Student Farm, a small-scale organic farm that produces enough food to feed 61 families through Community Supported Agriculture and also countless numbers of student volunteers who work on the farm. During the week, bike tours take students who may have never seen the farm before or who want to know more about getting involved at the Student Farm out to the place that seems so distant, but is so very close. The Student Farm is located directly to the west of the Colleges at La Rue, and is only a 5 or 10 minute bike ride from the Memorial Union. This year, members of Students for Sustainable Agriculture are planting several rows of popcorn out at the Student Farm to be used at Local Food Week movie screenings!
Other events and activities that happen during Local Food Week are panels, discussions, lectures, and film screenings all on the importance of sustainable food systems, buying local, reducing environmental impact through food, and more. Other student organizations, such as Project Compost and the Davis Veg Society, have helped in providing tabling events and speakers for Local Food Week. Programs, such as the Education for Sustainable Living Program seminar, have also contributed events in the past.
Most importantly, Local Food Week is what YOU make of it! Do you want to see any particular topic covered? Have a burning question about food systems you want answered by a panel of experts? Want to see a movie on food systems with your friends? Come to meeting of Students for Sustainable Agriculture and get involved in planning Local Food Week- make it yours!
Local Food Week Fall 2008: October 21-23
TUESDAY, October 21:
Tour of the CoOp Gardens - 12 pm - Meet at the Tri-CoOps on campus.
What is Proposition 2? - 6 pm in Veihmyer 212 - Get both sides of the story on the proposition that will change the treatment of animals in food production.
WEDNESDAY, October 22:
East Quad Farmers' Market - 10 am- 2:30 pm - Visit the Quad for some yummy local produce!
Farm to College Night - 4:30 pm- 8 pm - Come to one of the campus dining rooms to experience a completely locally produced meal!
THURSDAY, October 23:
CoHo Fresh Food Taste Test - 12-2 pm - Taste produce grown on the UC Davis Student Farm!
Sex Funk and Danger and REAL FOOD - 5:30 pm at the Student Farm - Come see Sex Funk and Danger perform and get a tour of the farm! Free food!
Film screening: King Corn - 7 pm at Bowley Hall - Come watch a foodie movie and enjoy delicious food!
Past Local Food Weeks:
Local Food Week Spring 2008
April 28 - May 2
- Social Justice Photo Gallery by Bill Gillette in UCD Coffee House - Bill Gillette beautifully captures the life of a farm worker in black-and-white photography; come out and see the faces of the people who grow and pick the food that you eat every day.
Monday April 28:
- Kickoff in the CoHo - 11am-1pm - come swing by to see the new poster that SSA members have designed to post in the CoHo to educate consumers on the links between the Student Farm, Project Compost and the Coffee House!
Tuesday April 29:
- Bike Tour to the Student Farm - 12pm (meet at flag pole) - bring your bike and head with us over to the Student Farm for a brief tour and some free fruit! Learn more about the small-scale organic farm that feeds sixty-one CSA members, numerous volunteers, and CoHo consumers each week!
- Sustainable Food Systems - 6-8pm in Giedt 1003 - join the Education for Sustainable Living program in welcoming Jason Mark, farmer/author/activist, and his discussion of sustainability in food systems
- Why Veg? - 7:30pm in Olson 141 - Join the Davis Vegetarian Society to learn more about how eating more vegetables can help you live more sustainably
Wednesday April 30:
- Visit the Student Farm at the East Quad Farmers Market - 11am-2:30pm
- Local Food Taste Test - 11am-1pm in CoHo - come check out some very local delights from the Student Farm!
- The Future of Food, 6:30pm in Griffin Lounge - THE FUTURE OF FOOD offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade. Join Students for Sustainable Agriculture in this free film viewing. Free popcorn and local fruit as well!
Thursday May 1:
- Taste of the CoHo - 2-4pm in Coffee House West Wing - come and see what local products are found in your favorite CoHo dishes! Free food sampling. Also, come learn more about Project Compost, The Student Farm, and Students for Sustainable Agriculture!
- The Real Dirt on Farmer John - 6:30pm in Coffee House West Wing - A documentary exploring the life of John Peterson, a traditional farmer in the late sixties who was cast out by his community after turning his land into a haven for hippies and artists. Join Students for Sustainable Agriculture in this free film viewing. Free popcorn and local fruit as well!