Student club promotes food sustainability

By Laura Crowley

Arts & Life Editor

Although it has just five members, the University’s Dining Sustainability Ambassadors Club has made its presence visible in the five years of its existence. The group was founded in 2006 when Bostwick Marketplace’s general manager John Cummins got the idea from Cornell University to “make the caf as local, organic and sustainable as possible,” member Reilly Price ’13 said.

The efforts of the group can be seen in the cafeteria today. For instance, only organic eggs are now offered in the cafeteria, 37 percent of the food is bought locally, and there is a program with reusable to-go containers.  The cafeteria is also planning to go “trayless” to prevent unnecessary consumption of food. In the future, “we want to make all of our plasticware biodegradable and increase the amount of food bought locally,” Price said.

Members Melissa Koenigsberg ’13, Blair Allen ’11, Olivia Tomeo ’13, Price and Alex Hom ’13 act as ambassadors between students and Parkhurst Dining Services to facilitate communication between the two bodies in order to create new initiatives.

According to Price, the student members are also trying to “raise awareness about food sustainability and its importance.” Such efforts can also be seen in posters scattered around the cafeteria that detail the initiatives and goals of the group. According to Angelika Iordanou ’13, these posters are “informative and easily readable.”

The club also hosts a local food dinner once every semester that offers local ice cream, bagels, pasta and fresh fruits and vegetables. Such events “attract sizeable crowds and help encourage students to buy local products,” Price said.

To help raise further awareness about food sustainability, there is “an upcoming showing of ‘Food, Inc.’ to raise awareness about the environmental impact of food production,” Price said.

Price joined the group when she became interested in trying to decentralize food production from an introductory sociology class. She hopes that this group will raise awareness about food production “so that there will ultimately be less industrial agriculture across the country.”

The Dining Sustainability Ambassadors Club meets once a week and is open to new members who are similarly interested in the importance of food sustainability.

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