That tomato sitting on a grocery store shelf has had a long life. It began on a farm in California or Florida, where it was germinated, harvested with fertilizers and picked; then it sat on a truck, shipped across country to a distribution center until, finally, it was stocked in a produce department near you. “Statistically, the cost of shipping a tomato is double that of its value,” Megan Muzzell, Western Michigan University sophomore and member of Students for a Sustainable Earth (SSE) said. “Sustainable food lowers our carbon footprint and provides better tasting, locally grown food.” Emphasis on local food will be the topic at the SSE’s third annual Local Food Feast on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. in room 4410 of the Health and Human Services building off of Oakland drive. The feast will begin with a meal: Southern Indian Curry made with local root vegetables from Kalamazoo restaurant Sprout, greens donated by community farm owner Dennis Wilcox (Blue Dog Greens) prepared by Food Dance and some locally baked desert. “We’ve gotten our hands on some really good fruit,” Amelia Stefance, a junior majoring in dietetics and one of the organizers of the feast said. “There might be pies or crisp.” Following the supper a panel will discuss benefits and tips of growing local food. The panel includes a representative from Coldwater based Al’s Organic Vegetables, a student from the Gibbs House for Environmental Research and Education who will speak on their Community Gardens project, and Lucy Bland, a chef from Fair Food Matters. Chris Dilley, general manager of the People’s Food Co-Op, will moderate. WMU has strived to make the campus more “green.” WMU’s Sustainability Initiative has attempted to make buildings use less energy. This past fall, Dining Services turned some dining halls tray-less to cut down on food and water waste. The Health and Human Services, where the Farmer’s Feast will be held, is a green building. “The Farmer’s Feast will be really huge and delicious,” said Stefance. She added that this is one of SSE’s most important events and hopes for a big turn out. She directs anyone who wants more information to WMU’s new sustainability homepage. The event is free and open to the public.
By Fritz Klug Western Herald