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Food Truth

Posted Nov 04 2009 10:03pm

Vera Liang Chang

Carleton College ‘09

food-truth-seniors-spring-2008

Carleton students pride themselves on being socially engaged, environmentally aware, politically active, and intellectually fierce. However, there have previously been few formal venues – classrooms, student organizations, dining programming – for conversations   about what we eat every day.

everyone-should-eat-potluck-food-truth-week-20082

In winter of 2006, a group of students and I decided to dedicate one week solely to raising consciousness and fostering campus dialogues around food issues. We came up with seven days of events that highlight the environmental, political, social and ethical impacts of food. Food Truth Week included workshops on gardening and cooking, community dinners with discussion around home cooked local and organic foods, a field trip to a local sheep farm that hand crafts artisan cheeses, films on coffee and fast food, a puppet show illustrating the connection between biofuels and our food economy, a panel discussion on food ethics, and Carleton’s 11thannual Tofu Festival. As thoughts and conversations around food percolated through the campus, Food Truth, a movement and an organization, was born.

img_08371

The strength behind organizing around food lies in the range of people connected with food and breadth of conversations that the topic of food spurs. Food Truth gravitated naturally towards a spectrum of food communities: campus dining, greater Northfield, Slow Food, and the global food community. We dined with Denise O’Brien to discuss the role of women and food in politics, ran a Food Stamp Challenge for 70 students to live on $3.15 a day, fundraised for the local food pantry, listened to Ann Cooper address the college about what it means to be a renegade lunch lady and care about the nation’s children. On campus, students formed the Clean Plate Club to reduce food waste in dining halls, and a trayless dining project. A petition circulated encouraging the college to choose a food service provider that would readily support the Farmhouse garden and the organic CSA 3km from the school, use seasonal food, work with the students, and actively choose to meld values into practice. Most people, however, 

students-running-the-food-stamp-challenge-food-truth-week-20081

are attracted to the celebration of good food more than the struggle for good food. This is why harvest festivals, Everyone Should Eat potlucks, and Food Truth dinners are organized in the same way as fair trade discussions, Farm Bill tabling, and petitions for sustainable dining purchasing policies. By celebrating and engaging in the joy that comes with the fight for good food, we hope that this young, grassroots movement will continue to sustain itself and inspire others.

The Food Truth movement and organization has accomplished as much it has because of the community it has formed. While the movement for better food is, of course, all about food, it is actually even more about people. It is about the health of our bodies, our society, and our communities. Food is produced best with many hands, advocated most effectively for collectively, and enjoyed most when eaten in community.

img0012 Please See:

https://apps.carleton.edu/student/orgs/foodtruth/

http://www.carletonfoodtruth.blogspot.com/

Vera Liang Chang

Carleton College ‘09

food-truth-seniors-spring-2008

Carleton students pride themselves on being socially engaged, environmentally aware, politically active, and intellectually fierce. However, there have previously been few formal venues – classrooms, student organizations, dining programming – for conversations   about what we eat every day.

everyone-should-eat-potluck-food-truth-week-20082

In winter of 2006, a group of students and I decided to dedicate one week solely to raising consciousness and fostering campus dialogues around food issues. We came up with seven days of events that highlight the environmental, political, social and ethical impacts of food. Food Truth Week included workshops on gardening and cooking, community dinners with discussion around home cooked local and organic foods, a field trip to a local sheep farm that hand crafts artisan cheeses, films on coffee and fast food, a puppet show illustrating the connection between biofuels and our food economy, a panel discussion on food ethics, and Carleton’s 11thannual Tofu Festival. As thoughts and conversations around food percolated through the campus, Food Truth, a movement and an organization, was born.

img_08371

The strength behind organizing around food lies in the range of people connected with food and breadth of conversations that the topic of food spurs. Food Truth gravitated naturally towards a spectrum of food communities: campus dining, greater Northfield, Slow Food, and the global food community. We dined with Denise O’Brien to discuss the role of women and food in politics, ran a Food Stamp Challenge for 70 students to live on $3.15 a day, fundraised for the local food pantry, listened to Ann Cooper address the college about what it means to be a renegade lunch lady and care about the nation’s children. On campus, students formed the Clean Plate Club to reduce food waste in dining halls, and a trayless dining project. A petition circulated encouraging the college to choose a food service provider that would readily support the Farmhouse garden and the organic CSA 3km from the school, use seasonal food, work with the students, and actively choose to meld values into practice. Most people, however, 

students-running-the-food-stamp-challenge-food-truth-week-20081

are attracted to the celebration of good food more than the struggle for good food. This is why harvest festivals, Everyone Should Eat potlucks, and Food Truth dinners are organized in the same way as fair trade discussions, Farm Bill tabling, and petitions for sustainable dining purchasing policies. By celebrating and engaging in the joy that comes with the fight for good food, we hope that this young, grassroots movement will continue to sustain itself and inspire others.

The Food Truth movement and organization has accomplished as much it has because of the community it has formed. While the movement for better food is, of course, all about food, it is actually even more about people. It is about the health of our bodies, our society, and our communities. Food is produced best with many hands, advocated most effectively for collectively, and enjoyed most when eaten in community.

img0012 Please See:

https://apps.carleton.edu/student/orgs/foodtruth/

http://www.carletonfoodtruth.blogspot.com/

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