“Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what’s for lunch,” Orson Welles was once quoted saying. And this is a proper testament. Food is essential as the fuel for both our minds and bodies. We require energy from what we eat to complete everyday tasks and, to put it simply, stay alive. These things may go without saying, but the question is to what quality should we expect our food to be presented?
Students are hungry people. We work hard after all and spend much of our days on a campus where food options may seem limited. We like our food quick and cheap, there’s little doubt in that, but we also need food that will provide us a quality source of mind and body power.
“By offering more food that has been grown by members of our community we can provide support to local farm workers and owners.”
The Western Front Editorial Board
Whatcom and Skagit County are surely not lacking in farms, and the amount of sustainably grown produce is not necessarily limited. Is it too much to ask for locally grown food options on campus? By offering more food that has been grown by members of our community we can provide support to local farm workers and owners. Similarly, this contribution could offer more nutrition for our students, faculty and staff, which may lead to better performance and overall health.
Western’s own Students for Sustainable Food has made moves toward changing our food options on campus by becoming involved in the Real Food Challenge, a movement focused on leveraging the power of university students to develop a “healthy, fair and green food system.”
The challenge aims to shift where the money for university food budgets is spent, from corporate and industrial farms to community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources.
“To me, real food is something that does not exploit the earth, people or animals,” Rosa Rice-Pelepko, an SSF member, said in a The Odyssey Online article published early last month. “The corporations have isolated people from the system that creates the food they eat, so people have ‘lost’ a connection to food,” she said.
These connections can be, and are being, created again. Our campus needs to be moving toward more sustainable options that are provided at affordable prices for students who want to be mindful of what they choose to put in their bodies. Welles said it right; we must look first to the health of our community before making demands on their performance.