Wednesday, October 10, 2012

RSC Promotes Real Food with Food Day Event

Food Day is around the corner and Rio Salado College will be one of many locations to celebrate this national event. The free event, scheduled to take place October 24, has many objectives but its most important goal is to reshape attitudes toward the consumption of sustainable foods.

RSC Director of Sustainable Foods Systems Michael Hodgins says sustainability is important because it leads to better individual health and the health of the environment.

“Sustainable foods are foods we can obviously eat and they’ll sustain us, nourish us- generally healthy foods,” Hodgins said.

Sustainable foods are often preferred over foods produced in the industrial model because they are grown without chemical fertilizers that deplete the soil. Sustainably produced foods are considered healthier and more ideal for consumption.

By supporting Food Day and the real-food movement, Rio Salado encourages a more sustainable lifestyle and promotes farm-to-table meals that support local agriculture.

“Farm to table is pretty much about supporting your local farmer and trying to get stuff locally sourced,” Hodgins explained. “It’s not something being shipped across the world, so you’re not polluting the environment and you don’t have all of those food miles as part of it.”

Farm-to-table also means the food is coming straight from the farmer, something the college practices in addition to using food from its own garden.

“We have a garden here. About 15 percent of the produce we use in the cafĂ© comes from the garden.” Hodgins said. “We also work with several farms in the valley- Love Grows, Maya’s Farm, and Rhiba Farms in Chandler.”

With the help of these same farms, RSC’s Food Day celebration will provide a closer look at the principles of the real-food movement from an economic, social and environmental standpoint. All of which, according to Michael Hodgins, are things the college is trying to support and implement.

Food Day is open to everyone in the community. It will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 24th from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rio Salado College in Tempe. The event will include gardening demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, healthy cooking tips, and a farmer’s market where people can stop by to shop for local produce.

This event is sponsored by the sustainable foods programs at Rio Salado College, Mesa Community College and Tempe High School.