Friday, January 18, 2013

Sustainable Food Systems to Participate in Green Business Expo

Michael Hodgins, director of the sustainable food systems program at Rio Salado College and sustainable gardening instructor Josh Sundberg will be on hand with free seed packages and herbal water samples at the Green Business Expo at Tempe Center for the Arts this Saturday, Jan. 19.

In addition to the Smithsonian Institution’s Green Revolution traveling exhibition, the expo will highlight sustainable businesses, products and services that can be found in Tempe.

According to Hodgins, this is a great opportunity to introduce the community to both the Café at Rio and the sustainable food systems program at RSC.

“The sustainable Food systems program is eager to participate in this Saturday's Tempe Green Business Expo,” Hodgins said. “Josh and I always get excited about spending time with individuals who share our enthusiasm for sustainability.”

Many of RSC’s neighbors are aware of the tasty lunch options available through RSC’s Café at Rio. What they might not realize, is that the Café is a learning lab for the college’s sustainable food systems program.

The sustainable food systems certificate and degree program promotes green business practices by encouraging students to consider how food is produced, purchased and prepared.  It teaches the ecological and nutritional benefits of using locally-sourced ingredients and familiarizes students with both agricultural and cooking techniques that will reduce the environmental impact of the food service industry.

Although the primary purpose of the program is to prepare students for a career in agriculture or food service, the principles can also be used in a home kitchen or backyard garden.

“Green businesses alone can inspire many,” Hodgins said. “But it takes the community coming together to affect lasting change.”