Student Farm Club hosts dinner and movie event for Earth Week

The Student Farm hosted its “Dinner and Movie” event Monday night to kick off Penn State’s Earth Week. The event consisted of a special prepared meal in Redifer Commons, followed by a viewing of the documentary “Just Eat It,” in 102 Thomas.

“Local Foods Night” featured dishes with produce which was grown on Penn State’s campus, Student Farm President Hayly Hoch said.

“We recently acquired an acre of land which will help us expand our gardens,” Hoch (junior-plant sciences) said.

Local Food Night also acted as a way for sustainability club attendance to spread the word on changes that Penn State students hope to see in the future.

Vice President of the Community Food Security club, Courtney Heidle, said her club is working to raise awareness on the gases released when cooking meals.

“If the dining commons cooked more tofu and less beef, carbon dioxide emission would be reduced,” Heidle (sophomore-biobehavioral health) said.

The dinner also acted as a way for students to dine out of their comfort zone, South Food District Manager Jennifer Krise said.

“The dinner is informative and beneficial,” Krise said. “It encourages students to eat locally prepared meals.”

Following the dinner, members from Student Farm partnered with the Community Nutrition Food Security club and Eco Action to screen “Just Eat It,” a documentary highlighting how much is wasted every day.

Immediately after, four panelists took the stage and opened a discussion up to the attendees.

“Like the movie says, tossing away food is the easiest option.” Panelist and Director of Food Services Lisa Wandel said. “Composting is costing Penn State money but it’s the right thing to do.”

Wandel has worked with panelist Emily Newman, the founder of the Green2Go program, to find a way to cut back on food waste.

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Jacob Ullom (senior-hospitality) serves Moroccan style lamb tajine, a sustainable local meal, at South Food District on April 18, 2016. Camille Stefani/The Daily Collegian.

In an attempt for students to take less food at buffets, Wandel and Newman encouraged dining halls to remove its trays while other dining halls were encouraged to serve food on smaller plates. Unfortunately, the amount of waste food did not decrease, Wandel said.

“The best way to be sustainable is to take only what you know you’ll eat,” Wandel said.

Panelist Erik Curtis said the documentary had a positive impact on him as he now “dumpster dives” for safe food that has been discarded.

“You can’t go to a grocery store and think the same way about it,” Curtis (senior-chemical engineering) said.

Curtis said being aware of the problem is the biggest step to fixing the problem.

To read the article which was originally published on The Daily Collegian, click here.

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