University celebrates National Food Day with farmer's market in Bison Square

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Festivals scheduled for Bison Square this fall:


University celebrates National Food Day with farmer's market in Bison Square

FoodDay pumpkins
(Photo provided by Good Food for Good People)

Lipscomb University’s Bison Square was transformed into a farmer’s market and a festival celebrating wholesome, healthy, locally grown food on Wednesday, Oct. 24, National Food Day.

Two Lipscomb nutrition students, Emily Brunson and Maha Mortada, took the lead in organizing the university’s own Food Day festival, sponsored by the Student Dietetics Association and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Bison Square was filled on Oct. 24 with:

A small farmer’s market coordinated by Good Food for Good People, a cooperative of 200 local farmers;
A salsa maker making fresh salsa on-site;
Vendor booths from Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co., The Well, The Jam, Nutrisha, Frothy Monkey, the Student Dietetics Association, Lipscomb’s sustainability department, Sodexo, Exodus Health Center and Lipscomb’s bookstore offering samples or products for purchase;
Cooking demonstrations by Whole Foods; and
Live music by Daniel Huisinga and Rebecca Wolfe from Danny McClelland and the Sons of Erin; and Cameron Gilliam and Matt Fung-A-Fat.

In addition, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. the association hosted a showing of the documentary film “Fresh,” in the Swang Business Center.  The film explores the farmers, thinkers and businesspeople across America who are re-inventing the nation’s  food system. It outlines the rapid transformation of agriculture into an industrial model, and confronts the consequences.

A panel discussion was held after the 7 p.m. “Fresh” showing featuring:

  • Justin Ard, a health and wellness chiropractor from Exodus Health Center;
  • Stacy Downey, organizer of The Little Pantry That Could;
  • Rob Touchstone, Lipscomb Bible professor and  co-founder of The Well;
  • Andrea Cloninger Wilson, Lipscomb adjunctiInstructor for sustainable food systems and founder of Liberation Kitchen; and
  • Darry Huntsman, Sodexo catering chef and sustainability captain for Sodexo at Lipscomb.
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“We really wanted to recognize organizations and restaurants in the community who are supporting local agriculture and get people to really think about where their food comes from,” said Brunson, an undergraduate nutrition student from Evansville, Ind.

Brunson and Mortada, a Lebanese graduate student in the exercise and nutrition science program, recently traveled to North Carolina to learn about the Real Food Challenge, a nonprofit that enlists college students nationwide to encourage their local university campuses to purchase locally grown food for their on-campus dining options. The organization's goal is to get all colleges and universities to purchase 20 percent of their food from local vendors.

The vendors at the festival represent the type of sustainable, family-owned and local companies that “real food” advocates believe benefit both society and the consumer. The Jam is a coffee shop that makes their own teas and coffee mixtures and offers local baked goods. The Well is a nonprofit coffee shop donating profits to humanitarian water projects around the world. Olive and Sinclair is a locally owned chocolatier, and Nutrisha is a catering service hoping to expand its offerings of healthy and locally produced foods.

Lipscomb’s Institute for Sustainable Practice had information available on sustainable food projects already in the works locally, and Sodexo, Lipscomb’s dining vendor, had information on its little-known composting program that is available for all students to use.

“As a community, especially a Christian community, we should be interested in and concerned with food production, how it affects our health, how it affects the people who produce it, and the power of our food dollar,” Brunson said. “The Food Day festival is our first step in raising awareness about these issues. We’ll see where it takes us.”

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