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Green Summit uncovers ‘footprint of food’

Carly Landon | Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The food that you eat can be the greatest source of nourishment or the slowest form of poison, members of the Notre Dame community discussed at yesterday’s Green Summit. 
This year’s Green Summit, titled “The Footprint of Food,” was the third annual event presented by the Office of Sustainability.
Green Summit III opened with welcoming remarks from Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves, followed by a keynote address by Executive Chef Don Miller.
“An important thing to gain from today is awareness of what is happening,” Miller said in his keynote address yesterday.
Miller focused on seafood and sustainability within marine life in his speech.
“At Notre Dame, we decided we do want to make a difference and lead the way with marine stewardship foods,” Miller said, “Now over 25 percent of seafood purchases are marine stewardship approved.”
Senior Connor Kobeski gave the prayer, asking that we “show respect for the food that is our life-giving food” and remember to give food to the hungry “not just one day but every day.”
Discussions about sustainability took place between participants, with attendees moving between four tables at which they spent 15 minutes each discussing new topics.  The four topics discussed were seafood, food and climate change, food waste and local food.  During the discussions, a different course of a sustainable, low-carbon emissions food was served at each table.
Members of the Notre Dame community who attended the event were especially interested in knowing where their food came from and knowing what they were putting in their bodies.
“I really liked the awareness in the dining halls about sustainability and healthy eating but it’s a lot harder living off campus, especially because you can’t go to the store every day or every two days even as a college kid so you have to settle for frozen,” senior Timothy Thayer, one of the participants, said.
“Healthy choices are difficult,” sophomore Connor Skelly said. “Take Whole Foods, or as my dad calls it ‘Whole Salary.’ It might sell the best foods for you, but it’s also the most expensive.”
At each table, discussion leaders also had handouts for participants ranging from recipe cards for healthy choices made with low carbon emitting foods or a seafood wallet card about making the right choices.
The Green Summit III was sponsored by the Office of Sustainability in collaboration with ND Food Services. Co-sponsors included Student Government, GreeND, Students for Environmental Action, ND For Animals and Gluten Free ND.