Food Week kicks off at Saint Mary’s
Martha Reilly | Monday, November 10, 2014
In preparation for Thanksgiving feasts, Saint Mary’s began its annual Food Week yesterday, however, encouraging students to learn healthy eating habits and prioritize nutrition.
Sophomore Mary Kate Luft said Food Week, which started in 2012, teaches students the implications of wasting food and emphasizes the value of eating right and working out. (Editor’s note: Luft is a Viewpoint copy editor for the Observer)
“We may have an abundance of food here, which may cause us to be under the impression that there is an unlimited supply of food, but we need to realize that this is not the case for many people,” Luft said. “I hope that students will realize just how much food they are throwing away. I want them to become aware of how much food they put on their trays, and I want them to learn to limit this amount just to what they are going to actually eat.”
Luft said she hopes students’ concerns about excess food waste will increase after weighing their trays during the Noble Family Dining Hall’s lunch hours Wednesday.
“I often see plates full of food on the tray return that will just be thrown away,” Luft said. “If you’re not actually going to eat something, don’t put it on your tray.”
Luft said this year’s Food Week promotes multiculturalism by serving Middle Eastern cuisine as well as Central and South American dishes on various nights of the week. Luft said she hopes that exposing students to foods they don’t often encounter will encourage them to step outside of their comfort zones.
“We hope to possibly increase students’ understanding and appreciation of other cultures and the people of those cultures,” Luft said. “We also hope to regularly serve these foods even after Food Week ends to continue to give students opportunities to try foods from other cultures.”
Luft said students will gain lifestyle advice throughout Food Week with an Exercise and Healthy Habits presentation tonight at 8 p.m. at the Angela Athletic Facility. The formal tips for healthy eating and working out precede a screening of the documentary “Fed Up,” with a supplementary question-and-answer session with dietitian Samantha Kauffman, she said.
“Food Week promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing students with events that focus on health and nutrition, such as the event with Yoga Club that focuses on how to properly nourish your body before and after working out,” Luft said. “Students will have the opportunity to learn more about how to eat healthily and make sure they are getting proper nutrition.
Luft said she hopes the messages of Food Week will stick with students long after this five-day event. The Saint Mary’s Student Government Association coordinated this week’s series of activities with all students in mind, hoping that everyone benefits in at least one way, she said.
“Besides having a ton of fun, students will be able to learn about healthy eating habits, sustainable and ethical food sources, and foods from other cultures,” Luft said. “They will have the opportunity to voice their opinions about food served at Saint Mary’s.”