Real Food Films initiate discussion about food, environment

Environmental Leadership Office Adviser Amy Eultgen: “Food encompasses lots of issues that are interrelated.”

The Environmental Leadership Office and the Women’s Center showed the winning Real Food Films of 2016 and held a discussion last Thursday about what we eat and its relation to the environment.

The films focused on the food industry around the world, from Coca-Cola drinkers in Mexico to syrup harvesters in New England.

The eight films shown, all less than five minutes long, spotlighted families. Many encouraged fair-trade food, or food grown by producers in developing countries who are promised fair prices, as a way to build a sense of community.

Rural sociology assistant professor Mary Hendrickson said the social aspects of fair-trade food often makes it more appealing than organic food. However, during the discussion, participants debated the definition of fair-trade food.

The discussion emphasized the importance of preserving the environment. Some participants said fair trade promotes sustainability by providing better working conditions and prices for farmers. When farmers do not have to resort to cheap agricultural practices, they can focus on bettering their land.

The group was encouraged to “know what you’re eating” and think about the ecological, community and economic impacts of food.

ELO Advisor Amy Eultgen said change in our environment and the food we eat starts with conversations.

Eultgen wants students to know that they can vote with their dollar because “food encompasses lots of issues that are interrelated.”

“It’s okay to get stressed out,” Eultgen said. “It’s good we’re talking about this.”

Edited by Kyra Haas |

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