With the holiday season approaching, the need for local food drives and other food donations are in more demand than ever this year. While everyone deserves recognition for lending a helping hand, one group at Ohio University keeps the spirit going all year long: Food Matters at OU — a student organization devoted to food quality, availability, and education for all students and faculty, from our campus to a global scale. According to a flier the group handed out in October, Food Matters thrives “through experiencing, discussing, growing, selling and cooking good food.” Food Matters is an exciting and rewarding program that anyone can join or support.
The organization has been active in the last few weeks. At a lecture featuring a guest speaker from Macalester College in Minnesota, I learned a lot from the group and what they stand for. I’m impressed with how much this group accomplishes for the Athens community. They’ve hosted local benefit events, including gardening days, food documentary viewings and food pantry services throughout the Athens community.
Another flier I received from the group lists the OU’s spring 2015 courses that relate to food and food culture studies. The courses satisfy requirements for the new Food Studies program implemented by the College of Arts and Sciences. The list includes Food Studies (CAS 1400), Writing about Culture and Society (ENG 3850), Human Geography (GEOG 1200), Nutrition in the Community (NUTR 4000), and Sustainable Agriculture (PBIO 2060). If you are in the process of or getting ready to schedule classes for spring, any of these and more on the list could work for your degree program.
Along with Food Matters and their local efforts, the city of Athens is in on a better food movement as well. Athens is a progressive town that takes pride in producing fresh produce for local restaurants. Many OU students play an active part in the local food movement (including Avalanche Pizza on East State St. and Casa Nueva on West State St.). Anyone who has ever dined at Athens’ locavore — a term used to describe locally-grown food — restaurants knows what a difference this practice makes in the quality of food items. When you have a chance, be sure to support these businesses and see what everyone has been talking about with these restaurants exclusive to Athens.
Jordan Williams is a junior studying English and Women’s and Gender studies. Food Matters at OU can be found on Facebook and contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Email her at email@example.com.