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National Food Day Helps to Educate, Build Community Through Food Sustainability

Publication Date: 10/7/2011

National Food is Oct. 24, 2011, and more than 200 college campuses across the country will join together to push for healthy, fair and sustainable food in America. Rhodes is one of those campuses and will host “Chefs Take Over the Rat” for its faculty, staff and students. There also will be a mayoral proclamation given on Oct. 24 for the City of Memphis.

Local chefs will cook healthy, vegetarian and vegan meals for Rhodes students, faculty, and staff using locally sourced ingredients from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Refectory (also known as the “Rat”). Chefs include Jason Severs from Bari Ristorante e Enoteca, Chris Hawkins from Three Angels Diner, Paul Tatum from Cafe 1912, and Mac Edwards from the Elegant Farmer. Cheffie’s Café also will be represented with recipes by culinary partner Jennifer Chandler.

“The purpose of this event is to teach Rhodes students and faculty/staff that vegetarian and vegan meals can be nutritious and delicious too,” says Rhodes senior Carolina Sánchez, who is Rhodes and Memphis’ Food Day Coordinator and a Food Day Assistant at the national level. “You don’t have to just eat salad to live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. I also think many people think you can’t get enough protein with such a diet, but I’m hoping that people will see beyond the American stigma that you need meat to get protein. Plant-based sources are great sources of protein and an array of many other important nutrients that you cannot get from meat.”

Chefs will share how the foods have been prepared and information about the dishes as individuals go through the serving stations. There also will be a Food Day table with brochures, informational cards, and petition cards. Says Sánchez, “We’d like to get everyone who eats in the Refectory that day to sign a card so we can send it back to the headquarters to show our participation.”

Sánchez, whose fellowship at Rhodes focuses on food sustainability, wants to educate people on eating healthy and to bring awareness about local sustainable food and farming. Although the word is sometimes misunderstood, sustainability refers to food that is healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, provides a fair wage to the farmer, and supports and enhances communities. Sánchez says Anthony Siracusa, Community Service Coordinator at Rhodes and her fellowship supervisor, has been advising her in the planning process of Food Day.

An international studies major, she also has been working with Dr. Stephen Ceccoli, chair of Rhodes’ Department of International Studies, to organize the Food Day Film Series and Nov. 1 keynote lecture by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn and his wife Mrs. Ann Crile Esselstyn. In addition, Sánchez has been working with a team of faculty and staff organized by the Rhodes Office of the President this summer to explore ideas addressing campus green issues. Members of the team are Andrew Gibson, Julie Clay, Robert Shankman, Lynn Conlee and Ken Woodmansee.

As a result of the team’s efforts, the following events will take place this semester.

Oct. 22, 2 p.m., Fargason Field
Healthy Concessions at Rhodes’ Homecoming Football Game
Whole Foods will cater the event with healthy alternatives to traditional sporting events fare.
Free and open to the public 

Oct. 24, 11 a.m. -2 p.m., the Refectory
“Chefs Take Over the Rat” on National Food Day
This event is for Rhodes students and faculty/staff only.

Oct. 25, 7 p.m., Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall
Screening of Documentary “Forks Over Knives” that examines the profound claim that most degenerative diseases can be controlled by rejecting animal-based and processed foods
Free and open to the public

Nov. 1, 6:30-8:30, Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall
“Making Yourself Heart Attack Proof” Lecture by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn and Mrs. Ann Esselstyn, who have followed a plant-based diet for more than 26 years
“Forks Over Knives,” being screened on Oct. 25, features the personal journal of Dr. Esselstyn who directs the cardiovascular prevention and reversal program at The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Mrs. Esselstyn will address how to prepare healthy foods. The event also will feature a healthy tasting of plant-based foods by Whole Foods Market 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by the lecture.
Whole Food Market and Rhodes’ Lecture Board and Department of International Studies Department are sponsors of this event.
Free and open to the public, but RSVP requested here

Nov. 8, 7 p.m., Orgill Room of Clough Hall
Screening of Documentary “End of the Line” about the devastating effects of overfishing
Free and open to the public

Nov. 29, 7 p.m., Blount Auditorium of Buckman Hall
Screening of Documentary “Food, Inc.” that looks inside America′s corporate controlled food industry
Free and open to the public

For more information about these events, contact Carolina Sánchez at sanca@rhodes.edu

Tags: Campus Life, Events, Faculty, Lectures, President, Staff, Students

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