FRESH at Western’s Food Symposium 2017

On Wednesday, October 18, from 10am – 3pm in the Atrium of the UCC, Western students, staff, and faculty had the opportunity to take part in Western’s first Food Symposium. The Symposium had representatives from many organizations: Hospitality Services, Food Support Services, Environmental Science Western, Crop Life Canada, Farm and Food Care, Western RD Services, Egg Producers and Marketing Board, London Food Coalition, and Ontario Bean Growers.  These people and organizations had exposure to hundreds of attendees on, what is known as, the busiest weekday on campus. In the McKellar Theatre (from 11am – noon), Keynote Speaker Allan Nason enlightened and inspired the audience on the topic of aquaponics, the symbiotic system of combining both aquaculture with hydroponics. (MSF Sustainable Aquaponics Powerpoint)

Five FRESH Executive members and 25 Peer Educators dedicated a total of 84 hours to this event. They provided information and resources developed by FRESH, lead an activity on how to cook with herbs, and provided education and awareness on food allergies on campus.  In addition, over 200 basil plants, grown in Western’s greenhouses, were distributed to event participants. FRESH also offered FRESH recipe cards and FRESH-branded prizes, such as lunch bags, totes, and travel cutlery packs.  Over the lunch hour, FRESH ED hosted a crepe cooking demonstration and a ‘Rate Your Plate’ activity, with over 150 participants.

The success of the Food Symposium would not have been possible without the dedication of Anne Zok, Nutrition Manager (Hospitality Services) and Dr. June Matthews, (Associate Professor at Brescia University College), in collaboration with EnviroWestern. Their passion, and countless hours spent organizing and implementing the Symposium, resulted in valuable food-related information being delivered to the campus community.