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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA Food Day to pioneer sustainability and health

Cole Malham
Cole Malham / The Daily Wildcat Iron Chef, Connor Young, dicing cactus, the secret ingredient at the Iron Chef Competition at UA Food Day on Wednesday.

The UA Food Day Fair will be held today on the UA Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will feature cooking and gardening demonstrations along with other activities to promote sustainable eating and healthy living.

National Food Day is Friday, and the UA Food Day Fair, along with community groups from both on- and off-campus will celebrate today.

This UA Food Day Fair — sponsored by Well University Partnership, the department of nutritional sciences, Career and Academic Services at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the UA Green Fund and the UA Office of Sustainability — showcases various ways to make healthy, affordable and sustainable choices with over 40 different community groups.

According to its mission statement, Food Day also acts as a campaign for food policies and a “united food movement.”

Sarah Rokuski, UA Food Day coordinator and nutrition counselor for Campus Health Service, said people can expect a variety of things from the UA Food Day Fair.

“We’ve got Tucson affiliates and campus affiliates,” Rokuski said. “Throughout the whole day, we encouraged our exhibitors to be interactive with what they are showing and make it very educational for our attendees and students.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy taste tests, connect with food resources and gain knowledge on the ways to achieve a healthy way of eating.

“We want people to know what resources they have in the community and on campus,” Rokuski said, “so that students and attendees can know where to go if they want to continue on with healthy, local [and] sustainable practices.”

Ben Champion, director of the UA Office of Sustainability, said the entire office supports this day to show that food is an important aspect of sustainability issues.

“We are positioned to support sustainability where it’s a part of our overall campus life, campus activities and also community partnerships,” Champion said.

At noon, there will be a cooking demonstration by Michael Omo, senior executive chef of the UA Student Unions, as well as gardening by the Master Gardeners from the CALS cooperative extension.

Throughout the week, the UA Food Day will host other events to celebrate National Food Day, such as a free Edible Landscapes tour at 9 a.m. at Campus Arboretum on Friday.

Rokuski said the UA Food Day is for people of all ages who are united by a love for food.

“Sustainability is not just a set of topics,” Champion said. “It is a paradigm of looking at the world … looking toward positive futures that have healthy synergy between supporting a planet’s and people’s needs. Health and wellness issues are really a part of that.”


Follow Benny Sisson on Twitter.

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