Posted on September 29, 2008 by Tia Lalani

Thursday, October 16th is World Food Day, and Augustana is prepared to participate.

by Kara Blizzard

Thursday, October 16th is World Food Day, and Augustana Campus is prepared to participate. At 7:00 p.m., “Eating Locally at the 53rd Parallel” will take place in the chapel. The issue of how to eat locally has been the focus of much recent discussion here in Camrose, especially since this year’s theme is “From Field to Fork.” The Theme book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, gives helpful information on how to eat locally in Virginia. However, those methods aren’t necessarily relevant here due to Alberta’s colder climate. On World Food Day, three guest speakers with various types of food-related experience will visit Augustana. Among their discussion topics will be the methods and issues related to finding local food in central Alberta.

The first speaker is Judy Schultz, retired food columnist for the Edmonton Journal and co-author of The Food Lover’s Trail Guide to Alberta. This non-fiction book was shortlisted for the Alberta Book Awards in 2004, and it includes valuable information about where to find good local food throughout the province, ranging from cheese to baked goods to beer. The book contains behind-the-scenes information on Alberta’s food industry, as well as recipes. Augustana Professor Dr. Paula Marentette states that Schultz’s passionate interest in local food makes her an exciting speaker for this event.

Another guest speaker is Ivor MacKay, whose family completed a 100-mile diet for a year. Marentette suggests that MacKay’s experience is very relevant to the discussion, and can provide insight into questions like, “what worked and what didn’t; what did you miss; what did you eat; what could you find; what was really hard to get here?” Marentette discusses the issue of buying local food: commodities that grow here are not necessarily processed here, and thus might not fall into the 100-mile category. Another relevant question will be how the MacKay family’s 100-mile diet experience affects them now that their year has finished.

The third set of speakers for the evening is Ron and Sheila Hamilton of Sunworks Farm. Their family’s farm has been Certified Organic since 1997, and they focus especially on the humane treatment of their animals. The Hamiltons sell products year round at Farmers Markets in Edmonton and Calgary. Dr. Marentette states that “their perspective on eating locally” will be interesting to delve into, given their status as local farmers.

The premise of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is to eat locally both because it is healthier, and because it reduces environmental concern. Discussing the book and translating it into a form that works in Camrose are essential steps to learning how to eat locally.

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