Center for Sustainability to host a workshop on sustainable foods

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Alexandra McCray

From farmers markets to recycling bins to certified eco-friendly buildings, Georgia Southern University takes its impact on the environment seriously.

This Friday, GSU’s Center for Sustainability and the Green Ambassadors will host an all-day workshop showing how to incorporate sustainable foods into universities’ dining halls and students’ meal plans. The Farm to Table workshop will take place from 9:30 a.m.– 5 p.m.

“We’ll feel successful if people are excited about what they hear at this conference and are able to even take a small piece of what they learned to take to their campus, “ Lissa Leege, center for sustainability director and biology professor, said.

Registration ended on Monday with 45 students and faculty signed up, and seven different universities will be represented, Leege said.

The workshop will include a keynote speaker Rashid Nuri, who will talk about community gardens in cities and towns like Statesboro.

The day’s events will also have a panel with a sustainable produce grower, a grass-fed cattle farmer, a farmers market representative and a university dining hall employee. Each panel member will teach the attendees how to utilize local and sustainable food resources that are already available as best as possible on campus.

“I think something like this is one of the best things GSU can offer because a lot of college students struggle with eating well, and learning how to eat well with the food provided is a good educational experience,” Hayley McGhee, sophomore journalism major, said.

Workshops in the afternoon will include a sustainable food lesson with a step-by-step guide from campuses that have already integrated sustainable food choices on their menus.

At the end of the day attendees will visit with grass-fed cattle and free-range chickens while they volunteer at Hunter Cattle and eat a sustainable meal.

“Eagle Diner Catering will be providing a completely sustainable meal–that’s part of the (registration) fee–and will incorporate all the food from all the participating farms for lunch. Hunter Cattle will provide all the beef for free,” Leege said.

Mary Parton, sophomore education major, said, “I’m all about going green. I have a tomato plant on my porch right now. I think anything involves improving our sustainability can only help us.”