Emory’s seventh annual Sustainable Food Fair, which took place Friday at Asbury Circle, brought together members of the Emory community for a few hours of sunny weather, a variety of food and lessons in sustainable eating.

The event featured booths from local restaurants, food vendors and educational tables, all of which were present to help the attendees make ethical and healthy decisions about what they eat.

Many of the vendors, such as the Farm Mobile – a mobile farmer’s market which operates out of a truck – are regulars at Emory’s weekly Farmer’s Market on Asbury Circle.

Customers had the opportunity to climb aboard the truck and purchase a variety of sustainable foods to prepare a well-balanced meal.

Mixed in among the familiar faces of the Farmer’s Market regulars were educational tables run by students in the Sustainable Food Fair class.

Julie Shaffer, project manager for sustainability for the Emory Food Service Administration, explained that organizing these tables allowed the students to research a food issue that interested them.

College junior Liz Frame manned a table that educated fair attendees on the benefits of pastured poultry.

Pastured poultry is the practice of raising chickens in a proper way, she explained. Other farmers raise chickens in tiny spaces and feed them too much of a bad type of food to make them gain weight more quickly.

Simply put, “[non-pastured poultry] is bad for the chicken, bad for the environment and bad for workers,” Frame said.

Another table at the event taught attendees how to make sustainable sauces from scratch.

Unlike sauces that are found in grocery stores, which contain unhealthy pesticides and preservatives, the sustainable sauces require only three ingredients, which are available at the Farmer’s Market each Tuesday, College junior Adriana Salgado explained as she worked at the table.

A third table, according to Laurin Sephos, College senior and the teaching assistant for the Sustainable Food Fair class, was “the dirty dozen.” The dirty dozen is a list of fruits and vegetables that one should always buy organic; otherwise, they contain pesticides.

Sephos also mentioned, in particular, the success of a new table this year that provided a guide outlining the sustainable restaurants and farmer’s markets in Atlanta for students and attendees.

This part of the event was a hit for many students such as junior Ray Nadji, who said she appreciated knowing where to find fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables in the area.

Students could also sample food from those area restaurants that practice sustainability, such as Farm Burger, Chipotle, Sprig and Yeah! Burger among others.

While College sophomore Danielle Berkowsky acknowledged that she appreciated the opportunity to interact with the local community, she was most excited about the delicious free food, she said as she sampled a piece of bread from a nearby booth.

Shaffer remarked hat she could only foresee the event growing in the future.

“It’s important to celebrate what we’re doing,” Shaffer said. “We’re leading the way in sustainability in the Southeast, and [the Sustainability Fair] is an opportunity to raise awareness among students, faculty, staff and the entire community.”

– By Elizabeth Howell 

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The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.

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