Earth to Table: The Journey of Food
In a society in which fast-food chains and pre-packaged meals continue to dominate, the idea of home cooked meals is becoming a thing of the past. There are many factors that have led people to turn away from the kitchen, such as time, cost, accessibility, and education – university students are no strangers to these barriers. The following infographic highlights the different components associated with cooking, as well as the resources on- and off-campus to help inspire students to start cooking!
When it comes to gaining confidence in the kitchen, the first step is to understand how to obtain your ingredients.
Turning to local food has the possibility to reduce the negative impacts of the food industry. The support for local food is growing in communities all over Ontario, including Hamilton. On campus, we have Mac Farmstand connecting us to the farmers around us. According to Eat Right Ontario, there are 5 main benefits of buying local food:
- Saves money
- Supports farmers
- Preserves farms
Environmental Impact of large grocery stores: In 2005, a study done by the region of Waterloo, Ontario found that on average food travelled 4,497 kilometers, which resulted in 51,709 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually – thus, contributing to climate change and poor air quality.
Alternatively, there is also the option of looking into community gardens – a collective space where people work together to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers. You can turn to your own backyard and create your own garden, or check out the McMaster Community & Teaching Garden outside of BSB!
- TIME: There are services around the community that provides food delivery boxes right at your door
- COST: Many university students are aware of the financial constraints that come with being a student. Amongst other expenses, budgeting money for groceries can be difficult – however, there are a few tricks and tips to help minimize expenses – Mac Money Centre can help with budgeting and financial questions. Mac Bread Bin has programs and resources to connect students who are looking for support.
- ENVIRONMENT: Sometimes the only option available is to go to a large grocery store, but remember there are often local produce offered there as well.
Cooking Skills & Food Safety
It’s important to keep in mind the importance of understanding proper knife skills, and food handling & storage recommendations in order to avoid any accidents. Most basic cooking skills can easily be learned via a quick google search, but the SWELL also has a variety of cookbooks to which you can refer. With regards to nutrition, Eat Right Ontario is a great phone service and the on-campus dietitian.
- Benefits of Buying Local
- Cooking up change: How getting together in the kitchen can be the start of something big.
- Perceived facilitators of and barriers to healthful eating among university students.
- Community Gardens Toolkit.