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Appetites welcomed at SGA sponsored Edible Earth dinner

By Milos Markecevic
On March 5, 2012

Edible Earth, a free potluck style dinner event, was hosted at the Vincent and Louise House last Wednesday evening. The event was made to create a place where students could socialize, eat organic food, and learn of the environmental benefits that come with eating food from homegrown markets.

"A lot of people don't know where their food comes from." says Elise Hawley. Hawley is the assistant director of Environmental Concerns Committee (ECC), one of the organizations along with Urban Farming Organization (UFO) who helped organize Edible Earth. "This is the second time we're doing Edible Earth. We didn't get too many people at the first event so we did our best to let people know this time over Facebook and flyers around school."

The event began at 6:00 PM and within minutes the house was filled with over 70 hungry students waiting to try out the delicious food set on the tables. While waiting students could pick up blue mini zines from a pile on the table that explained the event. The event's organizers later presented a short welcome speech, introduction, and keynote.

Ellise Hawley concluded the keynote with a quote from food activist and writer Michael Pollan, "We will be eating by the grace of nature and not corporations." The room erupted into applause. A short Buddhist prayer "The Five Contemplations" was recited by Robby Hawkinson which concluded the introduction. Immediately students rushed to get in line.

Students were encouraged to bring their own home made meals to the event and use only local organic ingredients. Each dish on the tables featured a small place card that showed the name of the dish, listed its ingredients as well the origin of the ingredients. "For once you can look at a plate and know where the food comes from." Says Hawley.

Jonathan Eiseman, Senator for sustainability explained the goal of the event, "It's about raising awareness of where your food comes from. A lot of food is shipped from miles away which contributes to Co2 emissions. By supporting local economy and local communities we can minimize the impact on the environment."

Many Americans however criticize the high price of going green. They additionally see the green movement as elitist, something only the rich can afford. For critics Eiseman has a simple answer "You can either pay health costs, or pay for healthy food". He elaborates by explaining that the more unhealthy food you eat the more costly it will be to your health and wallet in the long run.

As the guests dine the tables seem to quiet down. Everyone is clearly busy enjoying the food. "I guess it's interesting for me personally because I don't pay attention to what I eat, so it would be interesting to see where my food comes from. Honestly I've never really thought about it." says Jose Lopez, a DePaul sophomore.

While eating many students take a moment to praise the food "It's delicious!" yells one. Kendall Ricks, a sophomore says "It's good food and we know where it's coming from."

With the success of the event the organizers are already planning on doing another Edible Earth, possibly in the spring. "We might do it outside at the quad" says Hawley.

Robby Hawkinson, one of the organizers says "I'm really happy and definitely excited to start the next one, I just think it's really great when people can come together, share a meal, and talk about something meaningful like protecting the earth."

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