Monday, 8 June 2015

UCLan researcher attends food sustainability conference

Dr Marisol Warthon-Medina joined students from across the UK at Lancaster University for an innovative food sustainability event.

The NUS Student Eats Conference 2015 featured a range of interactive talks and workshops which gave delegates the opportunity to discuss the progress of the scheme and share examples of good practice.

Student Eats turns areas of campuses into versatile growing areas, installing poly-tunnels, greenhouses and cold frames to extend the growing season, as well as providing a range of gardening equipment and horticultural expertise.

Championed by a team of dedicated students, staff and members of the local community, these sites are used to grow produce which is shared among the volunteers, as well as sold at low cost to other students and often to on-campus catering services.

As more and more students become interested in growing their own produce, as well as being conscientious of the ethical and environmental impact of their food choices, Student Eats is a great opportunity to grow, eat and share food which is organic, nutritious, fresh, local, low-carbon and – most importantly of all – delicious.

Aside from promoting sustainable food patterns and localised economics, Student Eats uses these projects to strengthen community bonds and build cross-cultural connections. Each project endeavours to partner up with one off-campus community group such as a local school or a wellbeing charity, offering demonstration sessions, volunteering opportunities and cookery events.

Further to this, the sites also take pride in growing ethnic and exotic crops which might not often be seen on UK allotments – responding to as broad of a demographic of students as possible. For many participating institutions, Student Eats is the first time they have been able to host student-led food growing, despite the increasing demand for projects of this nature.

To find out more about UCLan's involvement in the project please click here.

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