Campus Grow event promotes healthy, local foods

Taylor Ballek/ Staff Photographer Resident of Clare, Lance Luckhardt discusses the process of canning food Wednesday evening at Campus Grow Food Day in Brooks Auditorium. "We home can because we know what goes in there," explained Luckhardt.

Aromas from baked apple crisps, fresh apple cider and organic popcorn filled Brooks Hall Wednesday evening as 30 people came to learn about healthy eating.

Campus Grow Co-coordinator Jackie Maggioncalda said the event was tailored to promote healthy, local and sustainable foods.

"People need to learn about healthy eating, which can happen right here, locally," the Waterford junior said.

Wesley Luckhardt, an associate professor of human environmental studies, presented the importance of canning, a method of preserving food in a sealed, air-tight container.

"The shelf-life is extended," he said.

A student group gave a presentation on local heathy foods and gave participants healthy apple crisps, made with no butter or flour.

"They are delicious," Maggioncalda said. "Plus, they are healthy."

Patty Travioli, manager of CMU Fabiano Botanical Garden, Greenhouse and Botany Laboratories, gave a presentation on the local food market and the different ways to support farmers locally.

"It was very interesting to see what is here locally," Maggioncalda said.

After an intermission with popcorn and cider, short films were shown on local food systems and factory farming.

Southfield senior Chelsey Jackson said the apple cider from Michigan was the highlight of the evening.

"Along with this delicious cider, I have always wanted to know how to can," she said.

Jackson is involved with Campus Grow and she said awareness is the biggest thing the group strives for on campus.

"It's very important knowing where food comes from," she said. "It just tastes better local, too, because it's fresher."

Hazel Park senior Carlos Coronado said eating healthy and locally-grown food is important for health reasons. Knowing what is in food is vital to know exactly what is going in a person's body, he said.

"There are less preservatives and toxins in food that is grown right here," he said.

Shelby Township junior Gabriella Serraiocco said she came to the event to become more aware.

"I pretty much already knew everything," she said. "It should be promoted to people that don't know."

Campus Grow has about 15 active members who promote initiatives on campus concerning gardening, fundraising, cover crops and crafts to promote sustainability.

“Developing community collaboration, promoting physical health through proper diet and exercise, advocating hunger and poverty solutions (and) offering food education and research opportunities for students,” reads the group’s mission statement.

Campus Grow maintains a Children’s Garden and a ‘big’ garden located west of Theunissen Stadium. People can rent a 10’ by 10’ plot in the larger garden for $10 a year.


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