Food demonstrations, film screenings, lectures, discussions and a special dinner will all be on the menu for campus consumers Oct. 22 - 24 as UCLA joins forces with thousands of other organizations nationwide, including several UC campuses, to celebrate Food Day.
Organizers of Food Day, which is held annually on Oct. 24, are encouraging Americans to adopt healthier diets and become advocates for improved food policies. Some of the country’s most prominent food activists are behind the effort.
“It’s about bringing attention to pressing issues, celebrating food and engaging the community in thinking about food from lots of different angles,” said Dr. Wendy Slusser, associate vice provost of UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI), a campuswide effort envisioned and supported by philanthropists Jane and Terry Semel that promotes a culture of mental and physical health and wellness. “This is an opportunity to learn about the complexity of food, educate ourselves and have fun.”
The Healthy Campus Initiative helped inspire the University of California Global Food Initiative, which seeks to harness UC resources to address global food needs. UC President Janet Napolitano announced the initiative in July in a UCLA student-run garden and at two other California locations.
Leading up to Food Day, UCLA Sustainability will host a food-themed sustainability fair on Oct. 22 in Bruin Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. That evening, the Academic Advancement Program will host a food demonstration and screening of “Nourish: Food + Community” in Room 1224 of Campbell Hall from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Also that evening, the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability is holding its annual Oppenheim Lecture in the Fowler Museum’s Lenart Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. “An Evening with Jonathan Gold” features the Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic as moderator of a panel discussion about popular food movements. Panelists include Evan Kleiman, host of “Good Food” on KCRW; Michael Cimarusti, executive chef and owner of Providence; and Craig McNamara, president and owner of Sierra Orchards, and president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. Those interested in attending must RSVP by Oct. 15.
On Oct. 23, a workshop about finding sustainable and safe foods and being a savvy food consumer will be held in the John Wooden Recreation Center games room from noon to 1 p.m. Guests are asked to register in advance. In addition, the Office of Residential Life will hold a food demonstration and screening of “Nourish: Food + Community” in the new communal kitchen at Hitch Suites from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
There will be more events on Oct. 24:
- The inaugural UCLA-Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Conference will be held at the UCLA School of Law, Room 2357, starting at 8 a.m. The day features panel discussions on transparency in the modern food system, the role of the consumer in driving food policy change, and transparency in food production and distribution.
- An HCI grant application workshop for students will be held at Powell Library from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Space is limited. Registration is required.
- An HCI-sponsored panel discussion on food access and justice for food and farm workers will be held at the School of Law, Room 1347, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Panelists include UCLA student Ian Davies, an environmental science major and garden coordinator for DigUCLA; Delores Hernandez, a registered dietitian and nutrition education coordinator at UCLA; Bob Knight, a farmer from Redlands who supplies produce for UCLA; and registered dietician Janet Leader.
- A screening of “Food Chains,” a documentary that explores the state of labor within the U.S. agriculture sector and immoral practices that affect farm workers. The event, sponsored by the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy, will be held in at the School of Law, Room 1347, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Registration is required. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the film’s producer beginning at 5:15 p.m.
- A special dinner featuring locally sourced food will be held at Bruin Plate from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Space will be limited. With a Bruincard, the cost is one meal swipe for students on the meal plan; $14.50 for residents on the Hill; and $15.25 for non-residents. The cost of dinner is $17.25 for those without a Bruincard and can be paid at the Sproul Hall front desk.
- On Oct. 24, the cafeterias at UCLA's two hospitals in Westwood and Santa Monica will have a special Food Day menu celebrating healthy and sustainable foods.