Environmental Law Society Hosts Farm-to-Table Lunch
The UND School of Law Environmental Law Society (ELS) hosted a Farm-to-Table Lunch in the central commons to highlight use and taste of sustainable, local foods.
“Farm-to-Table is an interesting national movement that has been going on for a while,” said Evan Nelson, ELS President. “We wanted to introduce the concept of Farm-to-Table to our classmates. This is what eating locally is. It is not just a health food thing, not just an environmental thing, it is just really delicious, great food.”
ELS teamed up with Heather and Matt Anderson, who own a local farm 20 miles west of Grand Forks, to provide a tasting lunch with all locally grown products. Justin Welsh, a chef at the Hilton Garden Inn in Grand Forks, prepared the food creating a menu featuring squash soup, a garden salad, a beef and potato hot dish and pork sandwiches.
Heather Anderson gave a short presentation about Farm-to-Table and explained the difficulty in finding markets for the locally grown food. She discussed how consumers could influence local farmers, grocery stores and restaurants and how environmental activism can be as old school as knowing the farmer that grew your food. Anderson also has a goal of growing food that can be donated to local charities.
The environmental impact of the program can also be a benefit as generally the movement is to mimic what nature does. The amount of chemicals used in the growing process can provide an environmental concern, and Farm-to-Table is more environmentally friendly especially when it comes to the footprint created through shipping food. “All of the fuel and resource cost that goes into shipping food a long distance is a huge part of it,” said Nelson. “Eat what is locally grown and locally natural. For example substitute wild rice, which is abundant in Minnesota, for quinoa which is not grown in the United States.”
According to Nelson, the Farm-to-Table movement in Grand Forks is still in the grassroots stage. During the summer months the Farmers Market is held in downtown Grand Forks providing opportunities for citizens to get local products. A few local restaurants and businesses also make an effort to use local sources.
“With Farm-to-Table, it is a matter of taking control of our own food. We have lost the ability to control our own diet and lost the ability to control what we are putting into ourselves, said Nelson.
At the tasting event, ELS collected a good will donation from those interested in trying the food with proceeds supporting the ELS initiative to Green the Grounds of the Law School.