Life + Arts

LIVING GREEN: Organic food encourages healthy lifestyle

Going green can be applied to many aspects of daily life.

Some define ‘going green personally’ as living healthier lives. A healthy diet with fresh produce can contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.

Students who want to learn more about fresh produce for healthy eating do not have to go far. The Cougar Community Garden serves as a living classroom and highlights the food growth cycle from planting to harvest. The garden was re-commissioned Oct. 1 in Lynn Eusan Park.

‘Part of the idea is to bring awareness about where our food comes from,’ Community Garden Coordinator Leah Wolfthal said.

Wolfthal said students can learn hands-on that growing produce does not have to take place on a large scale and can be done locally.

Students will have the opportunity to study many aspects of the garden, including the make-up of soil. This on-campus living classroom helps raise awareness of healthy eating and starts a discussion about incorporating green principles into daily eating habits.

Many support the idea that fresh vegetables are key ingredients to a healthier diet.
Executive chef Brent Gorman generally defines ‘organic’ as not using pesticides or growth hormones. This extra care can increase the product’s price, which may eventually hinder a shopper’s purchase.

The price bump also applies to dining facilities. The cost of ingredients usually increases when a recipe calls for organic vegetables. It is likely that the price increase will be passed on to the consumer, though some feel the price of organic food will decrease eventually.

Gorman said growers are in the beginning stages of making organic food affordable for everyone. He is trying to incorporate organic products into the UH dining experience when possible.

Intentionally adding bug-attracting plants is a new garden technique that attempts to keep produce for human consumption bug-free.

There are plans to include some of these plants in a section of the Cougar Community Garden. This and other techniques may help bring the price of organic food down.
Students on a budget can still eat healthy,whether food is organic or not.

Gorman suggests talking to your local growers to see what is in season because this is when items are most flavorful and found at the lowest price. It is easier to ask growers about their product when meeting in person.

Discovery Green hosts a weekly Green Market that sells the ‘freshest organic produce and farm products,’ according to the Discovery Green Web site.

Students who have not started growing or cooking their own in-season, organic vegetables can head to a UH dining hall.

A full, fresh salad bar is located in each dining hall, and at least one vegetarian option is available at each food serving station. An entirely vegetarian station is located in Moody Towers.

UH Dining Services is interested in hearing students’ opinions and encourages involvement. ‘Dine with the Director’ took place Wednesday, and UH Dining Services Green Day is Thursday.

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