by Jamie Arron, President
The first time I trekked down from rez to the old Farmers Market, I was moved by the spirit of pride and community that seemed to exist around food in Halifax. Since that time, I’ve been to enough potlucks to know just how important food and its politics are to this city.
Just last week, I read an article that said Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada to have an increased number of farms and farmers. It’s clear that a part of what attracts so many come-from-aways to this province is a desire get “back to the land”. Whether it is the number of students who make the weekly journey to the Seaport every Saturday or the Loaded Ladle serving delights every Tuesday, Dalhousians desire a connection to their food.
I’m happy to say that the DSU has jumped on the foodie bandwagon. If you haven’t heard about it already, you’ll be able to see what’s up our sleeve in September. DSU has recently made the bold leap to revamp food services in the Student Union Building. These exciting changes come after over a year and a half of student consultations, surveys, and even a few sit-ins. We aren’t quite ready to tell you all the specifics, but let’s just say our venture will take local, fresh, and health-wise to a level that this campus hasn’t seen.
With all that in mind, today and tomorrow I’m holed up in a classroom at Ryerson University, alongside 8 other students from across the country, and we’re drafting up a National Student Food Charter (building from the feedback from over 25 consultations hosted by Meal Exchange and the Sierra Youth Coalition this past winter at campuses across Canada). Dalhousie has a real opportunity to become a leader for other campuses.
The new food options in the SUB are only the beginning. Some of the other things that’ll get Dal’s foodies excited:
-In breaking news, I’ve learned (today) that the DSU will also be one of five new unions that will receive funding for a three year research and coalition-building project about our campus’ food systems as part of an ambitious national initiative
-The merger with the NS Agricultural College opens up the doors to integrate the art, science, and politics of food into our curriculum
-September will see the launch of our new student-run garden (next to the Computer Science building). We are looking for cool ways to integrate the food produced here into the food served at the SUB. Forget the 100 mile diet; this is the 100 meter diet!
-And of course we are excited to continue working with the passionate folks involved with the Loaded Ladle as they continue to increase their number of servings, student reach, and volunteer capacity!
Whoop whoop, exciting times! Hope you’re hungry for change.
Photo Credit: Halifax Market, ©The Coast