COLUMBIA — MU students got to enjoy local produce and learn about the food system at the Fair Food Fair held in Memorial Union's Bengal Lair on Monday.
The MU Sustainability Office celebrated the university's first national Food Day by holding the fair to raise awareness about healthy, affordable and sustainable food in America. The MU Wellness Resource Center also shared fliers with recipes and health tips.
Rick Boudreau, owner and founder of Missouri Food 4 Missouri People, had fresh eggs, apples, squash and homemade brownies at his site. He said choosing locally grown food not only ensures better quality, but also sustains the local economy.
Boudreau's company puts stickers on produce boxes that include the date the food was picked and a farmer's ID in order to trace the produce if anything is wrong with it.
Heidi Williams from the Wellness Resource Center gave a dietitian's perspective on choosing locally grown food. She said processed food, which is often transported over long distances, does not have time to develop all the nutrients.
"So when you buy fresh local food, you're actually getting more nutrients," Williams said.
Eric Cartwright, executive chef of MU's Campus Dining Services, served free range, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef from Legacy Beef at the event. He wanted MU students who frequent the dining halls to know where their meat comes from.
Campus Dining Services has purchased 17,000 pounds of Legacy Beef since 2010.
Another part of the Food Day celebration is a screening of the documentary "FRESH," which explains the process of where food comes from. The event will be held at 7 p.m. in Conservation Auditorium in Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building.
Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion with MU professor John Ikerd, who is featured in the documentary, Tim Gibbons from the Missouri Rural Crisis Center and Jake Davis, owner of the Root Celler.