Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Big Red Eats Green foods festival will connect students to area network of growers, chefs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 6, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Local foods, the people who produce them and the groups that support local food systems -- including some of Bloomington's most popular chefs -- will gather next Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 14) at Indiana University's Dunn Meadow for Big Red Eats Green, a festival with the focus on consumers and why people should care about where their food comes from.
Sponsored by IU, Indiana Memorial Union, the IU Office of Sustainability and Slow Food Bloomington, Big Red Eats Green will celebrate the local foods movement from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. at Dunn Meadow with products from area growers, prepared foods by local chefs, and a farmer's market.
Christine Barbour, a senior lecturer in IU's Department of Political Science who is also co-director of Slow Food Bloomington and co-chair of the Office of Sustainability's Food Working Group, said it's difficult to argue against supporting local food systems.
"Big Red Eats Green gives us all the chance to stop and think about where our food comes from, and why it matters," she said. "Food that is produced locally is usually better for our bodies, better for our economy and better for our taste buds. That's an underappreciated aspect of the local food movement: food that is fresh, that hasn't been bred to withstand long days of transport, that comes straight to us from the people who raised it just plain tastes better."
A wide range of food from area restaurants will be available for purchase, with dishes priced at $1, $2 and $3 each. Participating businesses include BLU Boy Chocolate Café and Cakery, Bloomingfoods Market and Deli, Dunn Meadow Café, Feast, Finch's Brasserie, Happy Pig, Laughing Planet, Lennie's, Nick's English Hut, Pizza X, Restaurant Tallent, Soma Coffee House and Upland Brewing Company. All of the restaurants support local farms and food producers and will be centering their dishes on in-season, locally-grown ingredients.
Farmers and food producers from the surrounding area, some of which have produced the products being used by the chefs, will also be on hand to conduct a scaled-down farmer's market where visitors can shop and purchase take-home items.
"The festival will give students the opportunity to engage these local growers, allow them to ask about how they raise their food products, and hopefully, in the process learn about concepts like 'organic,' 'grass-fed,' 'permaculture,' 'pasture rotation' and 'sustainability,'" said event organizer Sara Minard, a graduate student in the IU Department of Anthropology's Food Studies Program.
The event is also being focused as a "low-waste" event, with visitors encouraged to bring their own refillable drinking cups and bottles and their own utensils. Food waste will be composted at the Bloomington-area Loesch Farm and leftover food products will be donated to Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
A number of campus and community groups with concerns and interests tied to local food production will also be on hand, including the Bloomington Food Policy Council, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, IU Food Studies, IU Office of Sustainability, Local Growers Guild and Slow Food IU.
Discount coupons from participating businesses will be distributed throughout the course of the festival and live musical entertainment will add to the ambience.