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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Big Red Eats Green Gives Students A Taste Of Local Food

Tastes prepared by local chefs will be available for $1, $2 and $3, and students can buy vegetables and meet area food producers at the mini-farmers market.

green meadow with trees and blue, cloudy sky

Photo: beenit (Flickr)

Dunn Meadow is located at the intersection of Indiana Avenue and 7th Street on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington. On September 14, the meadow will be packed with chefs and farmers offering samples of local food for purchase.

What A Student Wants

Restaurants, farmers and area food organizations will be coming together to give Indiana University students a snap-shot of what Bloomington’s local food scene is all about.

At Big Red Eats Green, visitors will have the opportunity to purchase tastes for $1, $2 and $3 from area restaurants that focus on local and seasonal eating, all of which are within walking distance of the festival’s location, Dunn Meadow. There will also be a mini-farmers market where students can purchase vegetables, and organizations like the Hoosier Hills Food Bank and Slow Food IU will hand out information.

“The intention is really to make this an educational space for the students in a way that’s easy to digest, pun totally intended,” says Sara Minard, student intern with the IU Office of Sustainability.

It’s Worth The Expense

A primary argument against the local food movement is that it is prohibitively expensive — a point that could be especially relevant to college students.

According to the co-chair of the IU Office of Sustainability’s Food Working Group Christine Barbour, this is indeed an expensive way to eat, “especially if you belong to a culture that says spend as little on our food as we can: cheap food is good.”

Her argument in favor of local eating is that spending more on healthful food now would actually save us more money in the long run.

Minard’s argument is that dollar value is an arbitrary way to determine cost and value. “What is the cost or value of supporting somebody’s business in your own community if it means their tax dollars are re-incorporated into your tax base, and as a student, more money is afforded to you or you get new computers?”

She adds that students could rethink what they spend their money on and prioritize a hunk of local cheese over another new t-shirt.

Get ‘Em While They’re Green

Organizers are especially eager to attract first and second year students to introduce them to local food options early on in their time in Bloomington. Remembering her undergraduate years in Madison, Wisconsin, if she could have had a one-stop-shop experience like this, Minard imagines it would have changed her eating outlook during her subsequent years in town.

“If it means 20 students go to the farmers market six months earlier than they would have,” she says, “I consider that a total success.”

Event Information

  • What: Local food tasting, mini-farmers market and informational event
  • When: Wednesday, September 14 from 3:00 to 6:00pm
  • Where: Dunn Meadow (Indiana University)
  • How Much: $1, $2, and $3 tastes; vegetables available for purchase from market vendors
  • Who: Participating restaurants include Bloomingfoods, BLU Boy Chocolate Café & Cakery, 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 Brewery; participating food organizations include Bloomington Food Policy Council, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, IU Food Studies, IU Office of Sustainability, Local Growers Guild and Slow Food IU
  • What Else: Rain location is Alumni Hall at the Indiana University Memorial Union
Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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