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Video round-up: food culture and research on campus

By NATALIE SAMSON | March 25, 2015

If there’s one thing “The campus food revolution,” the cover story from UA’s April issue, makes clear, it’s that food is an important part of a campus’s culture. At many universities across Canada, food has become an extension of the institution’s values and priorities — and we’re seeing it not just in food services, but in the growing number of food-related research projects, too.

Dal’s field trip
Dalhousie University’s senior food services staff visits Basinview Farms in Canning, Nova Scotia, which provides produce to the university’s dining services.

McGill’s record-breaking brownie
At the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, housing and hospitality staff at McGill University baked the world’s largest fair trade brownie to celebrate the school’s official designation as a fair trade campus.

UBC sits down to a family meal
In September, about 750 people from the UBC community shared a meal along the university’s Main Mall. The Harvest Feast sprung up as an opportunity to grow personal connections and to recognize the university’s sustainability projects.

No sour grapes here
Homecoming at Brock University wouldn’t be complete without the annual Grape Stomp. Hundreds of students, staff, faculty and members from the local community get together as a group to stomp, slide, squish, and toss tonnes of grapes. The messy tradition is also a nod to the Niagara Wine Festival, which happens in the same week as homecoming.

From farm to cafeteria table at U of G
Behind the scenes at the University of Guelph’s 100-mile philosophy.

Research

Researching the future of food
This episode of McGill’s Researching the Future series highlights the work of three of the institution’s food researchers: Mark Lefsrud’s Urban Barns, a cubic farming technique that allows produce to be grown in a controlled environment, without pesticides or herbicides; a team of scientists investigating how a potato extract may limit weight gain from a diet that is high in fat and refined carbohydrates; Salwa Karboune’s process for making natural sweeteners, like maple syrup, healthier; and David Buckeridge, who has turned to grocery store data for help in encouraging Canadians to make better dietary choices in order to decrease the rate of chronic disease.

Healthy soil for a healthy world
Gerald Ross is a former adjunct professor at the University of Calgary and a trained sedimentologist who worked with the Geological Survey of Canada, the Alberta Basement Lithoprobe program, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the Windermere Consortium. He and his wife Janet Simpson now run Kupa’a Farms in Maui, where they grow organic vegetables, fruits and coffee. Dr. Ross delivered the 2014 Gerhard Herzberg Lecture at Carleton University. In his talk, “More Food, Smaller Footprint: Earth System Science and Biological Agriculture,” Dr. Ross explains the benefits to blending the cross-disciplinary, holistic philosophy of Earth system science with agricultural practices to achieve a healthy soil ecosystem. (This talk runs approximately 56 minutes.)

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