North Texas Daily

Denton celebrates second annual Food Day

Denton celebrates second annual Food Day

Denton celebrates second annual Food Day
October 24
09:10 2013

Andrew Freeman / Staff Writer

With collaboration between UNT Dining Services, Sustainability, Libraries and the University Program Council, UNT is hosting its second annual Food Day today, and unlike last year, it will be an all-day event.

With events lined up from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., there will be plenty of activities across campus for students to participate in.

“Last year was a baby step, but this year is a giant jump into the Grand Canyon,” said Ken Botts, special projects manager for Dining Services . “What Food Day is all about is a national celebration of healthy, sustainable food.”

Food Day begins with a lunch at Kerr Cafeteria, with a menu built by Executive Chef Patrick Stark from the Sundown at Granada restaurant in Dallas. Stark also recently appeared on the Food Network Show “Cutthroat Kitchen.”

The buffet-style lunch will cost $6.95 per person.

“Patrick Stark embodies the message of Food Day,” Botts said. “In his restaurant, they use only organic foods, and most of that is grown right behind their restaurant.”

UNT Food Day event was held in the library mall on Thursday afternoon. The event  focused on showcasing affordable, sustainable and healthy foods. Photo by Sarah Kasprzyk / Contributing Photographer

UNT Food Day event was held in the library mall on Thursday afternoon. The event focused on showcasing affordable, sustainable and healthy foods. Photo by Sarah Kasprzyk / Contributing Photographer

Stark’s menu will include a vegan dish called the “Sundown Bowl,” pizza, roasted spaghetti squash and an herb-roasted red potato along with a dessert of vanilla ice cream with cherries and chocolate with a Cherry Kirsch flambé.

Stark also is in charge of his own philanthropy, Mohawk Militia, which has a goal to provide fresh foods to places that don’t have access to them. Such locations are dubbed “food deserts,” Botts said.

A pumpkin pie contest will begin at noon, where three guest judges will taste pies from all around the metroplex.

“Everything we do, I look at and hope the students have a good time with,” Botts said. “It’s all about the students, after all. Without them, we don’t have jobs.”

There will be a local farmer’s market and sustainability fair at the library mall from noon to 3 p.m., where Stark will also be debuting his new band, Amusé, at 1:30 p.m. Botts said the band will use recycled kitchen equipment for percussion during its performance.

Natural Grocer Nutritional Health Coach, Selena Smith, will host a viewing of the film “Future of Food,” followed by a Q&A in Chilton Hall room 111 from 3 to 5 p.m.

“My hope is that people realize that if they don’t like the direction we are going, that they can do something about it by what they choose to purchase,” Smith said. “I am excited for Food Day. I’ve never been, so I don’t know what to expect, but I am very excited.”

Smith said she hopes to create dialogue about genetically modified foods and the ill effects of mono-cultured crops – a single crop grown in one field.

The event will conclude with three speakers discussing various food-related topics at 6 p.m. in Willis Library.

“I am happy to speak,” said Stevens Brumbley, associate biology professor and guest lecturer at the event. “I think people need to be more aware of how their food is produced and what technology is used and why they are used.”

Brumbley has been doing plant genetic modification for 30 years now.

“I want students to walk away with an understanding that genetic modification is one tool of an arsenal of tools to get plants to grow and perform in the field,” Brumbley said. “I guess you can use this analogy in the argument for genetic modification – if you want to write with a quill, that’s fine. But computers are quicker.”

The mayor made a proclamation officially making Oct. 24 Food Day in Denton County.

“What evolved was all of us working together with one goal and one message that will positively impact our students,” Botts said. “We created an event that would be food-focused and entertaining, and engaging all at the same time, and this event really does cover those three things.”

Botts said he stresses the importance of awareness for events like this.

“I think the takeaway will be the message that we can affect change not just on our campus, but on the way we consume food,” Botts said. “In our lives, we tend to eat over-processed foods, but what we stand for at UNT is healthy, sustainable food. Food carries into how you live your life daily, and that’s important.”

Basket of white cap mushrooms and other types of mushrooms. The Food Day event was held in the library mall Thursday afternoon. Feature photo by Sarah Kasprzyk / Contributing Photographer

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