Tuesday, 02 September 2014, 1:49 am

Vegetarian challenge for Niagara College students

By CATHY McCABE
Staff Writer
The sustainability committee has declared January food month and is challenging students to try vegetarianism.
The committee is asking students to try being a vegetarian for a month, a week or even just one meal.
Gina Pannunzio, the sustainability engagement assistant, says she would like participants to write a reflection piece about what your diet was like before, how is it different and whether they will continue being vegetarian. She says students could also document their meals, including taking photos and sending them to the committee to show their progression.
Pannunzio says there are prizes for students who participate in the challenge.
Taryn Wilkinson, the sustainability co-ordinator, says the purpose of this challenge is for students to think about where their food comes from. She says, “When we live in Niagara, which is such a food abundant area where so much of Canada’s and Ontario’s food comes from, we should consider buying local produce.”
Pannunzio says we don’t know where a lot of our packaged or processed food comes from.
“We can see the nutritional information, but we don’t know where it was grown or was raised.”
She says some people might not understand the social and economic implication that goes with food choice.
“If [food] being distributed all over North America or from other countries, we have to factor in is it really worth it to buy [for example] an apple from South Africa when Canada produces apples from our own local orchards?”
The Foodland Ontario website has an availability guide that lists which months different foods are in season.
Apples, beets, cabbage, mushrooms and potatoes are some of the foods from Ontario available in January.
Pannunzio says, “I thought vegetarian would be a good choice [for the challenge] because it’s not complicated, it is challenging enough for someone who is used to integrating meat into their diet on a daily basis.”
She says she thinks people who believe vegetarian food is boring will be surprised at the variety of food you can choose from. “There are so many ways to incorporate different vegetables, different combinations, different spices; you can be creative.”
For more information or to join the challenge, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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