As I reflect on my days at university, I remember lots of late nights, group assignments and painfully long lectures. This is not to say that my entire experience was dreadful. On the contrary, I had many wonderful academic experiences with truly inspiring professors and classmates. But every now and then, the university experience rears its ugly head in an effort to dim the good experiences and opportunities that present themselves.
Whether or not you are a student, this is not meant to discourage you, but as a reminder that there is always something you can do to improve your life and that of others, even amidst life’s gloominess. I can’t help but think how much more enjoyable stressful university days could have been had I put more energy into supporting something positive—like local food!
This is exactly what Mary Koziol, president of the McMaster Student Union (MSU), did last summer in partnership with Local Food Plus (LFP). Fueled by encouragement from students and her passion for local food, Koziol decided to make it a part of her campaign. A mini farmer’s market was established on the McMaster campus last August. Local farms that participated included Simpler Thyme in Flamborough, Two Century Farm in Grimsby, and Busy Liz’s Farm Shop in Campbellville.
When I think of most university campuses, I certainly don’t associate them with fresh, local food or farmers’ markets. As a student, getting locally-grown, fresh produce always seemed like a formidable task, because the big grocers like No Frills and Price Choppers didn’t carry ample locally-grown produce but they were in closest proximity to where I lived. Wouldn’t you like to be part of a movement that supports access to fresh, local food on university campuses, making it convenient to shop for healthy produce? If you are a student, this could be one of the positive things to help ease stressful days, and the benefits are endless. This will not only support local farmers, but students and staff will have easy access to healthy food that nourishes and re-fuels their bodies for those long nights and lecture marathons.
Help take the stress out of eating healthy and support local food!
To find out more about McMaster’s local food initiative and Local Food Plus, visit