Saturday, September 14, 2013

KUUF to host "Eating Green" potluck and forum on growing and eating local food Sept. 15

HOUGHTON -- The Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will host a potluck and forum, "Eating Green," from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. TOMORROW, Sunday, Sept. 15, at BHK Center Conference Room (1 block off M-26 -- turn at Hilltop Restaurant) in west Houghton. The presenters will be Barb Hardy, Western UP Food Hub, and Mark Pittillo, Portage Health Nutritional Services Director.

This forum will focus on the topic of growing and eating local foods and why we should care about our food sources. Learn about the goals of the Western UP Food Hub from Barb Hardy. Mark Piettillo will describe Portage Health's project with the Hancock schools and provide some ideas for how you can prepare your food once you've grown or bought "local."

The forum will be followed by a potluck meal of locally grown foods. (Please bring a card with the name of your dish and a list of locally grown ingredients in the dish.)

For hundreds of years gardens have been an American tradition. They provided people with sustenance and a more reliable means of survival than hunting or fishing. They often engaged all of the family members -- from working the soil in the spring to planting, weeding, and -- ultimately -- the fall harvest. The meals shared with others from the fruits of their labors helped to foster a sense of community. As we became more urbanized, and frozen and canned produce became plentiful, gardens were left behind, until "victory gardens" sprang up in response to the shortages of WW II. Gardens again provided a sense of community and a way to provide for families. Today, with concerns of food contamination by pesticides -- and the large environmental footprint of foods that travel sometimes thousands of miles across the country or around the world before arriving at our tables -- gardens have again become a popular activity. Gardens can be found not only in rural areas, but in many urban areas where community gardens, backyard gardens, window gardens, and rooftop gardens have increased in popularity.

Along with the desire to know where our food comes from, there is a growing awareness that diets which primarily depend upon plants are healthier and use less energy. Americans can save fossil fuels and make more plant protein available for human consumption by simply reducing the number of meals they eat containing meat.

With all of this in mind, the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship would like to encourage "growing our own" and sharing meals together. In that spirit, we have invited these two guest speakers and will host a congregational potluck made from local foods from individual and community gardens.

This event is open to all.

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