I know what you’re thinking – academic theme? We have one of those? Why should I care?

Great news: UNC’s newest academic theme involves something we here at Spoon are especially passionate about: food!

For the 2015-2017 school years, UNC Chapel Hill has chosen “Food for All: Local and Global Perspectives” as its campus-wide academic theme. The goal of this initiative is to motivate conversation and research about a variety of food-related topics ranging from issues of food security to sustainable development to food culture in the American South. So, how can you get involved?

1. Volunteer with TABLE

UNC academic theme

Photo courtesy of tablenc.org

TABLE is a local nonprofit providing nutritious food to underserved children in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities. Located right down the street in Carrboro, TABLE seeks volunteers to assist with bagging food, delivering food, and working special events. You can also host a food drive or donate funds to TABLE directly.

2. Take a Food Studies Course

UNC academic theme

Photo courtesy of uncnri.org

Looking to fulfill a few more general education requirements? Need to pick up another elective next semester? Check out some of the awesome courses UNC offers that are all related to food. Food studies at UNC is interdisciplinary, with courses in numerous departments. Here are some of the food studies courses that will be offered in Spring 2016!

  • Geography 232 – Agriculture-Food-Society
  • Nutrition 245 – Sustainable Local Food Systems
  • Public Policy 475 – Political Economy of Food
  • Anthropology 151 – Food and Culture

3. Buy fresh produce from the Sonder Market.

UNC academic theme

Photo courtesy of thesondermarket.com/wp/

Has the thought of waking up early on a Saturday been keeping you from the farmers market? Are you craving fresh fruit to snack on? Is the grocery store just too far away? The Sonder Market is a student-run nonprofit cooperative that brings healthy, fresh, local produce right to the UNC campus! Be on the lookout for one of their upcoming farmers markets in the Pit.

4. Reduce food waste & get creative in the dining hall

UNC academic theme

Photo courtesy of @CDSatUNC

The next time you’re eating at Rams Head or Top of Lenoir, be on the lookout for a green “S” symbol on the menu – this indicates that option is sustainable. Carolina Dining Services offers meatless Mondays, grass-fed beef, organic yogurt, humane chicken and cage-free eggs. While enjoying your sustainable meal, be sure to utilize reusable to-go containers and only take the amount of food you will eat.

5. Attend an upcoming event.

As part of this ongoing academic theme, UNC sponsors events that often feature a special guest speaker or activity related to food studies. Not only are these events free and educational, but they also often include food (my personal favorite). Check out the events coming up this fall.