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Social soup

Lecture series explores economic and environmental issues surrounding food, while audience enjoys freshly made vegetarian soup.

Sometimes with the university’s ebb and flow of students matriculating and graduating, student-initiated programs can lose momentum or can even disappear. The Social Soup Lecture Series was about to be one of those programs, until a small, dedicated group of students, faculty and staff banded together to continue this event for the community.

The Social Soup Series features distinctive speakers who reflect on local and national social, economic and environmental issues surrounding food. People from all over campus and the community come together to increase awareness, build knowledge and have conversations over a delicious, vegetarian bowl of soup.

“Food is so much more than nutrients, calories or a commodity,” said Adrienne Cachelin, director of sustainability education, food justice advocate on campus and co-leader of the food studies group. “Food is a critical part of identity, and a meal is a set of social and ecological relationships that may hold the key to revitalizing our communities and ourselves. Social Soup is an excellent way for us to celebrate the importance of food and food itself.”

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Anim Steel

The next Social Soup lecture will be on Nov. 11, in the Gould Auditorium in the Marriott Library. The rejuvenated lecture series kicks off with special guest, Anim Steel, who is passionate about building a better food system. He was instrumental in creating the Real Food Challenge that will bring local, sustainable and fair food to universities nationwide by 2020. President David Pershing signed the Real Food Challenge for the U in February 2015. Through the Real Food Challenge, Steel is helping to create a movement changing how campuses across America understand and access food.

“The importance of Social Soup cannot be understated; it is a unique opportunity for the community to gather and to listen to people working on the frontline of food sustainability and security,” said Carlos Alarco, instructional designer for Teaching & Learning Technologies, and Social Soup committee member. “It is imperative that this dialog continue so that more people can become involved in efforts to improve food quality and production.”

This year’s Social Soup planning committee includes members from the Sustainability Office, College of Social Work, College of Social & Behavioral Science, College of Health, the Global Change and Sustainability Center and Chief Wellness Officer Robin Marcus.

Social Soup
: Anim Steel, “Real Food, Real Change: Developing A Vision for Sustainable Food Justice”
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015
Time: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Location: Gould Auditorium, Marriott Library
RSVP: with subject line: Social Soup
Cost: Free
Value: priceless

The next Social Soup lecture will be held in spring 2016.