Food Day feeds UAF students

Claire-Elise Baalke/Sun Star Reporter
October 23, 2012

The judges at the Iron Chef Cookoff held at the Wood Center during the 2nd annual Food Day event take notes of how good the food was. October 17, 2012. David Spindler/Sun Star

“It’s time to eat real, Alaska” was the theme of this year’s Food Day. National Food Day occurs about two weeks before election day every year, which is right on time for candidates to debate on improving health in America. Food Day’s mission is to forward the movement of healthier, more affordable and sustainable foods.

The diet of most Americans nowadays consists of salty, fatty and high-calorie sugary foods that contribute to the ever increasing premature deaths from heart attack, stroke, diabetes and cancer every year. Food day is meant to help encourage a transformation in America’s diet. At UAF, this event took place inside the Wood center Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This nationwide celebration can be enjoyed by everyone. The gathering at UAF exhibited tables provided by many local organizations and businesses including Alaska Grown, Johnson Family Farm, Stone Soup Cafe and UAF Anthropology Society.

“It’s really great to know everything is locally grown,” said Hilary Prescan, a graduate student in natural resource management.

The event started at 11 am with an iron chef cook-off called the Surf & Turf challenge where contestants had to make an entree from local ingredients within the time limit of 30 minutes. One team made a dish with halibut and the other with reindeer. After much deliberation the judges, whom were members of the Midnight Sun Chefs Association, declared the winners to be team halibut.

At 11:30 a.m. free food was available for students and staff to eat. The locally grown food was called the “Taste of Alaska.” UAF journalism student Eran Eads, said that the food was amazing.

Food Jeopardy started at noon, the competition was a knowledge-based battle between graduate students and professors on food, nutrition, fisheries and agriculture. The grad students won by 100 points at 10500.

Eads said that it means a great deal to him that UAF is taking time to show students what’s available. Food Day is a great way to get students attention on issues such as hunger, nutrition, food policy and farmworker justice. UAF students were very representative at this event displaying and encapsulating UAF’s opinions of Food day issues at their many booths.

“There’s a chance to get locally grown food, 20% of locally grown food, here at UAF by 2020. It’s such a great opportunity,” Eads said. At UAF’s Anthropology Society booth there was a petition, with pages filled, available for students and staff to sign for the forwarding of this initiative here on campus.

According to, “It’s time to get real about food.”


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