Centre College’s Student Government Association has recently begun a campus-wide informational campaign on local foods.

The idea for the campaign arose after students completed the organization’s fall survey, in which 60 percent of students reported that they preferred to eat local foods if the option was made available to them.

“This means that over 30 percent of students were indifferent about local foods, so the campaign is aimed at putting local foods on their radar,” senior and SGA’s dining services committee chair Evan Baylor said.

The campaign consists of both physical and online messaging from the dining services committee on the benefits of local foods. To Baylor and his team, one of these benefits is the overall health-conscience quality of the food.

“The food is, simply put, better,” Baylor said. “It tastes better, it looks better, and it’s just all around better for you.”

Another benefit, he explained, was those for local economies.

“When you support a local farmer, you’re keeping money within your community and building connections with people,” Baylor said. “If you’re concerned about your food’s quality and where it comes from, the easiest way to have sound peace of mind is to know your farmer and know where the food comes from.”

One of the local foods campaign posters, designed by senior Elle Enander.

One of the local foods campaign posters, designed by senior Elle Enander.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of consuming local foods, however, comes in its contributions to sustainability efforts. As larger industrial agricultural organizations are often the biggest contributors to water pollution, Baylor pointed out that local farmers often take better care of their foods.

“You’ll find, more often than not, local farmers are more conscious of the farm because it’s their land,” he said. “It’s important to them that the land be fertile and producing for generations.”

In a world where shopping for healthy and local foods is “a game of words and labels in the grocery store,” Baylor and his committee aim to make these foods more readily available on campus.

“Our long-term goal is to put something real into place, like an SGA resolution, that gives the administration a sense that this is something students care about,” he said. “We want to change the way we do food on campus.”

Check out SGA’s Facebook page to see more of their local foods campaign, and contact your SGA representatives about local foods by texting (859) 404-9742.

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