NC State Dining Promotes Sustainability and Local Food at Annual Earth Fair
On the brisk morning of April 11, 2018, dozens of local vendors began setting up their booths on the NC State Brickyard, preparing for an earth-loving celebration. Every year in April, the NC State Sustainability Office hosts Earth Fair, an outdoor, “earth-focused” event that features sustainable ideas, hands-on demonstrations, and captivating exhibits for attendees to observe, learn, and participate in. Interactive and educational vendors were seen sprinkled throughout the Brickyard, as well as campus partners and local businesses.
NC State Dining invited interested students to sample edible-flower chocolate bark and a sunflower-kale pesto with pita chips. The two-ingredient chocolate bark was a huge hit, and with three different flavors (semi-sweet, dark, and white chocolate) students were able to choose their favorite and provide instant, positive feedback. Many attendees of Earth Fair did not realize that dozens of flowers are edible and many excitedly took photographs of the edible flower poster displayed next to the tent. The nut-free sunflower-kale pesto featured freshly picked kale from NC State’s own Agroecology Farm and allowed students with nut restrictions to try the savory dish. To avoid unnecessary waste, in lieu of recipe cards, students had the opportunity to take pictures of the recipes to cook later.
Undergraduate Dining Diplomats staffed the table and engaged attendees, students, and staff with an interactive wheel game. Participants spun the wheel and answered sustainability trivia questions for a chance to win t-shirts and reusable silverware. The four-hour event successfully showcased Dining’s commitment to “Go Further with Food” by featuring fun additions and alternatives to classic treats (who knew that adding edible flowers into the chocolate bark and substituting sunflower seeds for pine nuts would be such a hit).