Sustainable Food Supplies

Team Mentor:

Dr. Beth Kunkel, Professor
Dept. Food Science and Human Nutrition

Objective:

  • Identify factors affecting availability of nutritionally appropriate food and its potential impact on health for a target population and use a research tool to study this impact and ways to administer it.

The sustainable food systems team has focused their efforts on the sustainability of local food sources, recipes and community involvement in gathering recipes for a seasonal cookbook called, “Simply South Carolina.”  In an effort to support the natural cycles of growth and prevent soil depletion as well as protect over consumption of precious resources, sustainable production of food by the farmer and education of the consumer in buying local and seasonal products presents a dual responsibility and the opportunity of continual community development.  The cookbook introduces the reader not only to the variety of foods grown and produced in South Carolina but also includes a guide to seasonal recipes based on supporting local farmers and making responsible food choices.  The group has sourced recipes from community members to provide an authentic approach to community involvement and realistic food plans.  The creative inquiry team has focused on gathering information from charts of seasonal fruits and vegetables, researched peak seafood seasons and sources, and gathered information on local farmers and farmers markets.  During spring 2009, the major focus has been on recipes that represent spring food groupings.  The goal of this project is to support and educate the community about sustainability and greater involvement from the farm to the plate.

The Sustainable Food Systems CI team is creating a seasonal cookbook based on SC grown foods for use by the public. Our cookbook will include definitions of cooking terms, photos, food groups represented and levels of difficulty for each recipe. Recipes were provided by family and friends and by modifying published recipes to fit our criteria. Currently, we are finishing the Spring cookbook and finding recipes for Fall and Winter.
During the fall, we refined formatting to ensure readability, established evaluation tools for level of difficulty, analyzed nutrients, assigned food groups, and prepared and photographed most of the spring recipes.  Weekly activities this spring have included determining what is in season, finding and refining recipes for fall and winter, and testing and taking photos of remaining dishes for spring. Our goal for this cookbook is to offer three sections--Spring, Winter and Fall, and Summer—for sale to the community.