Students, Faculty Find Food Truths Together

A new organization, The Food Fight, has joined UT Arlington’s diverse collection of student societies.

Created by Senior Lecturer Joanna Johnson (English), one of the group’s faculty advisors, The Food Fight hopes to create a healthy attitude and awareness of food among UT Arlington students. The objectives of The Food Fight include creating an “Eat Healthy” initiative among students and faculty, as well as raising consciousness concerning issues surrounding food and politics.

Run by President Truitt Ammons, and advised by Johnson and Professor Tim Morris (English), The Food Fight looks at various issues. Johnson said “everyone is associated with the global issues of food,” including buying and eating certain produce that encourages a specific section of the market.

The constitution for The Food Fight states that it shall enlighten individuals on “how to balance affordability and time constraints with nutrition and social responsibility.” One way the group achieves this is through its cooking nights: The Food Fight works with residential advisors in on-campus housing to teach students cooking basics.  Johnson hopes at some point to have a kitchen dedicated to food education.

Johnson sees The Food Fight as an important opportunity to gain life skills. Eating well is a central aspect of modern life, she said, the effects of which should not be underestimated.

“There’s a real dependency on fast food, as well as a fear about taking those first steps and even sacrificing your free time,” Johnson said. “That’s really what we’ve been doing with those cooking events. We broke down that boundary of fear and you could see their confidence grow.”

Organizers hope to include conversations with local restaurateurs and local producers. Field trips may also be a possibility as a fun and interesting means to reveal some masked truths behind the food industry, they said.

Johnson said a major influence on the group’s creation came from the documentary film “Food, Inc.” The short film, directed by Robert Kenner, looks at the current state of U.S. food markets, and hones in on ways to change the unhealthy food attitudes. According to the film, nearly 70 percent of illnesses in the United States are due to diet. Additionally, a third of Americans born after 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes; this number jumps to nearly 50 percent among ethnic minorities.

The next meeting of The Food Fight will be next semester.

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(By Charlotte Whiteley, COLA Communications Intern)

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