Elon University’s truitt center provides opportunity to discuss importance of food choices

By Kellye Coleman

Members of the Elon community gathered in the Truitt Center’s Oasis Room on Tuesday to discuss “Food Matters,” a documentary that boasts the benefits of raw food and its ability to heal sicknesses, and share their views on the spiritual connection one has with his or her food.

Senior Julie Smith, faith and integrity intern in the Truitt Center and event organizer, selected the documentary because of its timeliness.

“I knew that I wanted to do a social issue-type thing that I was interested in,” she said. “I wanted to talk about it, because I know that as a college student I don’t really think about what I put in my body.”

Senior Julie Smith discusses why she selected to screen “Food Matters:”

Students sat on the couches and munched on the cucumbers and hummus provided, listening as scholars discussed the harm that chemicals in soil can have, the benefits of a raw diet, and the misconception that some have that vitamins can be harmful for bodies.

The video also highlighted the rise in cardiovascular disease and the connection diet has to the issue. Some asserted that simply changing what he or she eats, a patient has the ability to become cured from the disease.

The student discussion following the screening was lead by Smith, and the focus throughout was the need for a community that challenges individuals to eat well and take care of their bodies. In response to this, chaplaincy resident Chet Denlinger and intern Julie Smith decided a potluck dinner for the community, in which individual’s favorite healthful foods are served, should take place this semester.

Author Michael Pollan (michaelpollan.com)

Students also discussed the influence of large corporations have on the food industry. Senior Natalie Lampert cited Michael Pollan’s “In Defence of Food,” which highlights the need to avoid processed foods and return to raw diets.

Lampert hopes that America’s reliance on processed foods will continue to decrease as individuals like Pollan continue to raise awareness.

“Not too long ago we didn’t know about the harmful affects of cigarette smoking and of not wearing sunscreen, but now we don’t smoke as much and we’re putting on SPF,” Lampert said. Her hope is that this will soon be the case for the food industry – the more we learn about the harmful affects on our bodies, the less we will consume those processed foods harmful for our bodies.

If interested in eating naturally grown plant foods this spring semester, consider opening a plot in the Truitt Center’s community garden! Contact the center for more details: truittcenter@elon.edu.

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