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From pizza crusts to apple cores, students explore PSU’s food waste

In the United States, food waste makes up the majority of the waste that ends up in landfills each year. During fall quarter, the Sustainability Leadership Center’s Food Systems Task Force decided to focus our efforts on exploring PSU’s food waste stream. We set out to see how food waste is managed on campus. Here's what we found out:

How to make herbal skin-healing salves

With changes in the seasons come changes in how we interact with the plant world. Winter is a time for seed harvesting, prepping garden spaces, and, perhaps, making plant medicine. During this holiday season, try working with plants in a new way by crafting medicine with them! An easy way to start is by making salves, which are a type of cream used topically to heal dry skin, sunburns, or other afflictions depending on the herbs used.

Food systems symposium draws researchers from across the region

Nearly a quarter million people in Oregon suffer from hunger. Real hunger. Not the I’m-starving-when’s-dinner kind of hunger, but the kind that means people can’t get as much food as their bodies need or that they might go entire days without eating. At the same time, more than a million Oregonians, about a quarter of the state’s population, are considered obese. These alarming statistics are at the heart of an issue—and the tip of an iceberg—that brought 40 researchers from around the region to Portland State last week.

The end of cheap food begs new food politics

The global food system is under unprecedented strain, buffeted by rising oil prices, erratic weather patterns, soaring demand, and shocking waste, but Hugh Campbell doesn’t want you to head for the hills just yet. 

“We need to enact positive politics,” he urges. 

Indigenous gardens regenerate communities

On July 15, Portland State students planted camas bulbs at the PSU Oak Savannah. The restoration on this site of this traditional food, camas, and the collaboration with Metro and the Tribal/Native American community to dig these bulbs for replanting in other gardens is historically and culturally significant, coming full circle, regenerating a revered “First Food” and source of carbohydrate for Indigenous People.

From city to farm: an alternative spring break

A group of strangers had the good fortune of spending our Spring Break together on a service-learning trip organized by Student Leaders for Service (SLS). As participants in one of three Alternative Spring Break (ASB) programs, we travelled throughout Northern California working on organic farms and tracing the food supply lines back to the city.

A tour of Portland’s greenest: coffee, basketball, beer

Coffee. Basketball. Beer. Portland has a lot of great things to offer, but these are three of our best. Mix in a ride on the Streetcar, and you have yourself a true Portland experience. As part of the Oregon Higher Education Conference last week, I led a group of students and staff from three different Oregon universities on a tour featuring three of Portland’s greenest local businesses. And, of course, we did it all by public transit.

Giving thanks with indigenous traditions and first foods

As part of PSU's Social Sustainability Month, I worked with the SLC’s Food Systems Task Force to organize an event called Thanks Giving: A Celebration and Exploration of Indigenous Traditions and the First Foods, which highlighted the significance of healthy, local food and the role it can play in healing our relationship to the land.

Fair Trade trick or treat

After more than a month of recruiting, planning, orienting, and overall just getting pumped up, the EcoReps are ready to introduce ourselves to the rest of campus. And, in the spirit of Halloween, we’ll be launching our efforts with a Fair Trade trick or treat event!

What did you do with your summer?

This summer, I decided to do something drastic. Something I had never really considered before—I took summer classes! And I do not regret it one bit. I took a class called Oregon Farmscapes—a four-day adventure as we circumnavigated Mt. Hood and the Portland metro region to investigate agricultural issues in our great state of Oregon.