Imagine there’s a huge plate of your favorite foods in front of you. While they may not be healthy, they’re delicious. Yet do you ever feel sluggish and sick after eating a bite of that big, greasy juicy cheeseburger? Can you honestly say you know exactly what you’re putting into your body?
That’s the goal of the group Bulldogs Like Good Food. With only four main members-David Schulist, Sam Knuth, Kelsey Demianiuk and Judy Breuer- the group is new to the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Under the glow of the Northern Shore Coffee Shop lights, the group sat down to explain why having a group like this is essential for a healthy and functioning UMD.
Being new to UMD, presents a lot of possibilities for the group. “The group could take on a lot of flavors,” Breuer said.
All four members are interested in different parts of healthy eating; although Knuth, Demianiuk and Schulist are all interested in sustainability. Schulist and Knuth are also part of the UMD Food Committee who share similar goals with Bulldogs Like Good Food.
All four of them see healthy eating in different ways too. Breuer, for example, became more interested in food stuff because of food sensitivities and has since become more interested in the ingredients she’s putting into her body to avoid feeling lousy.
College is a great place for this kind of thing to begin. “This is the age where you set your habits,” said Schulist. “Our students should be aware of the nutritional value of their food.”
“Food should not be an issue or a challenge,” Breuer said.
While Bulldogs Like Good Food hasn’t quite reached out to the Duluth community yet, they hope to as they grow. Breuer explained that the group actually got started at UMD because of just a simple conversation with students.
The conversation was just a typical laid back conversation. The students were discussing the idea that there should be a group for people who had similar beliefs about what they wanted to consume as well as the potential to meet these people to possibly live with them and create what kind of food they wanted together.
This particular group of students, however, is interested in creating a good future for students. Demianiuk, a junior, wants to set a good base for future Bulldogs. She remembers eating at the Dining Center only during Bulldog Welcome Week because she felt the food that was offered was of low nutritional quality.
“We can’t expect that all the food on campus is sustainable or organic. But maybe in ten years we can,” Schulist said.
Growing the U program
On April 4 through April 6 the group hosted its first Growing the U program. Growing the U involves the University of Minnesota schools where they come together and talk about healthy eating. This year the Morris, Twin Cities and Duluth campuses got together to discuss how to make more nutritious foods accessible to students.
The three schools had a weekend filled with events. Because of the snow Friday, Growing the U mainly involved eating and conversation.
On Saturday they went on a trip the Victus Farm in Silver Bay. The Victus farm is an aquaponic farm meaning it’s a university research facility. It also raises tilapia. They also listened to a presentation by Randy Hanson. They finished their day with a group dinner and chat.
When it comes to both the Growing the U program and Bulldogs like Good Food, Breuer says community members play a huge role.
She talked about how there were groups and people out in the community who made it possible to buy grass fed beef from the farmer that UMD buys the beef from.
While it may seem like achieving the goals that Bulldogs Like Good Food and Growing the U is something that seems harder to include the community in Breuer disagrees.
“It is tricky sometimes to figure out how the community can support these goals, but the right people who can help create connections and sometimes clearer understanding can do amazing things,” she said.