By Eric Sousa (new volunteer Moulsecoomb)
I have always enjoyed eating, at times less than others, but nonetheless food is awesome. I have eaten divergent types of foods over the last 4 years and have come to a conclusion that healthy foods, over long period of time, are simply the best choice. No big surprise here. But let me explain my view.
I do believe that it is okay to eat junk food once in a while, perhaps to allow your body to adapt, and ONLY adapt, to junk food, not LIVE off junk food. The reason why I am saying this is because, like anything in life, when you spend a lot of time adjusting to a particular way of doing something, you get used to it. Therefore, any other way of achieving that something will be much harder, because you are not used to it.
When I was in college, I briefly joined the basketball team, just for fun and to keep fit. I figured I would need to eat well every day to have the “right” nutrients in my body. Now, the choices of food at the canteen were the healthiest within a 3-mile radius from the college, however, few students would actually eat there because the food was extremely pricey. Following the recent economic recession, I, along with fellow mates, was on a tight budget, so I thought “forget about the ‘right’ nutrients; let’s just get the stomach full”. Thank God that within that 3-mile radius there were about 20 to 30 convenience stores, supermarkets, chicken shops and kebab shops. “For half the price I’m getting twice as much food, be it junk if it must” is how I thought at the time. A week of eating junk food for lunch and, very often, dinner, I was saving money.
But basketball training day(s) came and the team were asked to run x laps and do y push ups in z minutes; that was a 20 minute warm-up and I felt like I had been running a marathon. My appearance had not changed but I was struggling to keep up with the others. What was going on?
Common sense told me to switch to a healthier diet, so after that training day I began bringing healthier home-made food (still cheaper than the food at the cafeteria). Though it took a few weeks for me to get back in “inner shape”, I felt much better, even mentally. I never entirely gave up eating junk food, though I significantly reduced my consumption. There is nothing wrong with eating junk food once or twice a week.
I suppose keeping a balance is important for your system, letting it adapt to junk food so when you do consume it you won’t feel sick. When it comes to money, invest time searching for a set of healthier options that are also inexpensive, because in the long run you will feel good and positive, and you will look good and positive. And if you look good and positive your self-esteem will improve and your confidence will increase. Your confidence increases and your actions will prove to be much more efficient and you will see results much
more regularly. And all of this traces back to one source (not necessarily the only one); healthy foods. Do I need to say more?
After another long summer break, we can’t wait for the academic year to start and lots of enthusiastic students to show up, get involved and start ordering lots of veg boxes again!
Falmer and Moulsecoomb have continued over the summer, but in the new year we are recruiting students to help manage the co-op. This is a great opportunity for anyone to get involved in an award-winning society, because making all this happen takes a lot of work from numerous volunteers behind the scenes. Of course, taking part in managing the co-op is also full of rewards, and the Students Union have been inspired by our success to support more student co-ops (such as a bicycle co-op!)
It was really great to get so much excitement and interest at the Freshers’ Fair in Brighton, so if you signed up or are wondering how to get involved, come along to one of the stalls or help to initiate a meeting to get the co-op in Grand Parade going again.
The co-op is membership driven, so by joining, you really get to have your say: what is the best time for running the stall? Can I influence what gets ordered? What wholefoods should we stock? What other things can we sell? What events should we put on? and the list goes on!
So please get in touch by coming to the stall – Tuesdays in Cockcroft and Thursdays in Mayfield House – or email uobfoodcoop(at)gmail.com. We can’t wait to harvest more than fruit and veg!
(For those asking, Earth Day is Monday 22nd April)
It’s that time for members to do their memberly duty and vote on new officers, decide what we order (more dry goods? organic??) and make much needed amends to the constitution.
But that’s sounds a bit dry, so we’re also making our members event a party with music,local food and a Food Pub Quiz! If your team wins, you’ll get an awesome grab bag of prizes. Teams with most creative names will get rewarded too.
If you’re on Facebook, join the event here, and invite any member friends, as our lovely Food Co-op page can’t invite people…
See you there!
Changes at Grand Parade! Behind the scenes management has now all but completely changed hands as well as grown in size. Now with a new treasurer and operations manager, as well as new volunteer coordinating, communications and and events teams, we can look forward to a happy, veggie-filled run up to Christmas.
Also, fancy locally brewed beer and craft, street food and live music? I f your in London from the 6th till 8th have a look: http://hitmeup.co/eatmeup
Last Thursday, 31st May 2012, our new and fantastic food co-op crew in Falmer started veg-box operations.
After just under two months of careful planning and liaison with the team in Mouslecoomb and staff from the students’ union and other university departments, the food co-op society in Falmer is operating out of the bar at the ground floor of Mayfield house. Catering Services have kindly allow us to use this fabulous space while it awaits refurbishment. So not only are we carrying out our fantastic operations but also making good use of empty space!
The day started with a few ups and downs, but once all the produce safely arrive three people joined the fun of packing up the boxes (which were kindly donated by the Brighton Uni Design Association). Then, another three volunteers joined in on the stall at noon, welcoming members and distributing boxes. It was also great to see so many people signing up to help in future weeks – the food co-op is completely volunteer run so relies on members to make it work, so this is a great start for getting Falmer members involved.
If you are based at the University of Brighton Falmer site, you just need to go to the students’ union reception in Ringmer house and get your membership card. Once the desk is closed over the summer, you can still join by showing up at the stall on Thursdays from 12-2pm.
The first months of 2012 have gone by in a flash, but we’d like to share some of our growing successes.
In January the co-op in Moulsecoomb started to sell wholefoods in bulk, ordered through Infinity Foods. The co-op was able to invest in materials thanks to support from the university’s Springboard grant programme, run by Development and Alumni. We have also started organising more events for members, the first evening of film, food and chit chat went down a treat!
Not a very long post, but we just thought we would share a very recent film that was made about the Brighton and Sussex university food co-ops, and gives you a flavour of some of the things we’ve been up to.
Given our nature as a multi-sited university, it’s always been our vision to expland the food co-op operations to other campuses, inspire more students, staff and community members.
Last month saw that vision come true – and we now have an active branch in Grand Parade!
It’s been really great to be able to apply what we’ve learned while setting up the first scheme at the Moulsecoomb campus, and rewarding to be able to see that learning is leading to a growing community. It’s also been fantastic to see that our hard work has really paid off, and it only took three weeks, a group of dedicated students and encouraging staff to set up the co-op at Grand Parade. When we first set up the co-op in Moulsecoomb, it took six months of planning before we could finally get things going!
It’s also been really great to have the support of caretakers and the Students’ Union, who really helped get things going at Grand Parade, lending us their office space to pack veg boxes and sorting out the ordering week after week. It’s also been great to be able to start earlier on in the autumn term, as the veg still looks lush and diverse, with squash, romanesque, late tomatoes, leafy greens and root veg a plenty.
The first veg box in Grand Parade – 25 October 2011
So…for those of you who are based in Grand Parade, or live close to the city centre, you can join the movement – why not visit the stall on Mondays on the ground floor, opposite the Gallery, to get to know how it works. Or email us if you have any questions.