Local Food, Healthier Community, and a Healthier You

By: Graham Browning, Columnist

If you are new to the Furman community, you will soon learn that the university and the Greenville area are almost seamlessly intertwined. From local businesses, service opportunities, and community events, Furman students have incredible opportunities to be involved. The Greenville food system is no exception.

Believe it or not, there are over eighty community gardens in the Greenville area, many of which are connected through a non-profit called Gardening for Good. Volunteer-based soup kitchens are fairly widely distributed, with Project Host even offering catering services. The community is buzzing with Farmers Markets, harvest-yourself farms, and food distribution services. The goal is to make Greenville healthier. By “healthier,” I don’t mean just physically. Emotional, spiritual, mental, and social health are important too. Food plays an integral part in all areas of health. By promoting local agriculture, Greenville is also prompting conversation about food quality, quantity, and equality.

We are very lucky to have food on our plates every day. We cannot forget that, for the most part, this food is healthier than many of the meals eaten in Greenville County. Feeding ourselves can be expensive, especially when the goal is to eat healthily. With terms like “gluten-free,” “organic,” and “minimally processed” being thrown around like frisbees at our first football game, it can be hard to navigate the grocery store on a budget. Knowing about local food services can save you money, create meaningful relationships, and introduce you to new flavors.

My goal this year is to provide students with access to information about local food events, regional gardens and farms, and healthy budget-friendly recipes. Greenville is an incredible city with a vibrant community. Our duty as its members, even if for a few short years, is to participate with the goal of assisting in its growth. Nothing is more beautiful than a city proud of its local products. Let’s be good stewards of good health, together.

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