SusAg Turns Scraps Into Cuisine at Annual Banquet

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, students and residents gathered in the Honors Center, located in College Hall, to feast at the highly anticipated annual rescued food banquet.

The event, hosted by the Students for Sustainable Agriculture (SusAg), was open to any community members looking to enjoy a home-cooked, vegetarian and vegan friendly meal. 

Every year, SusAg collects produce from local farms and businesses which otherwise would have been thrown out, to cook a large, free meal for anyone willing to learn and participate in food sustainability. 

All food was given by farms around the area, like Phillies Bridge Farm and Poughkeepsie Farm, as well as Sodexo. 

“This is a really interesting loophole in our society, especially in an area like the Hudson Valley, which is an agricultural hub. You can go to any farm and ask about food they’re not harvesting, and you can take it for free because they’re not going to use it,” said SusAg Vice President Annabelle Einhorn. “Not enough people take advantage of that, and most of that food just goes to waste.”

Had Sodexo not given raw vegetables like peppers and cucumbers, the food would have otherwise been a part of the Ugly Food Program—a program fueled by the school’s and Sodexo’s initiatives towards a more sustainable campus. The sweet potatoes, apples, carrots and arugula given from local farms are usually donated to Families for Woodstock. 

Einhorn, along with members like Dana Grafi, cooked tasty, vegetarian dishes like roasted carrots with chipotle honey and roasted root vegetables.

“I was excited for this event because the last one was so great,” said fourth-year member Nick Leone. “There’s nothing like having a good meal with good people.” 

Einhorn also said that the event was also organized in hopes of eliminating one night of food insecurity for students and residents.

“I want people who don’t have access to this food regularly to see how delicious and accessible it could be,” Einhorn said. 

For more information on SusAg, check out their Facebook page “Students for Sustainable Agriculture.”