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Springtime sweets: CulinArt provides nutrient-rich, colorful pop-up for National Nutrition Month

Adding+blueberries+to+her+fruit+bowl%2C+a+student+assembles+a+rainbow-inspired+fruit+snack+at+CulinArt%E2%80%99s+most+recent+wellness+table+Monday%2C+March+11.+The+theme+was+%E2%80%9CAll+About+HUE%2C%E2%80%9D+which+promoted+incorporating+more+colorful+fruits+and+vegetables+into+one%E2%80%99s+daily+diet+for+National+Nutrition+Month.
Photo credit: Emily Paschall
Adding blueberries to her fruit bowl, a student assembles a rainbow-inspired fruit snack at CulinArt’s most recent wellness table Monday, March 11. The theme was “All About HUE,” which promoted incorporating more colorful fruits and vegetables into one’s daily diet for National Nutrition Month.

Under a red tent in the historic courtyard stood a table with a rainbow array of fruit Monday, March 11. At the table, students assembled their own rainbow-inspired fruit snack and learn about the nutrients in fruits and vegetables.

CulinArt, Archer’s dining service provider, hosted a wellness table with informational fliers, greek yogurt with honey, honeydew, blueberries, watermelon and small disposable trays for students to assemble their rainbow-inspired fruit snack in. The purpose of the wellness table was to educate the Archer community on the importance of incorporating colorful and vitamin-rich foods into one’s diet, according to Southern California regional dietitian Carrie Gabriel.

Gabriel, who ran the booth, said whenever CulinArt hosts a pop-up table, they always try to relate it to the time of year. The theme was “All About HUE,” which promoted eating colorful produce. They chose this theme because March is National Nutrition Month and also marks the beginning of spring. Spring is a time with lots of produce in season, such as broccoli, apples and grapefruit. Each fruit and vegetable has its unique benefits.

“As a dietitian for CulinArt, what we are promoting here is eating local and seasonal food as much as possible,” Gabriel said. “You could eat just bananas every day … but it’s nice to have the different colors because there’s different nutritional value to different colors of produce … There are elements of broccoli that are good for you sustainably, or white foods like onion and cauliflower — there are reasons those have certain nutritional value that say, blueberry, doesn’t. But then blueberry has an antioxidant that cauliflower does not have. So I’m promoting eating a variety of colors.”

On their website, CulinArt wrote about their commitment to sustainability through their production and management of nutritious food. Director of Dining Services and CulinArt vendor Meghan LambertJackson described a specific sustainable practice CulinArt uses to compost food waste. 

“The waste MAP program is probably our biggest sustainability program,” Lambert-Jackson said. “All of our food waste, even from everything from peeling fruit to leftover food that we can’t reuse in any way, gets recorded. We track all of that so we can strive to be better. At least here in LA, all of the food waste, since we already separate it, gets put in the green bin and taken off to be composted instead of just sitting in the landfill. [Waste MAP] is a CulinArt specific program all of the schools that have CulinArt for their food service do.”

According to the National Library of Medicine, food sustainability means “generating food at a productivity level that is enough to maintain the human population.” Sophomore Liv Karp is a co-leader of EcoStich, a clothing sustainability club. She said food sustainability is crucial in maintaining our wellness and nutrition while reducing waste.

“It’s important for people to eat what they grow,” Karp said. “Any food gives you energy, but I think that this type of food like eating the rainbow will give you more energy or more sustenance throughout your day. It’s important to eat what you grow so you don’t waste any food — it’s better to get a portion you know you’ll eat instead of more than you think.”

Similarly, Gabriel said eating local produce that is in season and composting scraps are both important in maintaining sustainability.

“Seasonally, eating local produce [and] doing things like this, where you’re making a little fruit bowl, I think is helpful with sustainability,” Gabriel said. “It [is] a good way to keep the cycle going.”

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About the Contributor
Emily Paschall, Senior Reporter
Emily Paschall joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2022. She is now a senior reporter. She participates in dance at Archer. She is also a part of the Ambassador Leadership Team Advisory Board and Dance Leadership Team. In her free time, Emily enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to K-pop or Taylor Swift, and playing with her dog.

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