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Happy Birthday, WUD Cuisine!

The Wisconsin Union Directorate’s (WUD’s) newest committee, WUD Cuisine, has turned one! The past year has been full of growth, learning and community involvement, and the committee’s newest director, Sydney Weiser, joined us to reflect on the successes and future of the Cuisine Committee.

“First and foremost, we aim to be a place where students can start thinking about cuisine and the food system at large,” Weiser said. “Food is a really great place for personal relationships, and we want to help facilitate that.”

To create and promote awareness about the food system, WUD Cuisine has held a variety of events, such as lectures and hands-on gatherings. Exploration of different themes surrounding the food system helped students understand the inner workings and complexity of one of life’s basic necessities.

“Food is dependent on so many things such as the economy, culture and environment,” Weiser explained. “Not everyone has the same resources, and we need to be looking at the fact that some people don’t have access to fresh, healthy, culturally relevant food.”

One event Weiser was particularly proud of was a collaboration with the National Organization for Women. The event included a meal and a discussion around the stigma surrounding low-income mothers who use food stamps. Weiser highlighted the fact that sensitive conversations regarding food may be difficult to have but crucial to understanding the food system and the people within it.

Another noteworthy event held by the committee was a food sovereignty symposium with various stakeholders across the state. The event aimed to address what food sovereignty is and what it looks like for various Native American tribes.

During the symposium, numerous chefs gathered in Madison and held a variety of events such as pop-up dinners and taste tests that represented various tribes. Lectures addressed the history of food in different tribes, while also looking at environmental threats to the tribes and the politics of food.

While the committee no doubt had a successful first year, Weiser is excited for what the upcoming year has in store.

“From here on out, we want more partnerships and collaborations with professors and organizations to discuss food within culture, environment and society at large,” Weiser said.

Weiser invites all students interested in cuisine, food or exploring the food system to join WUD Cuisine this school year.

“What I want campus to know is that we are a place where, whether you know a lot or a little about food, whether you never knew where your next meal was coming from or never had to think about it, your experiences within the food system are valuable and we want you to join us,” Weiser said.

To learn more about WUD Cuisine and how to become involved, visit union.wisc.edu/cuisine.

Author: Marissa Sugrue

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