As I continue to review the Slow Food on Campus forms, many chapters mentioned a competitive component to their activities and workshops as innovative solutions to a lack of funding.  Below are suggestions, some taken from ideas submitted by Slow Food on Campus chapters, to encourage all of you to stay engaged and active, even during the cold months.

Iron Chef Competitions:
Although many colleges and universities across the country are boasting Iron Chef competitions, Slow Food Carleton College has been perfecting their own version over the course of this past year of Slow Food on Campus programming.  Carleton’s competition required competitors create an appetizer, main dish and dessert in 90 minutes and like Iron Chef America, each team was judged on creativity, presentation and taste.  Iron Chef competitions are an awesome opportunity to make food fun, experiment with new ingredients and enjoy culinary delights all fall and winter long.

Canning and Preserving Workshops:
Many Slow Food on Campus chapters have also mentioned designing and coordinating workshops–lots and lots of workshops.  Workshops at local restaurants focusing on the preparation of specialty items.  Workshops on local farms harvesting the latest crop.  And workshops on campus, inviting local experts to lead students through a new food experience.  This winter, many students may consider looking to their local community to find an expert on canning and preserving. It would be an informative lesson on keeping the harvest fresh through the fall and winter.  This idea is back on the minds of many Americans not only because of the increased awareness of the importance of local, seasonal, organic and sustainable agriculture, but also because of the economic climate.  And, as always, The New York Times has covered the topic and can be a good source for inspiration.

Bake Sales:
In an effort to generate funds for Slow Food on Campus projects, many students may reconsider the good old fashioned bake sale.  And, although The New York Times recently reported that bake sales in elementary and high schools across the country are falling victim to a push for healthier foods in schools, I am confident that Slow Food on Campus programs can find creative solutions.  Slow Food on Campus chapters can use bake sales as an opportunity to experiment with skills learned in baking workshops or using local ingredients, while raising funds for other upcoming programs.

Stay engaged through the winter and let us know what your Slow Food on Campus chapter is working on this fall and winter.