IU Bloomington's Big Red Eats Green gets bigger, greener

  • Sept. 20, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In its third year, Indiana University Bloomington's 2013 Big Red Eats Green local food festival set marks for attendance and participation. Three growers, 14 restaurants and several local food organizations took part, and some restaurants sold out of their products.

In addition to a smorgasbord of food choices, the festival featured lectures from three IU professors and music from three local bands.

"This year, in spite of record heat, we saw a record number of students purchasing food, browsing the information tables of local organizations and attending the lectures," said Bill Brown, IU Bloomington director of sustainability. "Seeing the students enjoying the music and the food, but also learning about the local food system and sustainable food sourcing, is why we think this student-led festival is so important."

Big Red Eats Green required careful planning by event coordinators Kit Gambill and Andrea Kalasountas, both IU undergraduates. Building off the work of previous coordinators and feedback from last year’s festival, they added lectures and music aimed at generating interest and providing local food awareness. They also designed a layout on the front lawn of the IU Art Museum that was conducive to piquing student interest as they walked through between classes.

"The pathway between the Art Museum and Wildermuth is a hot spot for students walking to and from classes," Kalasountas said. "We wanted to make sure tables were located where the students could walk through and browse the vendors and, hopefully, be more likely to stop and purchase food."

Big Red Eats Green aims to create student awareness of local food and why it matters for health, community and the environment.  This year's event had food items for $1 to $6 ranging from the sweet to the savory. Restaurants participating were Bloomington Flower Power, BLU Boy Chocolate Café and Cakery, Dunn Meadow Café, FARMbloomington, Laughing Planet, Lennie's, Piccoli Dolic, Pizza X, Rainbow Bakery, Soma, Sweet Claire's Bakery, Topos, Upland and Village Deli.

Three growers also participated: Bread and Roses, Heartland Family Farm and Sunset Acres. The event also featured local musicians including The Underhills, Shannon Hayden and Pretty Boy Freud.

The lectures included "If You Are What You Eat, Who Are You?" by political scientist Christine Barbour; "Coffee Makes the World Go 'Round! Why Your Coffee Choices Matter" by anthropologist Catherine Tucker; and "Studying the Cognitive Science of Food Choice" by cognitive scientist Peter Todd.

A slideshow of photos from the festival is available online.

Big Red Eats Green is sponsored by the IU Office of Sustainability.

Related Links

Big Red Eats Green 2013

Event coordinators Kit Gambill and Andrea Kalasountas greet volunteers and event-goers at the BREG check-in table.

Print-Quality Photo

Media Contacts

Jessica Plassman

  • IU Office of Sustainability
  • Office 812-855-1822
  • jnplassm@indiana.edu