Whether it is photographs of layered sandwiches, artisan ice cream piled onto chocolate waffle cones, or oozing mac and cheese, foodie voyeurism, if you will, has gone mainstream. Food culture has always been a reflection of changing times. Now with the influx of social media, it is dominating and creating a digital dining table that satiates the globe. This gastronomical hub has millions of food bloggers, chefs, and home cooks providing recipe inspirations, food trucks to try, food porn, and more. Spoon University is one of these food websites, catering towards college students. With over 100 collegiate chapters established, Spoon empowers students to write, photograph, and plan food centric events on campus and in the local community. Interested in the story behind Bucknell’s Spoon chapter, I grabbed coffee with the president and founder of this club, Dannah Strauss, to learn more.
Last September, Dannah saw Spoon University’s Instagram account and became immediately intrigued. She was compelled to establish this chapter because she wanted to pursue one of her passions at Bucknell and had yet uncovered a way to do so. She has always wanted to utilize her self-created major in Food Culture and Sustainability to educate fellow students. Spoon seemed like it could provide that much needed and useful food resource on campus she was looking for. She worked diligently throughout the fall in order to launch the Bucknell site at the beginning of second semester.
Dannah has always been passionate about food – not only the physiological importance of it but also the cultural and personal importance of it. Dannah explains, “It is a rare occurrence that everyone stops their day at the same time to do something together, but food does this. Eating functions on an emotional aspect because the table brings people together.” The college environment does not acknowledge the importance of breaking bread together, with everyone always rushing from one activity to the next. Additionally, many college students do not eat mindfully and intelligently. Dannah elucidates, “many grab what is easiest, eat fast, and continue on. Or, some count calories which is one of the worst ways to diet.” Whatever it is, many students could enjoy a more satisfying dining experience if they recognized problems and were given solutions.
Bucknell’s Spoon University provide a remedy to this college dilemma. The website and Instragram account provides many ideas of how and what to eat. From Bison and Commons Cafe food hacks, descriptions of the top restaurants, diners, drive-ins, and dives in Lewisburg to scientific articles about how to fuel yourself properly for a work out – or a nap, Spoon positively impact college students relationships with food around campus.
By becoming more mindful about food consumption, we also become more mindful about food waste. Americans waste enough food everyday to fill up the 90,000 seat Rose Bowl stadium. Last year, Bucknell students alone wasted 131 pounds of food during Bucknell’s Bostwick Cafeteria “Waste Weigh.” In this two hour lunch span, less than 700 students ate here, meaning the average student wasted .2 pounds of food. Food waste creates many social, environmental, and economical problems by contributing to climate change, hurting community health, and abetting world hunger and food security. The easiest way to deal with food waste on campus is to eliminate it.
Dannah strives to incorporate health and sustainability into her food endeavors and posts on Spoon. Her biggest frustration is her biggest hope. Although the term “foodie” is overused to the point of ubiquity and vagueness, the true definition, in my opinion, describes someone who cares what goes into a recipe, who waits that extra 30 minutes to let the spices simmer, who travels to stimulate the taste buds, and who understands the meaning behind the sustenance. Dannah is all that and, through Bucknell’s Spoon webpage, we have to chance to be that also.
Favorite place to eat on campus and what? Chef David’s brussel sprouts at Daily Dish
In Lewisburg? Amami’s breakfast wrap or breakfast salad. There are so many ways to mix and match flavor palettes there.
Nearby Lewisburg? Emma’s Food for Life. This restaurant has huge vegetarian and vegan pizza, veggie burgers.
Favorite food related documentary? Fed Up and That Sugar Film
Favorite food related book? Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser (in her bag as we spoke).
*All photos courtesy of @spoon_bucknell