Announcing: Local Food Demos at Branchfood!

What’s better than free food? Free food that helps promote a message of buying local! Read on to find out how you can enjoy some delicious snacks and beverages from your favorite local brands -- as well as some that may be new to you.

As a Masters Student in Nutrition and a candidate for becoming a Registered Dietitian, many of my classes relate to practical work in the community or with groups of people. In the past year and a half, my focus has been on nutrition policy and behavior change -- specifically, how policies are put into place and what motivates people to change their eating and exercise habits. My favorite part of the sphere of nutrition is the connections I have made with producers and consumers alike.

As part of a class I am taking at Simmons College, Advanced Community Nutrition, I have the opportunity to launch a small intervention in a community setting to help improve people’s nutrition and eating habits. When I first started my volunteer placement at Branchfood, I knew I had been given a gift of access to a space where conversation and collaboration are already in place. Together with Lauren Abda and the Branchfood community, I’ve launched an exciting project related to local food consumption.

Each week, local food & beverage companies are invited to do a table-style demo of their product on the 15th floor at Branchfood. This will occur each Thursday at mid-day (around 12pm) and will be open to the Branchfood/CIC community. Demos will last about an hour and community members will be encouraged to share their thoughts about buying local products. One local company will be exhibited per week. My mission with this project is to spread food and nutrition awareness to a diverse audience in a fun and interactive way, while emphasizing the importance of buying local.

So far, we are working with a number of brands based in the Greater Boston area. These include Veggie Fries, Beth's Chocolates, FreshBox Farms, MOJO Coffee, Onesto Crackers, CROO Snacks, Katalyst Kombucha, and EVY Tea. My goal is to incorporate foods and beverages of a variety of different types, from kombucha to chocolate, so that there will be something appealing to everyone.

As part of my “intervention” I will be collecting a bit of data at each food demo, including a few short questions that participants in the demo will fill out as they sample the food. I will present this data to my class at the end of the semester and write a paper based on my experience.

Hopefully you’re already hooked and have marked your calendars for these fun events each Thursday. We look forward to seeing you there!