A conversation with Adam Chiaravalle regarding climate change, food and local food sustainability - July 29 2017

Posted by Rob Golfi on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 at 10:22pm.


Today in Studio with Rick Zamperin and Rob Golfi is Phil Golfi and Adam Chiaravalle 2017 political science graduate from McMaster and research assistant to Dr. Chad Harvey at the school of interdisciplinary science.

Todays Show Topics:

1. Are Hamilton housing prices overvalue, just like Toronto and Vancouver?

2. Win A $500 Rens Pet Depot Gift Card and 1 year supply of Big Country Raw - Enter at www.GolfiContest.com Cutest Dog Contest

3. A conversation with Adam Chiaravalle regarding climate change, food and local food sustainability....

“There’s is a poverty of ambition if you don’t think you can make a difference in the world”. That was a quote from former U.S President Barack Obama. At McMaster I have learned that this quote cannot be an more true, because if you want to make change there are so many incredible people and resources to make this happen. One of the most important issues that demands change is climate change. My focus at McMaster has been to make a difference in the realm of climate change. I hit the jackpot and landed a research assistant position with the incomparable Dr. Chad Harvey of McMaster’s school of Interdisciplinary Sciences. Our goal is to enhance the sustainability of McMaster by using food as a way to do so. One of our main projects is to create a permaculture garden at McMaster. Permaculture essentially is an edible ecosystem that replicates nature to produce food. The main principle of permaculture is to reconnect us with nature, this connection is important because if we do not have a relationship with nature it is going to be difficult to see the value in protecting the planet.

Another initiative that we are involved in was helping to creat a community garden in Stinson. The Stinson neighborhood is an area where food security is a concerning issue, this garden can help increase the access of local healthy food and increase people’s food literacy skills. The steadfast devotion of Karl Andrus the Co-Chair of the Stinson Neigbhourhood association, Dave Heidebrecht the manger of McMaster’s office of community engagement, Kate Whalen McMaster’s sustainability Queen and a grant from McMaster’s office of community engagement was a major reason why the community garden project took flight.

Then of course there are the bees! There was an apiary at McMaster that produced its own honey, but it unfortunately it shut down last May. Bee populations worldwide are in a serious decline and without bees we are in serious trouble. Therefore, it is very important for us to better understand bees, thus having a bee colony at McMaster can show students just how important bees are as it provides many experiential learning opportunities. Dr. Harvey, McMaster’s famous “Bug Man” Marvin Gunderman, The tremendously engaged director of grounds Carlos Figueira and Chris Roberts the socially responsible director of Hospitality services are all working diligently to bring back the bees to McMaster.

Then there is the project of repurposing left over baked goods at McMaster into food for food insecure and food secure students. This project aims at building an inclusive and equitable environment for students no matter what their socioeconomic back ground are. Additionally, this project will saving food from going into a landfill, which will cut back on McMaster’s carbon emissions. This project is being lead by Kate Whale, the formerly mentioned sustainability Queen and Senior Manager of McMaster’s Academic Sustainability Programs, and the Director of Hospitality services.

Finally, there is Food for Thought program, which are cooking classes that are passionately spearheaded by Michael Pollan’s equivalent in Taryn Aarssen the outreach assistant for McMaster’s Student Wellness Centre. Food for Thought is generously supported by McMaster Alumni’s Mac 10 sponsorship program. The Food for Thought cooking classes aim is to give students cooking skills, so this way they are not reliant on the fast and convenient foods that tend to be void of nutrition. Food For Thought also aims at bringing students closer to their food, as it seeks to expose students to the process of food from the growth stage to the harvest stage. Since we eat food we have a responsibility to understand what the impacts of our food is on our planet. This is because nutrition is not a one-way street it applies to our health and nature’s as well. The healthier nature is the healthier and more nutritious our food will be!

If you have not gotten the picture yet McMaster is the place to be if you want to create change, all you need is a passion and drive to make change happen. From here the magic will happen and opportunity’s to make a difference will happen. I am so fortunate as I have met some amazing people, made some great life-long relationships and have made some change. One cannot ask more for that. What are you waiting for jump in! -- Adam Chiaravalle

Leave a Comment