‘The Gathering’ food local and sustainable

Pesticides and dangerous chemicals blanket our fruits and vegetables in crops all over the world.  
These chemicals enter our body and lie dormant as they gradually build in our system.  The cancer-causing agents are threatening our health and tainting our soil.  
“It’s a huge problem,” said the executive director of the River Raisin Institute, Danielle Conroyd.
The River Raisin Institute, RRI, is a non-profit organization founded by the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 2003.  RRI sponsors educational works with the goal of respecting, nurturing, and promoting the well-being of all creation.
MCCC’s Culinary Arts Instructor, Kevin Thomas, and Danielle Conroyd came together for their third annual event called The Gathering, held on Sept. 22 in the dining hall.
“The event included samplings of local beverages and small plates of epicurean delight,” Chef Thomas said.
Attendants could browse exhibits, take a tour of the V1300 vineyard, and participate in a silent auction and a raffle for a handmade quilt.  
Entertainment was provided by The Hippie Chick Band and presentations were done about macro-invertebrates and water monitoring activities.
The food was prepared by Chef Kevin’s second year culinary students, with fresh, organic ingredients grown by local farmers.
“I enjoyed watching everyone just gobble down the food we prepared,” said second year culinary student Linda Paetz.
The number of people who attend the event has more than doubled each year The Gathering has been held.
“We are grateful to MCCC and Chef Kevin for hosting this event,” Conroyd said.
“Our first year we only had about 20-30 people; this year there were approximately 130 people.”
The Gathering is a fun and educational event that draws awareness to the importance of eating organic foods, sustaining our planet, and supporting local farmers, Conroyd said.