Unique breakfast experience

On saturday UKA in Ås joined a friendship-breakfast in Ås arbeidskirke to invite refugees and locals to upcoming UKE events, such as the international food festival next Sunday.

The friendship breakfast was arranged by Vestby and Ås Red Cross Youth in cooperation with TINE, who in occasion of the TV-campaign “Sammen får vi hjelpen frem”, sponsors breakfasts in reception centres all over the country. The goal is to make a meeting ground for asylum seekers and the local community.

UKA came to a long table of traditional Norwegian breakfast set all through the church. Cultural exchange was high up on the agenda. In addition to the Norwegian breakfast food, we were also served a feast by a proud Syrian cook from Bjørnebekk asylum reception centre. Every dish of food was presented for the whole room both in Arabic and in English. Further conversation with the cook revealed that she’d worked in the kitchen for three days to prepare the food!

The Norwegians who joined the breakfast were not afraid to try new food. A lot of the Norwegian food was left untouched, while the Syrian dishes emptied quickly!

This was a pleasant event where a lot of new acquaintances were made and love for food was shared. UKA reunited with a lot of known faces from the language café at Bjørnebekk asylum reception centre and did not shy away from learning more Arabic. We can now proudly add “Fle fle”, which means bell pepper, to our vocabulary.  We also gave away quite a few UKE sweaters at the event, which have been donated to Red Cross Youth and their work with refugees at a former occasion.

There was a lot of food to spare, but none was wasted. No one went home empty handed – but rather with bellies full and new acquaintances up their sleeves.

Text: Pernille Fåne

Translation: Ingvild Haugen

SmakÅs - Sustainable Food for the Future

By Aleksander Heen (translation: Ingvild Haugen)

“How can technology make food production sustainable?” That is the question brought up by the food- and technology festival SmakÅs, which might just be Norway’s only event of its kind. SmakÅs is an interdisciplinary cooperation between Ås municipality and the research groups on campus, and is arranged during UKA in Ås.

Visitors of SmakÅs filled the centre of Ås this Saturday: According to a co-arranger at least a couple of thousand people must have stopped by. The atmosphere was good at the food market downtown, where about 60 participants set up their booths and activities. Everything from local, organic food to grasshoppers and a three-course insect menu was on offer.

At Makers Market, in cooperation with Eik Idéverksted, one could find drones and 3D-printers, as well as promising technological projects such as automatization of food production by the agricultural robot Thorvald, geotagging of marine waste by the Trash Tag, and cycle-based growing of plants by Aquaponics – a concept based on natural, circular distribution of nutrients. 

From farm to table is an underlying theme of SmakÅs, and the programme spotlights how food is grown before finally reaching our table. Concepts such as sourcing food directly from farmers decreases the distance between producer and consumer. We got to see new technologies. A cook-off and various presentations were held, and children got to say hello to chicken, or learn how to shear a sheep. The festival appeals to people of all ages, which might just be the greatest strength of SmakÅs.

This event seems to have gained a solid footing in a short amount of time. Thereby all that’s left to do is wish the best of luck to exhibitors and organizers of next year’s SmakÅs. 

Photo: Runa Tunheim