In the past, certain tribes would sacrifice sleep, food, and all worldly pleasures for a single cause. Today, they’re known as university undergraduates. Students commonly forfeit nutrition to save time, money, and effort. When being crushed by deadlines, midterms, and assignments, it’s no wonder that healthy eating falls to the bottom of our priority list. In an effort to combat this epidemic, our campus dietician, Kimberly Green, along with the UTM wellness ambassadors, hosted a cooking class to educate students on the importance of healthy eating.
Last Tuesday, the seminar room at OPH was diffused with the aroma of spices, fish, fresh vegetables, and an abundance of healthy choices. Throughout the afternoon, the cooking class strived to prepare a meal consisting of fish tacos, guacamole, “no calorie” beverages, and quinoa with black beans. During the event, participants were divided into several sections in charge of only preparing a certain part of each recipe. For example, while one station was in charge of preparing the fish in a vegetable broth, another would have been involved with grating cheese and warming tortillas. Toward the end of the event, participants regrouped to combine their contributions into an immaculate feast for all to enjoy.
The event consisted of several goals in terms of raising awareness for healthy eating. Not only did they introduce students to the services of the campus dietician, but also imparted a lesson on how to follow recipes, provide an example of a balanced meal and an introduction to the UTM website for an extensive list of healthy, budget-friendly, and ridiculously easy to make recipes.
The overarching class also incorporated some fundamental cooking techniques. Participants observed how to know when a fish is completely cooked, which involves looking for opacity and flaking when poked with a fork. Students were also able to practice a technique for chopping onions and using various kitchen utensils, such as the chef’s knife and an avocado slicer.
Another notable addition to the class was the introduction of spices. Although spices proliferated as a cooking staple due to their ability to kill bacteria, it was a valuable lesson to learn how and when it is most appropriate to use some common spices for simple flavouring.
The event was also geared around strategies for cooking budget-friendly meals. Fish, as an example, can be bought cheap when frozen and can be cooked without needing to defrost. It is also cheaper to make great guacamole by smashing avocados into a paste and mixing it up with a few different ingredients, such as lime. Many such strategies presented cheaper alternatives to store-bought meals.
Almost all of the participants were in undeniable consensus that the feast was utterly delicious and wholly satisfying. The wellness ambassadors also prepared “no-calorie” beverages, where soda or water was mixed with pieces of fruits such as oranges and strawberries for a shot of flavour. Most attendees helped themselves to multiple servings.
At the age of 84, Warren Buffet, a very wealthy man, lives mostly off a diet consisting of an exact five coca colas a day, McDonalds, and various other forms of junk food such as ice-cream and potato sticks. In fact, Buffett states that statistics reveal the lowest mortality to be among six-year-olds and therefore he takes the safest course of action by eating like one.
However, science takes an almost opposite direction by suggesting to eat healthy from all of the four food groups, staying active, and getting your eight hours of sleep.