Gusties learn how to cook up healthy food

To save money (and effort) many people choose to buy processed, canned, or frozen foods. Spending time in the fresh produce section, however, with the right approach to finding the best fruit and vegetable deals can be very beneficial to overall health. And knowing what to look for can save extra cash, as well.

Good Food for Busy Gusties is a part of Gustavus’ nine step Well-Being Initiative to promote healthier living. “I feel like Gustavus is a really healthy campus overall … this is a way of trying to give students new opportunities [to live healthy] instead of the same old, same old,” Senior Nursing Major Samantha Broeckert said.

Good Food for Busy Gusties had two previous sessions in December and January. They recently held their third event at the Food Coop in downtown St. Peter on Wednesday February 27, 2013. The goal of this event is to get students together and teach them how to cook healthy on a budget. It teaches basic cooking skills to 10-15 students over the course of a couple hours. At the end of the event, the students all get to sit down and enjoy their hard work—which includes a dessert.

This past Wednesday was the second time Good Food for Busy Gusties took place, this time held at the St. Peter Co-op. Vinny Bartella
This past Wednesday was the second time Good Food for Busy Gusties took place, this time held at the St. Peter Co-op. Vinny Bartella

This event is geared toward students who currently live off campus. “Cooking healthy for yourself is just one more way to take care of yourself and give you the control of what you are eating. And it is a life skill, something you will take with you when our amazing Dining Service is no longer cooking for you,” Registered Dietitian and Health Services George Elliott said.

“It is nice to know that students who live off campus are still part of the community and that their development in learning important skills is encouraged,” Senior Alison Agather said.

“When you don’t eat right, it affects many aspects of your life,” said Broeckert. In the short term, it can help manage weight and make a person feel better about themselves, but in the long run it helps prevent many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

Eating healthy “can be simple, fast, fun, and cheap,” said Elliott. There are many different things a person can do to eat healthy while living on a college budget. First, if a fruit or vegetable is not in season, that’s when the prices soar and many people get their misconceptions about produce being so expensive. Buy when the item is in season, and if it’s not, look for it in the freezer section. Second, buy the item in bulk if possible. If the item is not in bulk, save money by buying the smaller version while it’s on sale. Third, go in with a list of what you need and take an extra ten to fifteen minutes to compare products to see what the better deal might be. Lastly, meat can be expensive, so go vegetarian for a meal. The same nutrients can be obtained from other foods like beans, cheese and eggs.

“Learning to cook is sometimes lost when you always eat in the Evelyn Young Dining Room, so this experience has been a great way for me to get introduced to new ideas and recipes,” Agather said.

There has been a positive turnout with students every time this event has been held. In the past, the event was held on campus. The St. Peter Co-op was a great way of getting students out of the stereotypical bubble Gustavus has being on a hill.  In the future the St. Peter Co-op is looking at partnering with Good Food for Busy Gusties and the Gustavus Well Being Initiative by offering tours of the Co-op, holding seminars for students, as well as a possible student discount.

9 thoughts on “Gusties learn how to cook up healthy food

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  2. It’s true fresh vegetables such as root vegetables can last a long time – wine too doesn’t have to be expensive to be superb (even award winning) – especially local wines.

  3. green and fresh vegitable is full of vitamins which are important for us leaving a healthy and energitic life

  4. nice recipes mate. .
    good article. . keep it up and thanks for share. .

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