Oct 202011
Authors: Bailey Constas

Iron Chefs aren’t the only ones cooking up food using secret ingredients. The Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center at CSU uses the master technique to promote eating local and healthy.

On Friday, Oct. 21, class two of the four part “Secret Ingredient Series” will fill room 114 Gifford Hall with the aroma of seasonal vegetables from noon until 1:30 p.m.

The “Secret Ingredient Series” is targeted toward healthful preparation of foods showcasing one specific ingredient.

“The motivation behind all of our cooking classes is to show how delicious, easy and affordable healthful meals can be,” said Michelle Milholland, the culinary director of the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center.

“We also enjoy demonstrating creative ways to prepare produce we have in excess this time of year,” Anderson said.

Each class showcases a specific vegetable or ingredient and shows multiple ways to prepare it.

“This ‘Harvest Vegetable’ class, we chose a seasonal vegetable to highlight in each course,” Milholland said.

“We’ll be highlighting the nutritional benefits of our chosen vegetable. Additionally, we’ll discuss several tips for obtaining and preparing vegetables easily and affordability,” Milholland said. “These include resources for purchasing locally and seasonally, as well as efficient ways to preserve and store fresh produce for later use.”he third class, “Loving Legumes” will be on Nov. 11, and the fourth class, “Nutritious Sweets” will be on Dec. 9.

Another class in Nov., “Healthy Holiday Cooking” in November will also begin targeting at showing a healthy twist to seasonal foods.

All of the Secret Ingredient classes are $20 and open to everyone, with a 50 percent discount for CSU employees and students.

With the prime growing season for secret ingredients coming to a close, some might think that eating locally will come to an end.

However, with the help of Hill Grimmett, the executive director of Be Local Northern Colorado, there are many resources to continue eating locally.

The non-profit company runs winter farmer’s’ markets that take place twice a month through early April.

This is the sixth year that the organization has put together winter farmers’ markets.

“There’s usually five to seven farmers always selling fresh produce,” Grimmett said. “It’s obviously limited [because of the season], but there are also meats, cheese and crafts people.”

The reasons to eat locally vary.

“For some people it’s the quality and taste and freshness, another thing is the healthiness of the food,” Grimmett said. “Stuff that is grown without pesticides … and agricultural practices tends to be more sustainable.”

“The more smaller, local producers are probably following more land use practices by growing organically and or practicing way of managing their land to reduce soil erosion,” Grimmett said.

Reducing their carbon footprint is another reason that people are choosing to eat locally.

According to Grimmett, on average, smaller farms use less carbon to produce their food.

“All of what we do is based on the notion that an economy that is strong in local ownership, strong at producing goods and … paying attention to environmentally and social justice will result in a stronger more resilient healthier local and regional economy,” Grimmett said.

CSU students agree that eating locally is a beneficial practice.

“I think it’s important to support the small local farms and businesses, especially things that are small enough to be family owned,” said Ken McGee, freshman art major.

Be Local Northern Colorado’s vision of eating locally “is of a healthy sustainable economy,” for Fort Collins.

Collegian writer Bailey Constas can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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