Knowing what’s on your plate

Ryan McCullough

The new Sustainable Food Systems degree/certificate at MCC is designed to educate students as to where the food on their plates comes from and how it gets there.The program was started at Rio Salado Community College before migrating to MCC.

“The goal of the program is to heighten awareness, to bring students into this discussion (about sustainable food practices),” said Maureen Zimmerman, MCC food and nutrition instructor.

Sustainable Restaurant Practices is one class related to the degree/certificate.

“They (students) learn to work in a restaurant and to practice sustainability. It’s not just about composting their waste,” Zimmerman said.

Another class, Gardening Practices, brought in an agriculturist, a chef, and a dietician to teach the class.

“We’d go out to the garden, whatever was available and in season, we’d harvest. Then, we’d come in and make something,” Zimmerman said.

Michele Redmond, a chef and dietician, teaches the Cooking Life class at MCC.

“It’s an introduction into what are the key elements that comprise a sustainable food system,” said Redmond.

The course teaches students to think, “in terms of how (they) eat, how (they) purchase food, what kind of foods (they) choose to cook and how choices relate to being part of a sustainable food system,” Redmond said.

The class recently reviewed poultry and fishing industries in the U.S. and around the world. After each topic, a related meal is prepared.

After discussing the fishing industry, “(The class) ate some pan seared cod with polenta, a little bit of gorgonzola and some garlicky, lemony spinach,” Redmond said.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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