With the right ingredients and knowledge, raising awareness for cancer prevention, whether it be through a walk, concert, or in this case, through the consumption of food, the experience can be empowering.
Dietetic intern at Keene State College, Ruth Sullivan, presented a cooking demo that was focused around cancer preventative foods.
The demonstration took place in the Joslin Food Lab Wednesday, Oct. 23, and was open for anyone of both the college and community to attend.
The event was a 45 minute cooking demo that covered the importance of whole foods and their power of fighting against cancer.
Currently working for the Department of Human Resources, Sullivan is required to put together two presentations, the whole foods cancer prevention event being one of them.
“When we were brainstorming topics that were possible we knew that October was breast cancer awareness month so it was a great opportunity to talk about cancer prevention in whole foods,” Sullivan said.
The main objective of this cooking demo according to Sullivan was to demonstrate to a group of people that eating healthy is a realistic task and it can also be tasty as well. “I wanted to concentrate on making the knowledge applicable in someone’s kitchen and showing people that healthy food can be delicious,” Sullivan said.
Assistant Dean of the Mason Library, Kathleen Halverson, decided to attend the event after hearing about it through e-mail.
Halverson said she was especially interested in the event because it focused on breast cancer.
“I’ve had some friends that have been diagnosed with cancer so I was interested in finding out more about the foods that can prevent it and I was also interested in finding simple recipes to use with some of these foods,” Halverson said.
While some may know and recognize cancer as an evident problem in society, Halverson pointed out it is important that people are informed about foods that could help avoid cancer altogether.
“I’m not sure how much the general public is really knowledgeable about this kind of thing. I think there’s certainly room for a lot more education around this issue,” Halverson said. With an overall pleased impression of the event, Halverson encouraged more people on campus to take advantage of these types of events especially when they are held on the KSC campus and at a convenient hour for most.
“I think it’s an excellent resource that we have the dietician intern program on campus and staff, faculty, and students should really take advantage of these classes since we have this resource right here on campus. I think it’s something that people should take a look at,” Halverson said.
Similar to Halverson’s belief, KSC junior and Community Health major, Natalie Riddel also believes that many want to make a lifestyle change in their lives but may not entirely know how to go about it.
“I think healthy cooking demos on campus could be very important because it isn’t always that an individual doesn’t care about nutritional benefits, but that they don’t know how to make better choices and incorporate them into his/her life,” Riddel said.
Riddel also said she believes that the start to a healthy diet begins with accurate information.
“I think there so many dietary rumors floating around these days that nobody can tell what is true and what isn’t. Any information people have on the benefits of different foods aren’t set in stone because they don’t know what to believe,” Riddel said.
According to Sullivan, it doesn’t necessarily matter how educated one is when it comes to healthy foods, but what matters is whether or not action is being taken. “It’s not only about the education, it’s about behavior change and motivation and inspiration and all the parts of our lives that keep us from taking care of ourselves.”
Sabrina Lapointe can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org