National Nutrition Month Events Embrace Global Cultures, Cuisines and Inclusivity

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, the Study Abroad and Global Experience (SAGE) office, along with the Nutrition department, helped sponsor the virtual event “Tanzanian Cooking Class” on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. This event aligned perfectly with this year’s National Nutrition Month theme: Celebrate a World of Flavors – to embrace global cultures, cuisines and inclusivity.

Gloria Ewald, assistant manager of the Cultural Arts Center in Arusha, Tanzania, prepared Chapati, a type of bread made from wheat flour, oil, sugar, salt and water. Chapati is commonly consumed for breakfast, either with something sweet or salty. Gloria explained that water added to the dough needs to be warm, the dough should not be too sticky and it should be cooked using medium heat.

She also prepared a spice tea made from water, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Gloria explained that drinking tea is preferred over drinking coffee in Tanzania. Cooking always takes place outside, and only women cook in the Maasai culture.

Additionally, the virtual event “Mediterranean Diet in Tuscany” on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, also took place as part of National Nutrition Month. Speaker Elizabeta Chelo, the owner of Azienda Agricola La Pineta farm in Tuscany, Italy, emphasized the health benefits and characteristics of a Mediterranean diet. Her organic farm produces wine, olives, fruits and vegetables, and all crops are harvested by hand.

The Mediterranean diet is an eating lifestyle that is shown in many studies to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The diet emphasizes whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, olive oil, beans and wine. Meat and poultry are only consumed occasionally while eating fish and seafood is encouraged.

One of the pillars of the Mediterranean diet is discovering the pleasure of cooking and sharing meals with others. Elizabeta explained some interesting facts, like white wine can be made from red grapes and that it is more difficult to produce organic white wine compared to red wine due to the sulfite content needed to preserve it.

She also explained what to look for in a good quality olive oil. It must be organic, from a known origin, and have low acidity levels. The oil must also be harvested, pressed and bottled in the same location, preferably from small- or medium-sized family farms.

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