Event displays affordable healthy meal suggestions

Published 2011-05-10T17:18:00Z”/>


Nick Pike

Fresh local produce and culinary delights adorn the parking lot on West Third and Wall streets at the weekly Saturday farmers market waiting to be prepared at nearby Chico households for a nutritious meal.

While these local foods are readily available, some students fall under the misconception that purchasing food from large vendors is a cheaper alternative than buying fresh local grown items at farmers markets.

With a majority of the land surrounding Chico used for agriculture, students are given a chance to truly live off the land and implement local farmers’ labors into their daily diet.

Students had a chance to learn how to support the local economy and eat healthfully on a $10 a day budget.

It started five years ago as part of a foodservice production class and a sustainability event put on by Assistant Nutrition Professor Stephanie Bianco-Simeral.

“We want to show everyone that they can make breakfast, lunch and dinner with local ingredients for $10 a day,”

she said.

The event is meant to teach students they can implement local, fresh and sustainable practices if they become part of the foodservice industry, or if they want to have a healthy diet a budget, Bianco-Simeral said.

“I want to empower students to know that if they become foodservice directors for schools that they can go back to scratch cooking with local ingredients affordably,” she said.

The event went on from 1 to 3 p.m., May 7 at Selvester’s Cafe-by-the-Creek, with 22 displays showcasing local farmers, local beer and wine education and other sustainable practices.

“It’s important that students not only appreciate the differences for beer and wine makers but understand the process of making each,” she said.

Students had two days to prepare and standardize the recipes so that those interested could make the food themselves at home, Bianco-Simeral said.

They also only use ingredients that can be bought from the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market because it runs throughout the semester versus the Thursday Night Market that only runs seasonally.

Buying cheap groceries is his highest priority, said Evan Bohan, a senior business project management major.

“I usually buy all my produce at the farmers market, it’s cheaper than grocery stores and its fun,” he said.

Bohan shops at Raley’s for other groceries because it’s near his house but also likes buying at the farmers market.

Students aren’t limited to buying only at the farmers market but can shop sustainably at stores like Chico Whole Foods, S & S Produce or local butchers such as Chico Locker & Sausage Co.

Grocery stores are a main destination for shopping due to lack of time, said Joe Mcgee a junior economics major.

“I buy food that can be prepared quickly and don’t spend much time shopping,” he said.

If there were a way to shop locally and prepare meals quickly then he would do it more often, Mcgee said.

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<strong>Nick Pike can be reached at</strong>

<em>[email protected]</em>