A cooking class recently helped women in McDuffie County learn healthy habits with healthy results. "Cooking for a Life Time" was held at the Thomson-McDuffie Library, Tuesday evening, Aug. 14 and 21.
"I see I didn't have too many casualties from last week, so that's a good thing," quipped Curtis Pickard, who was the celebrity chef for both classes. "I believe knowledge is power, and this is one of those places we can gain that knowledge."
Approximately 30 women attended the classes, which were held in a collaborative effort of the American Cancer Society, the McDuffie County Health Department and the McDuffie County Cooperative Extension.
Prior to the cooking demonstration, County Extension Agent Caroline Richardson gave healthy eating suggestions such as try a new vegetable each week, how to read a nutrition label, how to shop for meat, dairy, and bread to lower cancer risks and save money, ingredients to avoid, and to shop on the outside aisles of the store where non-processed foods are located.
"Remember, manufacturers are in business to make money," she warned those in attendance. "If the food doesn't taste good, then they don't make the money. They don't care how nutritious it is. ... We have to be wiser than they are."
Members of the audience also offered suggestions from their own personal experiences. Door prizes of gift cards were given away randomly through out the evening.
"Really, I enjoyed it," said Connie Winfrey, a Thomson resident. "Especially the information about reading labels. I learned from that."
Dr. Pickard prepared ratatouille, confetti bean salad and oatmeal muffins and included his own personal tips and preferences for healthy eating. Each participant took home recipes and information on programs provided by the health department and extension office.
A separate class for diabetics, Right Bite Diabetes Cooking School, will be held Thursday, Nov. 15. Call the extension office at 706-595-1815 for more information or to register.