Students learn skills, receive tips during first Shop Green… Eat Clean event of the year

Practicing a new recipe and receiving tips on shopping green and eating clean on a budget, Marshall students had the opportunity to hone their adulting skills Wednesday evening with the Shop Green… Eat Clean event.

“A lot of our students tell us that they didn’t get the adulting skills that they wish that they had,” said Dakota Maddox, director of student activities. “So, knowing how to shop cost-effectively, eco-friendly and healthily and cooking.”

While Maddox was the one that helped set the event up through organization and partnering with Huntington’s Kitchen, the idea came from a Marshall graduate student. 

“I had seen pictures of a campus cooking course a long time ago, and I wanted to replicate that,” said Stephen Holland, a healthcare informatics graduate student. “I have always kinda wanted to incorporate this into, like, a dietetics unit, as well. So, you actually learn a little bit about what you’re eating and how to make it.”

Students boarded the Green Machine bus to ride together to Kroger’s where they met with Marty Emerson, chef and manager of Huntington’s Kitchen, who gave them shopping tips. From there, they loaded the bus again to ride to Huntington’s Kitchen where Emerson taught students a  healthy recipe and cooking tips and tricks and assisted with the overall meal preparation.

According to its website, “Huntington’s Kitchen is a community food center, where people come to learn, cook and experience everything that well-prepared food and healthy living have to offer.”

“The facility boasts a fully equipped kitchen that accommodates up to 16 cooking students. Our mission at Huntington’s Kitchen is simple,” the site continues. “We’re here to help prevent and reduce diet-related disease through education about healthy food and healthy cooking. Our goal is to share information with everyone, regardless of cooking experience.” 

Huntington’s Kitchen is a regular partner with Marshall University’s dietetics program. 

Maggie Lane, a junior majoring in dietetics, shared her joy about the event and bringing her friends along. 

“It correlates with my major, and I love cooking,” she said. “I was so excited I was the first person on the sign-up sheet.” 

While Lane loves to cook, she also sees it as an event that can be beneficial to all students, she said. 

“Showing them that if they live in a dorm now, showing them that once they don’t live in a dorm, it’s easy to cook dinner, and it doesn’t take as much effort as what you think. And you can eat healthy, cheap and most people don’t realize it,” Lane said. 

The venture to Kroger helped prove the affordability with $60 being spent to prepare the zucchini noodle chicken stir fry for the approximate 20 people in attendance with leftovers available. 

This is the first Shop Green… Eat Clean event of the year after a soft launch of the event last spring. There are three more events planned for the 2019-2020 school year, each featuring a different healthy meal. 

Organizers are hopeful that the variety in the event will draw students in and provide students with information they can take with them in life. This includes what healthy food is and how to buy it affordably, Holland said. 

It also shows students that they can eat healthier and can actually save a lot of money by preparing their own food and eating healthy, Holland said. 

Shop Green… Eat Clean has plans to work on expanding in the future. While they plan to stay within the area of healthy eating, they would also like to expand into more ethnic and diverse meals brought to students by their international peers, Maddox said.

The event is open to all students, currently with the option to attend multiple times. 

The next Shop Green… Eat Clean event will be Nov. 19. Information can be found by visiting the LEAD Center or emailing [email protected]

Brittany Hively can be reached at [email protected]