On October 15 Georgia and I spent the day at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s ﬁrst annual Food Day Celebration. We saw hundreds of co-eds and university employees over the course of the day and enjoyed conversations with many of them about the Mediterranean Diet, the African Heritage Diet, the Oldways Vegetarian Network, whole grains, and more. Nursing students, dietetics and nutrition students, and even English and biology majors stopped by the Oldways table to discuss cooking, health, and eating habits.
We were pleasantly surprised to discover that many students cook for themselves and enjoy spending time in the kitchen. One student shared with us that she does some “American-style” cooking, but really wants to learn how to make the traditional Indian food that her mother cooks. Another told us he cooks all the time, often for his girlfriend. But we also spoke with many students who don’t cook at all. Everyone acknowledged that they should, or would like to cook at home, but all cited a hectic schedule that leaves little time for preparing meals as their number one reason for not cooking.
Through our conversations it became clear that many students in the UMass Boston community are interested in learning more about how to cook and eat a balanced vegetarian or vegan diet. We also found many students interested in the African Heritage Diet. Although not everyone does their own cooking, it was refreshing to meet young adults who understand the importance of good food, balanced diet, and culinary traditions.
We invite you—along with all of the students, faculty, and staﬀ we met at UMass Boston—to join us in our conversations about healthy living by exploring the resources on our website, connecting with us on social media, and engaging your friends and family in discussions and activities that promote a balanced lifestyle. Our day at UMass was a wonderful opportunity for us to better understand the health and nutrition resources students and young professionals want and need, as well as recharge our own enthusiasm for the work we do.