Students eat healthy without sacrificing taste

Timothy Harvey’s nutrition class in the Sportsmedicine Department prepared 24 food dishes for the Taste or Waist event at Mercyhurst College.

The event raised $211, a record-setting amount earned for Taste or Waist. The money was donated to the Mercy Center for Women.

The Center for Student Engagement & Leadership Development, the Cohen Health Center, Mercyhurst Human Resources and the Sportsmedicine Department teamed up to host the event, which offered a variety of food samples, including appetizers, soups, entrées and desserts.

Of the two versions of each item, one followed a traditional recipe while the other followed a modified recipe which lowered fat and calories without compromising taste.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, students bought tickets for 50 cents each to try the dishes, or they traded canned goods for tickets.

After trying the versions of the food, students voted on which one they thought was the healthy recipe.

Overall, the lasagna won the contest for tastiest food.

“The event accomplished its goal by showing students that the healthier version tasted just as good as the traditional version, making it challenging to distinguish the difference in most cases,” Monnie Kirkpatrick, administration coordinator for the Center of Student Engagement and Leadership Development, said.

“Personally, I ended up liking a lot of the healthier versions better than the traditional recipe.”

“The results from this year’s food fair are similar to past years in that about 60 percent of the voting population could not tell the difference between the healthy and unhealthy recipes,” Harvey said.

“This is a good thing because it highlights the notion that people can in fact change ingredients to a healthier choice without sacrificing taste or texture.”

Typically, the modified samples used substitutes for fat and sodium.

“A person would never need another gram of saturated or Trans fat ever again in life so long as they ingested the normal amounts of essential fatty acids,” Harvey said. “Sodium levels are abnormally high due to processed foods, and sodium is used as a preservative.”

Seniors Megan Goetz and Lacey Neugebauer made peanut butter cheesecake pops.

According to Goetz, their healthier recipe was “winning by a landslide” due to its richer flavor.

“You can eat a healthier version that tastes better,” Neugebauer said.

Students no longer need to ask, “Taste or waist?” They can have both.