Annual 'Taste or Waist' gives healthier options

On Wednesday, Jan. 16, the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union was buzzing as students and faculty attended the annual “Taste or Waist” food fair.

Assistant Professor of Sportsmedicine Tim Harvey’s Nutrition for Health Professionals class, along with the Campus Involvement Center and Human Resources, put on the event with the help of the sports medicine students.

This event is held every year. Its goal is to show the community how to make classic dishes healthier by simply swapping a few ingredients. The timing of the event is well thought out, with many people only a few weeks into their New Year’s resolution.

The event helps promote eating, in a healthier way. The sports medicine students made various dishes, one regular and one healthy. Attendees tried both options, and then voted on which they thought was healthier and which one tasted better.

“It’s amazing, the food tasted almost exactly the same,” said senior Bridget Finn. “It really makes you think about what you are eating.”

Junior sports medicine major Amber Penna explained that in past years almost 65 percent of attendees voted that the healthier option was the tastier of the two dishes.

In order to participate in the tastings, students brought either 50 cents or a canned good, with all donations and proceeds going to the United Way.

The event drew a crowd of almost 250 people and left attendees with a healthier mindset to start the new year off right.

This year’s event featured an array of appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts. Buffalo Chicken Dip, quesadillas, chicken club wraps and Reeses’ Bars were just a few of the menu items featured.

Students who helped to prepare the dishes explained that they took the original recipe and replaced certain ingredients with healthier alternatives, which helped to reduce the fat and calorie content but not the taste.

Another factor to the challenge was that the healthy dish must have the same texture and taste but appear identical to the original dish.