Cooking show teaches students how not to starve

UVic’s orientation committee will be releasing “How Not to Starve,” a segmented cooking show on their events orientation app and YouTube channel from Sept 29 – Oct. 3 as part of Health & Wellness Week, the fifth week of UVic orientation.

Committee member Naima Salemohamed wants to show students “how easy it is to make a recipe, have lots of leftovers, and be creative.”

The idea first originated from the committee’s desire to share their love for food. With one friend on the committee who lacked experience in cooking, they decided to take this opportunity to teach him how to cook. “We always joked around with him about how he didn’t know how to cook because he lives at home,” she said. Student affairs events coordinator Kate Hollefreund suggested an initiative to teach students how to cook.

In partnership with Thrifty Foods, the committee was able to use the in-store kitchen to film the episodes continuously over two days. “We would’ve liked to practice more, but we had a really good, supportive team. A smaller team made it easier to work with,” Salemohamed said.

One of the cooking show’s focuses is on usage of ingredients, and how easy it is to use an ingredient from one recipe to the other. Salemohamed hopes students are able to learn new, easy recipes for their time in university, using ingredients that you would find in your house, keeping it simple and straightforward.

Salemohamed said it makes life a little easier when someone is able to walk you through the process of cooking a dish. She also promises one recipe that can be made from a student’s dorm room. “We definitely try and offer a variety,” she said.

Thrifty Foods dietitian Jessalyn O’Donnell was included in one of the segments, hoping to help students make better choices in the grocery aisle.

“It was a great opportunity to work with UVic and educate people at a very vulnerable time of their life, when they’re leaving home, and maybe mom and dad are still cooking for them,” O’Donnell said. “They might not have the skills needed to make the healthier choices in the grocery aisle, or ways of putting meals together.”

One of the grocery tips she gives to students pertains to pulling out the most important information from a grocery item’s packaging. Between the nutritional facts and misleading health claims, it can be very confusing, she said. She hopes to give students a more simple understanding of what they should be looking for when picking out healthy options.

Thrifty’s also offers free store tours that could help educate and motivate students to choose their ingredients wisely.

“Even if it’s one change, or one thing they’ve learned, everything we do will contribute to making better choices in the grocery aisle,” she said.

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