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LGB Dinner behind St. Mary's Church 09/26/07

If you were thinking about firing up a plump, juicy hamburger for dinner, health educators from the Office of Health Education suggest you think again.

Last night at the launch of the new Cooking Series at the LGBT Center, students learned the art of healthy eating by grilling vegetable skewers and veggie burgers while discussing health-related questions.

The series, similar to the "One Q Three" dance series of last school year, is a collaborative effort between various minority groups on campus, including the LGBT Center, OHE, La Casa, Makuu, PAACH and the GIC. The series will take place the last Wednesday of every month, and plans for this year include events highlighting Latin and Asian cuisine.

"We try to plan as many activities as possible that are inclusive of the various resource centers. . People don't only belong to a sexual orientation, ethnic or cultural group, so these jointly sponsored events demonstrate that people have multiple identities," said Bob Schoenberg, director of the LGBT center.

The students at the event, many of whom admittedly were there just "for a good meal," shared concerns about staying healthy while at college.

College freshman Josh Lipman said, "I'm not desperate, but I need advice [on] how to keep the Freshman 15 off."

A few graduate students in attendance offered some advice.

Microbiology graduate student Ryan King suggested going for lower-fat goods as well as eating grilled instead of fried foods, while Medical student Scott Walter said he tries to eat as much seafood as possible.

Director of Health Education Susan Villari facilitated a discussion about trends in nutrition and eating locally.

"Fad diets and rules about eating are sort of trends and sort of come and go," she said. "Moderation, balance and eating a variety of food is what's important."

Villari also noted how eating locally not only helps the local farmers, but the food has "exceptional taste and freshness."

And students agreed that the vegetables in the dining hall just aren't the cream of the crop.

"The vegetables are often cooked in a buttery sauce and not steamed," Lipman said.

Bottom line: If you still want that juicy burger, get lean meat and have a side of veggies - and maybe next month you can learn how to add some Latin flavor.

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