September 16, 2021

Pick Your Produce class educates participants on food choices

Student pick their produce at the "Pick Your Produce" event

Student pick their produce at the Pick Your Produce event.

When Marissa Pakiz heard about the student organic farm on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s East Campus, she knew there was an opportunity to combine two things she loves.

“I’m passionate about supporting local growers and thought this would be a great way to promote their farm and my CookWell classes,” she said. “It seemed like a win-win.”

As the coordinator for Wellness Services and Nutrition Education for Campus Recreation, part of her job is to organize CookWell classes, which provide opportunities for the campus community to come together and connect while preparing various recipes. For her recent Pick Your Produce event, the theme was the garden-to-table experience.

“The garden-to-table experience is unique because it reconnects us with where our food comes from,” Pakiz said. “With the conveniences of the modern world, oftentimes we don’t know where our food was grown or who grew it. It’s a very special experience to pick your food straight from the source when we’re accustomed to selecting it off the shelf of the grocery store.”

Not only does eating locally sourced foods allow one to understand where food comes from, but Pakiz said: “Eating more seasonal, local produce promotes environmental sustainability, community, and consumption of nutrient-dense foods. You’re also more likely to try different varieties of produce, which promotes a balanced and varied diet.”

Pakiz said more than one CookWell participant said the flavors they tasted in the dishes they made were fresher and brighter than what they usually find in the grocery store.

“I would absolutely be interested in doing this event again in the spring, so keep an eye out for similar events next year,” Pakiz said.

Interested in attending an upcoming CookWell class? Find them on the student events calendar and sign up today.

Upcoming CookWell classes

Oktober Feast Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m. Recreation and Wellness Center

Halloween Snacks Oct. 28, 5:30 p.m. Recreation and Wellness Center

Autumn Harvest Nov. 10, 5:30 p.m. Recreation and Wellness Center

Wonderful Winter Vegetables Dec. 9, 5:30 p.m. Virtual event via Zoom