I am not your typical culinary student. My inspiration doesn’t originate from my grandmother’s cookies or from the intricacies of a fine wine. It comes from the morbidly overweight people that I see on a day to day basis. Over 60% of the United States population is considered overweight and the health repercussions are catching up with us. Type II diabetes, coronary problems, and joint issues have skyrocketed and it is only getting worse. We are eating ourselves to death and people need help with their diets to live longer and more fruitful lives.
Granted my views have not always been this way. I’m currently on my second round of education. In 2007 I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America with an Associate’s degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. When I started the program making delicious eye catching desserts was my main goal. As I progressed the focus shifted as I became more aware of the dietary issues Americans were having. After I graduated I had a choice to make; I could either stay for the management program or I could take my interests elsewhere. I chose the latter option. Managing a restaurant is not where my future lies, and using my current degree to make fattening desserts is not linear to how I feel about health and fitness. I’d be adding to the epidemic instead of taking away from it. I am now enrolled at Colorado State University for a double concentration in Food Science and Dietetics.
Eventually I’d like to make nutritionally sound variations of the sweet treats that Americans love. Basically making a healthy Twinkie is the end goal. The fact of the matter is that people don’t change their eating patterns without a conscience effort and usually a struggle. We were raised on red meats, highly processed foods, and refined sugar. If this is what someone has been eating all of their life, it is difficult to transition to lean proteins, vegetables, and fruit. By making variations of the foods people love I hope to bridge that transition from obese to lean.
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