As discussed in 'Are you a food snob?' good eating habits learned early are carried over when children leave home.
As discussed in 'Are you a food snob?' good eating habits learned early are carried over when children leave home.

Are you a food snob?

by - Story: 38616

She says:

I read an article this week in the New York Times that mentioned university students are now checking out the quality of the cafeteria as another way to decide which campus to attend. I know I am getting older when I read that and remember that my favourite cafeteria food at university was the cinnamon buns for 99 cents! Are the young adults of today becoming food snobs?

It must be said that not all educational institutions in the article had the budget to explore serving “low carbon meals using local and organic food” or “whole Maine lobster, New York strip and rib-eye steaks cooked how you want them”. I will also mention I don’t think it’s at all bad that students get to eat quality food and a variety of it. Perhaps this culinary education is just an extension of the expectations for today’s youth. They need to know about restaurant quality food because that will likely be a part of how they advance in their careers and even their life. Committing a faux pas at a “wine and dine” type interview could be the career-limiting move that used to come from wearing the wrong suit or telling the wrong joke.

Now I must ask the burning question however: will this movement to food awareness mean that the pendulum will swing and the propensity for being overweight and out of shape will become a thing of the past for future North American adults? One could always hope, don’t you think? Maybe we could carry things a step further and require a part of the curriculum to deal with supporting local growers, so as to sustain a better community close to home? I guess that is probably getting a bit too far from the centre line … after all, you can ban trans fats in New York restaurants where LuluLemon has lobbying power to show off their clothing in a suitable percentage of shapely bodies, but you are not going to make that happen nationwide.

The nostalgic part of me will be sad to see the dying out of such student stand-bys as no-bake cookies and toaster oven pizza, but I suppose it is for a good cause. As I read over my ramblings it occurs to me that this whole topic is a bit absurd when there are places in the world where children don’t have anything to eat at all, or any education beyond what the world throws at them. I will take solace in hoping that the everlasting quality of youth, that insatiable curiosity and desire to question, will go beyond the niceties we are talking about this week and delve into more serious issues. If we nourish their brains they have the best potential to extend their questions beyond “Can we have chocolate pumpkin muffins?” And if us old fogies who run the halls of wisdom make them think the way scholars of old did, we won’t always answer their questions the way the one quoted above was answered in a university dining hall: “Please expect to see them every Monday morning.”

He says:

Coming from Quebec, the system was a bit different for me. When I was in high school, there was a cafeteria serving meals prepared by the students in the culinary program. It was a great system, as the culinary students learned to create great meals, and the other students benefited in buying their creations. I tasted “Coq au Vin” for the first time when I was in grade 10.

We also had a private dining room restaurant operated by the students in the hospitality department and the other cooks that were not working at the cafeteria. The only down side with this one was that it was mostly for teachers, so not many students would venture inside at lunch hour mostly because they did not want to have lunch face to face with their math or science teachers. My daughter goes to private school in Vancouver where they don’t have a cafeteria that serves meals so all students either “brown bag it” or go out to the local restaurants to eat. Peer pressure has its advantages Chloae has developed a taste for Sushi and Indian food, of which she was not a big fan before going to that school. So they do learn something at school after all.

You know brown bagging it is fine as long as you take some time to think about buying good ingredients to make good quality food. Wraps, paninis, bagels, baguettes or even foccacia beats the commercial white sliced bread that I was subject to from my wonderful mom.

You know, if you cook good quality dinners then leftovers can be taken to school often if you make a few extra portions. The best way to have your children eat good food is to train them as early as possible to appreciate good quality meals, so they don’t settle for the vending machines.

I also think that most obesity issues from our youth today is totally related to bad eating habits perpetuated from home to school – not enough control on the children while they are away from home. If they have already learned to eat good food on a regular basis, they can survive anywhere when they finally leave the nest.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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