Greetings to all you hopeless romantics who still read newspapers! I’m Audrey, and thank you for visiting this section of the Dominican Star.
By Audrey Roen
I’ll start by sharing a story with you. Before transferring to Dominican, I attended college in Iowa for two years and the experience was interesting to say the least. Despite the hilarious students and the never-ending cornfields, the foodie in me found most interesting the campus attitude toward food. I worked in the dorm cafeteria and found the portion sizes and ingredients to be double, maybe triple, that of a typical serving size. The cafeteria staff kept asking students if they’d had enough to eat, offering empty plates for return trips to the food stations.
And if I thought their portion sizes were wacky, I saw an invention that made me question the sanity of all Iowans: deep-fried Oreos! Heard of them? Had one before? They are a “thing” in Iowa. And, what’s more, the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines creates those as well as things like deep-fried Snickers bars, an eight-foot long butter statue of a cow, and deep-fried butter on a stick. Amidst my confusion in the seemingly butter-obsessed state, I heard a saying from my food service manager that explained a lot. He said, “Here, you need to eat your next meal now. You don’t know if there will be a next one.”
LIGHTBULB! It was that message that summed up a world of connections between the way we eat and the quality of our health. It was then I understood why a large plate was standard, why butter was the main ingredient and why the attitude was “eat more now”: these farm-raised Midwesterners avoid hunger. A worthy goal, I thought, but I wonder how someone could possibly diet in this mindset. The stress of losing weight, lowering cholesterol, managing diabetes, etc., seemed impossible. As someone who has struggled with eating and health in the past, I wanted to understand more about these connections between people and food. Ask any nutrition major; the more we can understand these connections and problems, the closer we are to finding solutions.
This and more will be explored in this column. From interviews to commentary, from research studies to fun facts, it will be sometimes snarky and sometimes serious, but always about nutrition… and a little bit of life. I hope you read!