Club to host chili cook-off for National Nutrition Month

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The Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) is hosting a chili cook-off from 3 to 5 p.m. March 7 in the Hadley Union Building Susquehanna Room.

SAND, the professional club for nutrition and dietetics majors, is promoting positive eating habits with a variety of events throughout March, National Nutrition Month, including the chili cook-off.

The event will consist of up to 20 teams of up to five people. Teams, which had to register with SAND by Monday, will provide a recipe to SAND and bring at least 6 quarts of chili for guests to sample. While teams are allowed to use meat in their chili, SAND also required that they include two plant-based protein sources, such as beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu, peas or nuts.

SAND Vice President Bill Patrick (senior, dietetics) explained the reasoning behind this rule.

“We wanted to make it more of a nutrition challenge to showcase National Nutrition Month, proving that you can get protein from sources other than meat,” Patrick said.

The public event costs $1. Guests will be able to sample as much chili as they want and vote for their favorites.

Prizes will be awarded to winners based on which recipe gets the most votes, and every guest can vote once. Prizes include donations from local businesses such as Rustic Lodge, Tres Amigos, KFC/Pizza Hut and Mohawk Lanes.

Dr. Pao Ying Hsiao, SAND adviser and food and nutrition professor, said the number of prizes will depend on how many donations and entries are received, but SAND will try to honor the top three recipes.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Indiana Food Co- Op.

“Generally speaking,” Hsiao said, “a food co-op is a member-owned organization that is usually focused on providing increased access to local food and goods to community members. [It] usually has a storefront and features locally-grown produce and handmade goods and foods. Some describe it similar to a ‘permanent’ Farmers’ market.”

The Indiana Food Co-Op is in the planning stages and is not yet open. Hsiao said SAND wants to bring awareness to the Co-Op’s mission and support the organization’s opening.

“It’s chili, and it is only $1,” Patrick said. “Everyone loves cheap food. Plus, it’s a great way to mix and mingle. We will have some nutritional displays around the Susquehanna Room, too.”

This is the first time SAND is hosting a chili cook-off, but they hope to make it an annual event.

In addition to the cook-off, SAND is celebrating National Nutrition Month with two guest speakers, Adan Burda and Lisa McDowell.

Burda, class of 2007, will be sharing his “inspirational” weight-loss story at 6:30 p.m. March 21 in Humanities and Social Sciences Building Room 126. Burda has lost more than 100 pounds.

McDowell, a sports dietician for the Detroit Red Wings and Olympic athletes, will be driving from Michigan to speak about her experiences working in the field of professional sports March 28 at the same time and place.