Cooking Club promotes conscientious eating

By Steph Wetzel

Features Contributor

Cooking Club hosted an event this past Monday in honor of the upcoming Earth Day. They prepared healthy, vegan meals for themselves to enjoy afterwards.

Cooking Club does not host events like this often; they usually meet twice a month to prepare a meal and share it together. This gives the members an opportunity to relax, eat delicious food and chat with their friends about their week. The club’s overall goal is for the students to be open to trying different foods.

The idea for this event started when Jorge Alvarez Rodriguez, a fourth year foreign exchange student pursuing a double major in law and business management, decided to put his final management project into action. The final project in his class involves healthy eating, understanding the food that one eats, and food waste on campus.

Dr. Sarah Woodside, a teacher in the management department, was also there for the event. She has Rodriguez as well as some other members of the Cooking Club in her 300 level business ethics class. She mentioned that John, the dining hall manager, was very supportive towards Rodriguez’s project. Some of the food they prepared during the event was donated to them from the dining hall by John and Russell, the chef in the dining hall.

Woodside saw the project’s posters and decided to bring her son, Theo, to the event. “It’s so amazing when you see class projects bleed into the real world,” Woodside stated. “That’s the whole point of senior class projects.”

Cooking Club also admires that the dining hall is going to start promoting plant-based diets and encouraging students to develop a mindful way of having food.

Senior Cindy Candelario, president of the Cooking Club, is also in Woodside’s class this semester. She initially joined Cooking Club because she thought it would be beneficial for her to learn how to cook. “I appreciated the atmosphere of the club, people are very natural at cooking,” Candelario said. She is a communications major and minors in peace and justice as well as management.

Cooking Club has a full E-board, but because so much of their food is made from scratch and takes time to prepare, the entire E-board is rarely able coordinate meetings together. Rodriguez is considered the vice president, although he wasn’t necessarily elected. “Jorge showed up a lot, I mean that more than just physically,” Candelario explained about how much commitment he brought to the club and for cooking.

Rodriguez claims he is passionate about cooking because it makes him think of when he was younger and would beg his grandma to let him cook something. He is a flexitarian, which is someone who only eats meat occasionally and only if they know the meat has come from a cruelty-free environment. This had also led Rodriguez to encourage his colleagues to become more informed and aware of the food they consume.

“I encourage them to stay open and look to new possibilities of feeding our body and mind that allow every one of us to live in a more healthy and joyful world in which we all feel more satisfied with our lives. Precisely, the roots for this change lay in the food with it,” Rodriguez stated.

He has also been challenging his colleagues to embrace their individual power. “It is essential that we wake up from the illusions that are portrayed to us every day by corporated institutions, and by our minds too, and we acknowledge the power within us to cause change. Our power to make decisions permits us to exteriorize our deepest human values,” Rodriguez said.

Cooking Club will not be having any additional major events this semester; however, they will be getting together a couple more times in the chapel undercroft to prepare and enjoy a meal together. Cooking Club is looking for new members next semester since their president is graduating and Rodriguez is heading home to Spain. Anyone interested in participating should contact Candelario at



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