Pantry chef cooks up healthy food for thought


A.R. Broom

John Nguyen participates in the cooking demonstration.

A.R. BROOM, @AlexanderRBroom

Tuna, green beans, and pumpkins were on the menu Tuesday when the Los Medanos College Food Pantry held an interactive cooking demonstration lead by Gwenn White of Contra Costa Health Services.

Like many meals the event began with prepping the ingredients and setting out the totals. White helped people participating in the demonstration by handing out protective equipment such as gloves, aprons and hairnets. Once the ten participants were all geared up White began with her first dish–a canned tuna and green bean pasta salad, which was a hit among the participants.

The other two dishes included, an avocado, lemon and tuna salad, which was another hit while the pumpkin parfait was thought to leave room for more improvement according to some.

LMC student Julius Garcia, enjoyed the parfait–which consisted of a pumpkin puree, vanilla yogurt, and crushed cereal which are all widely available at the pantry.

“I was fortunate enough to eat the pumpkin parfait, it was very good” said Garcia, “I am actually a big fan of granola and grains.”

Each of the participants left with some helpful tools like an avocado slicer/pitter/spoon a can opener and the knowledge of how to use them. Participant Angela Hudson fell in love with the avocado tool and finally learned some effective methods for prepping the succulent and savory, yet often dangerous-to-prepare fruit she was clearly fond of.

“The dip was excellent, I just love avocado, that was a perfect combination,” said Hudson. “It was a great experience, because I was always afraid of cutting avocado.”

Hudson had good reason to be afraid of preparing avocados, as the amount of self inflicted injuries due to people improperly slicing and pitting them.

Jessica Wilson is a student worker with the food pantry on campus and was disappointed with the turnout.

“Advertisement could have been a little bit better, because a lot of people were interested.” said Wilson. “I feel like with class scheduling it was a little difficult for them to make it.”

Garcia enjoyed the experience as a whole, despite having a mild seafood allergy.

“For beginners especially, because there’s a lot of students who don’t even know how to use a microwave.”

The Food Pantry at LMC operates from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. To access the Food Pantry, students are required to have an LMC ID and be currently enrolled in classes.