‘Healthy Innovative Cooking Makes A Healthy Human Being” is the theme of the second quarterly cooks’ workshop this year.
On Friday last week, Taiwan Technical Mission worked in close collaboration with Shin Kong hospital and Ministry of Education to implement a cooks’ workshop in Ngiwal. The highlight is a cooking competition that encouraged the public-school cooks to apply Palauan dietary guideline to school lunch.
The participants not only had to make a completed meal using local ingredients, but the taste and the portions were also taken into consideration. Other activities such as kitchen inspection award, biggest loser competition award, nutrition education Q&As, healthy lifestyle sharing and exercise are followed by.
To embrace President Tommy Remengesau Jr.’s directive calling for “national commitment to reduce pressure on the reef, promote locally produced foods, priorities human wellness and healthful nutrition”, despite all the varieties of vegetables, the only meat option is fresh tuna. Fresh tuna is rich in Omega-3, and is a good anti-inflammatory property that could prevent cardiovascular diseases which is the no.1 killer in Palau.
“The cook-off was quite challenging but we also learned a lot because we really had to brainstorm to cook a tasty pelagic fish dish that kids would like, on top of that, we had to make two vegetable dishes to meet the Palauan dietary guideline in a short amount of time” mentioned by one of the competitors.
The top three groups received the highest scores on “Health, Taste, Creativity, Presentation, Teamwork and Hygiene” by the two Nutritionists and other judges.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to gather all the school cooks together to learn from each other so they can prepare the same good quality school lunch after they go back. We want to make sure all the students in Palau enjoy the same, healthy and delicious school lunches no matter where they are.” the Nutritionist who works for Food Service Program, MOE added.
Since 2016, TTM has been the source of local vegetables and fruit to Meyuns Elementary School. In the past two years, it has been extended to Koror Elementary School and George B. Harris Elementary School as well which are the two most populated elementary schools in Palau. Furthermore, like the old saying goes
”Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”, TTM also has an on-going project where school farms are promoted at over half of the campsites.
The long-term goal is that each school will be able to provide themselves sustainably with fresh produces, such as taro, kangkum, nappa, cucumber and corns…etc. In this case, people in Palau would have accessibility and availability to more healthy local foods at both schools and households, starting at a young age to prevent NCDs (Non-Communicable Diseases).
The workshop has a total participant of 30 and is a great success because not only the key message has been delivered—“Healthy Innovative Cooking Makes A Healthy Human Being” but also addressed that the cooks’ health is just as important as the students’. (PR)