Organic Food and Beverages
Buy Organics: Where and How?
Organic Cooking Schools
If you love to cook organic, you may be wondering if any organic cooking schools exist. The good news is yes, there are organic schools for cooks throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, in response to the growing popularity of fresh, healthy food both in the home and restaurants.
Organic is one of the most popular emerging cooking trends alongside fusion food and SOLE (sustainable, organic, local and ethical) food.
2007 - The First Certified Organic Cooking School in the U.S.
The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) association certified the nations first organic cooking school in May of 2007. The Patty James Cooking School and Nutrition center had been cooking with fresh herbs and organic ingredients for three years before seeking certification.
The goal of the school is not simply to teach recipes, but also healthy lifestyles that purge the body of toxins and promote wellness. Classes include raw foods, cooking with fresh herbs, and therapeutic cooking as some examples.
CCOF is among the most respected organic certification companies in North America. This non profit group began in 1973. Today it continues to certify farms and products.
Other U.S. Organic Cooking Schools:
The following schools have classes that focus on organic culinary arts and lifestyles:
- Arizona Culinary Institute: This school has classes on sustainable agriculture
- Culinary Institute of America: This prestigious school uses predominantly locally grown produce and even has an organic herb garden for students and teachers to use.
- Institute of Culinary Education: This school periodically works with Earthpledge on the farm-to-table initiative.
- Natural Gourmet Cookery School: As the name implies the focus here is natural foods (from farm to home or industry).
- New England Culinary Institute: This school has some really great features including one teacher who is an organic farmer, and the opportunity for students to harvest their ingredients.
When theyre not harvesting with their own hands, local farmers markets are utilized to support regional agriculture.
- Seattle Culinary Academy: This culinary school dedicates itself heavily to being ecologically friendly and it includes a Sustainable Food Systems Practices program.
On a smaller scale, there are numerous classes popping up around North America. For example, in Los Angeles, Chicks with Knives teach SOLE food classes and work either in your home or in their classroom.
Other culinary schools provide specific classes in organic and/or SOLE cooking as part of their cooking programs.
These are just a few of the organic culinary schools that offer classes or programs that expand on organic cuisine, and more will continue to develop as consumers slowly move from the fast food and 'drive through' mentality to quality, sustainable, and healthy menus.
International Organic Cooking School Programs:
Some International culinary school operators offer organic 'farm to the table' cooking courses: in Tuscany, Italy; in Melbourne, Australia; in Devon, England; and many more global locations.
Cooking trends are focusing on healthier eating globally, and also focusing on an ethical 'do no harm' approach to the environment: so that growing food and raising cows, chickens, pigs and other livestock for consumption is a much more sustainable enterprise.
Cooking programs are following those trends and are working to educate chefs in the production of sustainable, organic, local and ethical (SOLE) foods.
What are the Cons to Organic Food? Is there a Down Side?
Yes, there are a few cons to organic food. Generally the human resources necessary to grow and deliver certified organic foods is higher than commercially grown, prepared, packaged and distributed food, which results in a somewhat higher price at the cash register.
However, the small extra expense means youre not putting any chemicals, additives, or preservatives into your body or the earth. And that savings has value to your life, your family's lives, and to the planet in the longer term.
Beyond this, organic food doesnt have as long a shelf life as commercial products. That means eating fresh, which also improves the overall level of nutrients youre getting in the process (thats not a bad thing!).
Organic cooking schools keep both these factors in mind when determining the cost of their courses.
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