E-cooking & interactive classes seek to boost beef consumption

Brookings – The South Dakota Beef Industry Council and South Dakota State University are funding a new project investigating ways of enhancing beef consumption through interactive and E-cooking classes.

During a recent study funded by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council investigating the iron status of physically active women, it was discovered that college students lack an understanding of how to purchase and prepare beef properly. Registered dietitian Dr. Kendra Kattelmann, a professor with SDSU’s Nutrition Food Science & Hospitality Department, says young women participating in the iron study were asked to consume a steady amount of beef. “These students often didn’t know how to shop for lean beef and didn’t possess the basic cooking skills needed to prepare beef properly. And although we think that everybody knows how to cook beef, we are finding that young adults that come to college lack the skills, even the simplest skills, they need to prepare meals,” explains Kattelmann.

This lack of knowledge led nutrition researchers to develop a new research project that creates cooking classes which will help college students better understand beef preparation, nutrition and food safety skills.

Cooking classes will be conducted during the spring semester at SDSU. One group of college women will participate in hands-on cooking classes while a second group will view the classes on-line. A third group will act as a control and will receive no instruction. The hands-on and on-line cooking classes will use the same recipes selected from the Healthy Beef Cookbook. A follow-up survey will be conducted to determine if students have continued to use the skills they learned.

Beef is an excellent source of iron, a nutrient that is often lacking in the diet of young women. Kattelmann says beef’s iron is especially valuable because it is absorbable iron, meaning the iron is easily absorbed by the body. The SDSU professor believes teaching students how to cook beef will increase beef consumption and in turn improve the diet and overall health of the young women in the study.

The Beef Checkoff website features more than a dozen on-line videos that consumers can view to learn beef cooking techniques with exciting beef recipes.