City of Independence, Missouri

Cooking Demonstrations July 18 to Promote Healthy Eating

(INDEPENDENCE, Mo.) Thursday, July 17, 2014 – Hoping to promote healthy lifestyles and give Independence residents access to healthier food options, the Independence Health Department, through its Building a Healthier Independence initiative (BHI), is sponsoring community events which will include cooking demonstrations on Friday, July 18.

Three participating Independence stores, all of which are in areas without easy access to fresh produce and other health food options, are hosting the events. The cooking demonstrations will be conducted by representatives of the University of Missouri Extension. Each event will offer healthy recipes, along with an opportunity for community members to share ideas about healthy food.

The Friday events are scheduled as follows:
     • Noon to 2 p.m. at Curt’s Famous Meats, 10101 E. Truman Rd.
     • 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at 7-Eleven, 201 E. 24 Highway.
     • 5 to 7 p.m. at La Plaza Market, 11004 E. Winner Rd.

Curt’s Famous Meats owner Donna Pittman said Curt’s is participating in the program because it is beneficial to their customers. “It encourages people to maintain a healthy diet of lean meats and local fruits and vegetables,” she said. “And, it is beneficial for our business because it also encourages residents to support small, local businesses.”

Health Director Larry Jones said the goal of the events is to make it easier for residents to prepare healthy meals by improving their access to healthy food choices such as fresh, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grain foods, and healthy beverages and snacks.

“Our goal is to give residents a health-focused approach to cooking by improving their access to healthy food and teaching them how to cook that food,” Jones said. “Our hope is that this will reduce the root cause — a poor diet — that often leads to chronic diseases.”

Summer, Jones said, is a good time to hold these demonstrations because of the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available.

For additional information on the Building a Healthier Independence initiative, contact the Independence Health Department at (816) 325-7185 or