A series of classes about vegan cooking is a hit with locals in the city of Cartersville, Georgia. Local news source The Cartersville Tribune reports that the “Plant-Based Life” classes, which are offered at the Cartersville Public Library, were created for clients curious about how to replace meat and dairy with animal-free ingredients.
“Our food programs have been really popular here at the library,” said Nicole Oderesi, the library’s adult services coordinator and leader of the class. “We’re meeting a lot of people who are interested in learning how to live without meat and dairy, for health and moral reasons, and we figured if there’s a need, we can meet it.”
During the class, Oderesi puts on cooking demonstrations featuring ingredients that guests may not have experience with. A previous class showed how to make vegan barbecue pulled pork by swapping jackfruit for meat. The upcoming class will introduce guests to nutritional yeast to make dairy-free broccoli and cheese soup. For dessert, frozen bananas will be blended into a creamy, ice cream-like consistency.
“Our patrons seem to appreciate our willingness to teach them about something they may not have much, if any, familiarity with and also the interest we are taking in their health and the health of our community,” Oderesi continued, adding that she hopes the classes attract new guests. “We had many attend who have already made the switch to a plant-based lifestyle and others who are interested in how to make that transition easier.”
So far, the free classes have been a hit with patrons. While the library notes that they are intended for people aged 18 and up, all are welcome and registration is not necessary. “Our patrons would definitely like to see more cooking programs in general and specific programs like this,” Oderesi said.
While many colleges and foodservice facilities across the country have offered plant-based culinary classes for company chefs, responding to the rising demand for vegan food from the public, the Cartersville Public Library class offers everyday individuals the opportunity to learn about cooking for a healthier lifestyle. According to a growing body of research, a vegan diet is among the healthiest out there. Recent data from the World Cancer Research Fund shows that eliminating meat from one’s diet, cutting back on alcohol and sugary beverages, and adopting a regular exercise regime can reduce cancer risk by as much as 40 percent.
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