Eating with a Conscience

I'm guilty.

Yes, I've bought Tyson chickens before instead of farm-raised ones grown closer to my box of an apartment in Manhattan. And there's been more than one occasion where I picked the pink farm-raised salmon over the wild Alaskan salmon to serve at dinner parties. I admit it's difficult to always eat organically and responsibly - even more so on a student budget.

It didn't help that I finally saw the documentary "Food, Inc." this past weekend. Much of the film discusses how our fast-food culture has changed the way Americans consume food. I didn't learn anything I didn't know before but seeing this documentary reminded me that I do have the choice. It comes at a cost, but we do have choice in what we buy at grocery stores, restaurants and farmer's markets. Do we really need to consume heavily-processed foods that use corn, sugar or oil as a basis? I think you know the answer to that one.

I'd say most of the chefs in school made it a point to tell us to always use the best, most seasonal ingredients possible. Not only does that help your food taste better, but many of them would say it's a way to support independent businesses and farmers.

But when you're a small enterprise, how do you afford to be a "locavore?" Well, maybe it means serving less meat and more vegetables or coming up with creative entrees. Most of all, it requires knowing your purveyors and what's in season, which is something a chef should do anyhow.

So the next time I'm faced with a choice, I'll do my best to eat with a conscience.

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            Culinary Arts (AS)
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
            • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
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            Intensive Sommelier Training
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
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            Culinary Arts
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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