Consumer Watch: The new home economics

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 6:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- The memory of home economics class can bring up failed attempts at cooking mac and cheese, or awkward attempts at sewing. But with obesity on the rise, the curriculum is getting a new purpose. Good Morning Kentuckiana’s Andy Treinen takes us back to high school, for today's Consumer Watch.

Home economics fell out of favor as cash-strapped schools looked for areas to trim, and students questioned its usefulness like in the comedy "Superbad."

“I just think that I don't ever need to cook Tiramisu. When am I going to need to cook Tiramisu? Am I going to be a chef? No,” mocked the movie.

Chelsea Folmsbee views her classroom as the front lines of a serious fight against obesity. “Maybe cook the zucchini just a little bit longer but other than that it looks great,” said Folmsbee from Robinson Secondary School. At Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia, students are chopping up fresh kale, zucchini, onions and garlic and pan-searing chicken.

With about one third of American adults considered obese, family and consumer sciences instructors like Folmsbee say it's not just about teaching teens what's healthy, but encouraging them to experiment with it. “I feel like a lot of times we see things in the grocery store and we don't get them because we don't know what to do with them. So if we can learn what to do with them we're more apt to buy them and use them,” said Folmsbee.

The nation's school lunches have recently undergone a transformation but Folmsbee wants to enable students to cook up healthy dishes, long after class is dismissed. Perhaps a new purpose for the old "home ec."

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to: CONSUMERWATCH@WHAS11.COM.

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