Tis the Season for ‘Taste or Waist’

Mercyhurst University is challenging you put your taste buds to the test.

The annual “Taste or Waist” food fair is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 16 in the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union.

Taste or Waist invites the community to sample two versions of a dish: one regular, and one with reduced fat and calories. After a blind taste test of each item, the diners vote on which they thought was tastier and which they thought was healthier.

Students in the nutrition for health professionals course taught by Tim Harvey, assistant professor of sportsmedicine, have been preparing the appetizers, entrees and desserts for Taste or Waist annually since 2006.

Harvey said the event draws 200 to 300 people every year and makes people rethink the notion that fewer calories and less fat means less taste.

“In January, everyone is focused on healthy eating and sticking to those New Year’s resolutions,” he said. “The students look forward to cooking, and the community looks forward to tasting and voting.”

Harvey and his class have been keeping statistics on the votes since the event began seven years ago. Since then, he said, about 60 percent of the people voted that the healthier dishes also tasted better.

Taste or Waist, sponsored by the Sportsmedicine Department, Human Resources and Center for Student Engagement and Leadership Development, will feature nearly 20 pairs of items to sample. For the donation of 50 cents or a canned good, visitors will be able to taste and vote on all the dishes. All proceeds benefit the United Way of Erie County. For more information, contact human resources at 824-2279.

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