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April 2, 2024 | 3 minute read

Mobile Food Truck Serves Recipes and Education

Key Takeaways:

  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center runs a food truck that provides healthy recipes, cooking tips and AICR resources to people in Ohio.
  • The truck travels through Ohio to fairs, festivals and schools to promote cancer survivor­ship and cancer prevention through healthy eating.
  • The food truck chefs and dietitians distribute AICR resources because they know the handouts are evidence-based, accurate and trust­worthy.

AICR is an advocate for the power of a nutritious diet for cancer prevention, and this sentiment is shared in an innovative way in Ohio. Chefs and dietitians at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center run the James Mobile Education Kitchen (MEK), a fully equipped food truck that serves up healthy meals with a side of nutrition education.

MEK travels throughout central Ohio on a mission to educate the public about making better food choices to reduce the risk of cancer, and they use AICR resources as part of their protocol.

MEK’s Outreach

Brightly adorned with vegetables and fruits, the food truck commutes to events like health fairs, festivals, schools, churches and other community gatherings, appearing on average at two to three events per week.

David Brue, the Associate Director of Culinary Outreach and Executive Chef at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) says MEK “helps patients and consumers by providing nutrition education that promotes cancer survivor­ship and cancer prevention through healthy eating.”

Brue explains that the MEK gets a great response from the public, who are really interested in nutri­tious recipes and tips on how to eat healthy meals. Seeing the food preparation and tasting the recipes for themselves makes these life-changing eating habits feel more practical.

A Truck on a Mission

The MEK chefs and dietitians cook nutritious reci­pes, serve amazing food and provide tips for healthy grocery shopping. They feature AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer—such as leafy greens and beans—in every recipe.

Dietitian and Senior Culinary Educator at OSUWMC, Cameron Stauffer, RD, says, “Our fo­cus is to teach people how to prepare these foods in quick, budget-friendly ways that taste delicious.”

Cooking demos provide samples of the recipes for the public to try.

Who could resist corn mascar­pone stuffed pasta with poached spring vegetables and basil vinaigrette? Or fan favorite farro salad with roasted eggplant?

AICR Guide to Storing Fresh Produce is a popu­lar teaching tool that MEK provides to the public. Stauffer says, “Our audiences love that it can be referenced quickly.” MEK experts suggest trying a new fruit or vegetable each week.

The MEK experts also promote AICR’s Healthy10 Challenge of diet and lifestyle Rec­ommendations that reduce cancer risk and help us live longer. They encourage people to incorporate a more plant-based diet sustainably.

MEK uses AICR resources because the team knows they are evidence-based, accurate and trust­worthy. “AICR provides correct information,” says Brue. “That’s a big component to MEK. We want to make sure we are proving valid information.” 

Coming Together

The Mobile Education Kitchen offers a unique ser­vice that combines creating and tasting wholesome, beneficial foods with hands-on education for people of all ages. The MEK delivers AICR’s message on cancer prevention through healthy eating and living.

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