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For most students, coming to college is a very different experience than being at home. It is in college where we learn who we are and what we are capable of, aside from what our parents have instilled in us. From what I have seen, not too many students come to college knowing how to cook. However, they do appear to know the fundamentals.

Cooking is one of those things that I believe should be taught at home, but not everyone has the opportunity to be taught these basic skills at home. Not everyone’s parents know how to cook, not everyone’s parents are willing to take the time out of their day to teach these skills and unfortunately, not everyone has parents. A 2014 article from the U.K. publication Daily Mirror found that more than one-third of college students don’t know how to boil an egg. Since we don’t start college off with equivalent opportunity, I believe that the public school system should offer to help those who cannot help themselves.

America is supposed to be built on equal opportunity for all, but our mindset tends to be equal opportunity for all of those who can make it on their own. We live in an individualist society, but we need to get out of that mindset. It is unity that will bring our society to the next level.

Americans are constantly talking about the obesity levels, but what are we really doing about it other than talking about it and implementing a few short-lived programs. The best way to promote change is to educate our youth from a very young age. If we begin to offer cooking classes in middle school on how to make healthy, delicious meals, then maybe more college students will know how to prepare home-cooked meals, resulting in fewer fast food runs.

According to The ‘Freshman 5’: A Meta-Analysis of Weight Gain in the Freshman Year of College, 66 percent of college freshmen gain weight during their first year of college. In college, there is no one stopping students from eating any type of food at any time they want, so it is best that they have a strong foundation when it comes to eating healthy. I believe the best way to eat healthy is to cook at home with real ingredients.

Offering optional cooking classes at school will give each student coming into college the skills necessary to lead a healthier lifestyle. It might be slightly more time consuming to cook food, but in the long run it will save students money.

Whether it be at home or at school, students should be provided with basic knowledge and fundamentals when it comes to cooking.

Fostering healthy habits in our youth today can make an overall healthier America tomorrow.

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Jakeyla Augustin is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.

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