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Your food costs more than you realize: Sustainable nutrition class comes to COCC

The cost of food is greater than the price at the cash register.
Owen Murphy, a Nutrition professor at Central Oregon Community College, wants students to understand the true cost of their food. That’s one of the things he plans to teach in his new class, Sustainable Food and Nutrition, which he will teach for the first time in Spring 2013.
“People assume that the cost of their food is only what they pay,” said Murphy. “But that’s only the portion of the cost.”
Consumers also need to consider what it takes to create the food they purchase, according to Murphy. They need to consider the environmental impact of growing the food, whether or not pesticides are harmful to humans and if the meat was raised humanely.
“You can’t add those factors up on a cash register,” said Murphy.
This class is a long time coming, according to Murphy, who has taught nutrition for eight years. He said he’s had a growing interest in food sustainability, which spurred him to teach the class.
Murphy hopes students who take his class will be inspired to make changes to their food routine. He said he understands that not everyone has the resources to make big changes, but he believes everyone can do something, which will ultimately have a positive impact on food production.
“A lot of people don’t understand how much power they have on consumers,” said Murphy. “We can make a positive change.”

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