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Student dishes out science, with a spatula

Christina Ferrara is the definition of a triple threat, with expertise in chemical engineering, comedy, and cooking.

She raves about her homemade honey balsamic vinegar dressing with tongue planted firmly in cheek: “I suggest lettuce, but you can eat it on a shoelace,” she told a score of students.

The second-year student from Connecticut ran a cooking demo on March 29 in Ell Hall as part of the second-annual Food Justice Week, a five-day program dedicated to educating the Northeastern community about socially conscious eating. The slate of events included volunteer opportunities, guest speakers, and documentary film viewings.

“We want people to start thinking about where their food comes from and how it affects them and the people around them,” said Michelle O’Donnell, the director of communications for Slow Food NU, a student organization that takes socially conscious eating to heart. “Our philosophy focuses on good, clean, fair food for all, and we seek to educate our members and the rest of the Northeastern community on how to put that philosophy into practice.”

Food Justice Week was co-sponsored by Slow Food NU; the Husky Environmental Action Team; the Progressive Student Alliance; the Latin American Student Association; the Social Justice Resource Center; NUEats; and Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Ferrara’s menu last Friday comprised eight different dishes: two salads, two Mexican entrees, two Italian entrees, and two desserts. From jalapeños stuffed with chicken, cottage cheese, and olives to orange cake with cherry apple compote, Ferrara proved to the crowd of hungry Huskies that she knows a thing or two about making food delectable.

Her motto is simple: “Eat what you like.”

Ferrara’s long-standing passion for cooking is not surprising. Both of her parents attended culinary school, and she has run her own food blog since high school, which started out as a senior project. When it came time to pick a major, she wanted to go into a field that would allow her to approach food from a different perspective.

“When I was exploring majors, I was torn between criminal justice and chemistry,” Ferrara explained. “After some research, I landed on chemical engineering, which has allowed me to study food.”

After graduation, Ferrara plans to pursue her masters’ degree in food science, a field in which she can combine her Northeastern education with her love for cooking.