International foods take the stage at DC Adventist Fair
The Dodge County Seventh Day Adventist Church served up a variety of tasty international vegetarian fare earlier this month at its annual International Food Festival.
This was the second year for the event, said church member Donna McNeilus, who coordinated the day.
The setup was a bit different, she said, from last year when the food was served in the school building. This year everything was moved to the church and the food was served from a buffet line.
One of the highlights was a selection of Indian food prepared by Mary Jones.
Jones said she recently returned to Dodge Center from India when she spent seven weeks with a Adventist church group conducting revival meetings and giving talks on health. This was her ninth trip to the Indian subcontinent, McNeilus added.
“I did those (revivals, health talks) at three different locations this year,” Jones said. By the time she was done with the official business, it was just a few days before her 70th birthday and she wanted to celebrate it with some of the local Indian people.
She said she was invited to a friend’s home in Punjab and got to experience real Indian cooking which she was sharing with Dodge Center residents at the Food Festival.
There were also plenty of choices from the Philippines including dessert samples. The food is “absolutely authentic,” McNeilus said.
Much of the food was vegan although there were also vegetarian items including a Mexican lasagna with cheese.
After sampling the many choices, visitors had the opportunity to pick up recipes for all that they had eaten.
Something else that was new this year, McNeilus said, was the addition of gluten free options.
“We really wanted to be as balanced as possible,” McNeilus said.
Healthful eating habits and lifestyles are an important part of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination, and while it is not required that adherents be vegetarian, it is encouraged, she said. She estimated that about half of the Dodge Center congregation follow a vegetarian lifestyle.
Members are encouraged to be thinking of healthy habits, she said, including vegan or vegetarian cooking, exercising and drinking lots of water.
The church has been involved in a health outreach to the community in other ways than the Food Festival including offering classes in healthy cooking.