Cooking Merit Badge Health & Safety
Areas of Study:
- Health and Safety
- Cooking Basics
- Cooking at Home
- Camp Cooking
- Trail and Backpacking meals
- Food related careers
Safety is about attitude
Attitude – what you think
- do you enjoy eating?
- cooking is lots of fun,
- what ingredients do you like?
- Use cookbooks or magazines.
- Do you have the munchies?
- Spare a half an hour and cook away!
When students go into professional cooking schools they are not allowed to rush into the kitchen and start cooking right away. The student learns about how the kitchen works.
This means that the first thing they learn about is kitchen safety and how to use the equipment that is in the kitchen. We can learn from the way that professionals operate by learning the same things for the home.
There are many areas of kitchen safety as well as safety in general. Safety is very important. For example when it comes to knife skills. The main rule is that if you don’t feel comfortable then do not make the cut. The goal is to keep all of our fingers from being cut or burned. Each finger you have on your hands may be worth as much as $250,000 in your lifetime. Maybe the value of each finger is more.
Yet we see so many people just try to rush through the food preparation process. These people usually end up with a cut or a burn because they are not careful and not paying attention.
Safety starts with your attitude. Attitude is the way we think about ourselves and the world around us.
Another area of concern is that when you are working in the kitchen, please realize that it is OK to make mistakes as long as nobody gets hurt.
I’m speaking about the kinds of mistakes like burning a bit of food. Or not cutting an ingredient into the correct shape or size. Or mixing too much or too little of something in your recipe. Mistakes are how most of us learn.
Take the great inventors for example: Alexander Graham Bell messed up on the light bulb 900 times before he got it correct. He never stopped and he kept his attitude positive so that we could all benefit from his learning. This is an attitude that we need to have. The Wright Brothers – they also failed several times before they were able to get their Kitty Hawk to fly. They showed the same positive attitude and not giving up at the first sign of a problem. This is the same determination we need when we attempt to tackle a recipe.
It is actually really thrilling to have a great understanding of food and nutrition, but it all starts with being safe in the kitchen and understanding the equipment and ingredients around you.