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Dynamic Grade 12 Student is Promoting Sustainable Meals with Her Award-Winning Recipe

Dynamic Grade 12 Student is Promoting Sustainable Meals with Her Award-Winning Recipe

Lacia-Paige Cummings is a talented and innovative young adult who is doing her part to protect the planet by educating others on sustainable food options. The grade 12 STEM student recently won a recipe contest by creating a delicious meal using sustainable food options found around her home.

The idea to create sustainable and healthy meals was sparked after seeing a poster for the Tre Stelle Cheese4Change contest while attending grade 11 classes. The young sustainability advocate and environmentalist entered the contest because she likes to cook, and it was a great opportunity to learn something new.

The Cheese4Change contest is held annually by Arla Foods – Tre Stelle Canada. Each recipe entrant must contain a Tre Stelle cheese as one of its ingredients. Cheese is a highly sustainable food that can be incorporated into many recipes.

The contest runs every school year from September to April and is open to all Canadian elementary, secondary, and post-secondary school students, school staff on behalf of their classroom or school, and school board, trustee or committee member entering on behalf of their school. Multiple winners are chosen. Each winner receives $500 and their school group receives a $5,000 grant.

With her mom’s help, Cummings created a salmon and sausage pizza with Tre Stelle feta cheese using leftover ingredients from the fridge and fresh vegetables and herbs from her dad’s home garden. She submitted a video as her contest entry that she developed and edited with her family’s help. Cummings was one of several winners.  After winning the contest, she created a healthy menu to promote sustainable meals with her classmates and the public by adding two other recipes created by other contest winners including caprese skewers and a raspberry ricotta smoothie.

Cummings developed an enthusiasm to protect the planet while learning about the earth, global warming, recycling, and composting at school. The more she’s learned about the environment, the more determined she’s become to incorporate as many eco-friendly and sustainable options into her daily routine as possible.

Cummings also likes educating others about healthier, eco-friendly choices. While working as a camp counsellor over the summer, she often spoke to the young campers and their parents about healthier and sustainable food preparation like using home grown garden foods and leftovers in recipes. She also encouraged her campers and families to use reusable containers, bags, and beeswax wrappers instead of single use packaging.

She enjoys being an environmental mentor and modelling eco-friendly choices to her friends, family, and community by creating recipes, using reusable food containers, taking the environmentally friendlier transportation options like public transit, and recycling.

When she’s not promoting healthier and environmentally sustainable lifestyle and eating habits, Cummings is a competitive dancer, camp counsellor, dance instructor and head of the dance team at her school. She’s won several competitions and choreographs different dance routines for her campers and teammates.

Cummings started dancing at the age of four year of age. Her favourite dance styles are hip hop and tap. Along with her impressive dance moves, Cummings speaks three languages, English, French and Spanish and is an honour roll student. She is also a member of the Musical Theatre Club, Black Student Association and Women’s Empowerment Association, and Leadership by Design Program.

Cummings is excited to be graduating from high school next June, and has exciting plans for the future. After high school, she plans to go to a French immersion university where she wants to major in Software Engineering and minor in Spanish. She wants to pursue a career in video editing, create more sustainable, healthy meals, and travel.