See for yourshelf — UI Campus Dietician gives grocery store tours to students


University of Idaho Campus Dietician Marissa Rudley gave a tour to 10 UI students at The Moscow Food Co-op.

One of Rudley’s primary goals for the tour was to talk about how important it is to plan by having a list and a budget in mind when shopping. Rudley cited the USDA minimum food budgets. The USDA average budgets according to Rudley are approximately $38 a week for a woman and $40 for a man.

“College students are typically on a tight budget to begin with and also are at this really neat stage of life where they’re developing shopping and eating habits…so this is a crucial time to learn some skills about shopping, meal planning and how to cook all in a budget.”

Leslie Kiebert | Argonaut
University of Idaho nutritionist Marissa Rudley shows different kinds of cereal to the tour participants Thursday at Moscow Food Co-op.

Rudley also gave tips and tricks about purchasing food. Rudley detailed multiple sections of the store and pointed out how to look for the best deals and the most nutritious foods in each section.

Rudley spoke about the deli, meat, dairy and spice sections as well as the bulk section in the Moscow Food Co-op. Rudley taught those who attended the tour how to compare unit prices and gave examples in which bulk food was cheaper and examples when packaged food was less expensive. Rudley also spoke about how to identify what food has pesticides in it and the differences between organic and non-organic foods.

UI freshman Madeline Sutton, who is majoring in family consumer science with an emphasis in early childhood development, said she enjoyed the tour and attended to learn more about nutrition and buying food while in college on a tight budget.

“Every single time I come on these (Vandal Health Ed. grocery tours) I learn new tips. For example, today I learned with cereals you should look at fiber first and not protein. I also learned about cutting down on sugar,” Sutton said.

Rudley provided those who attended the tour with gift bags which included some food and ingredients mentioned on the tour and a recipe book. The tour on Nov. 30 was the last tour of the semester but Rudley said she will likely be giving two tours next semester at Winco and The Moscow Food Co-op.

In addition to the grocery store tours, Rudley teaches a cooking class with Vandal Health Education. The class will take place from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday Dec. 7 in room 103 in the UI Student Recreation Center. The class will focus on making cheap and healthy snacks, Rudley said. Rudley announced during the tour that the spring semester will include a class every month starting in January.

Elizabeth Marshall can be reached at

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