09 Feb 11 The world’s first anti-cancer cookery school
A pioneering cookery school in France teaches women how to revel in preventative feasting… It has been established by Conner Middelmann-Whitney, a cookery instructor who teaches people how to recover from and even prevent cancer by feeding themselves a Mediterranean diet.
Everything Conner cooks at home and on her pioneering anti-cancer cookery course is selected for its freshness and nutrient density. Things some of us take for granted, such as cows’ milk, bread and potatoes, are replaced with foods that provide a slower release of glucose into the bloodstream.
“Cancer cells love sugar,” she explains. “Glucose can act as a growth factor for tumour cell growth.” Nothing on Conner’s menu will give you a sugar rush, and she refuses to have refined foods – “anything that has been near a factory” – in her classroom kitchen. Instead, she has filled it with natural, seasonal foods, which she teaches her half-a-dozen students – professional middle-aged women from around the world, mostly – to cook slowly, the Mediterranean way.
“It’s controversial,” she says, “but I am convinced that eating more fruit and vegetables, and avoiding mass-produced foods, will protect against cancer.” Conner became a passionate advocate of preventative feasting after she overcame early-stage cervical cancer ten years ago. Aged 33, a smear test showed that she had cancerous lesions on her cervix. They caught it early and she didn’t need chemotherapy, but it made her look again at her life. She was working in central London as a financial journalist, looking after her small son, while training as a nutritionist and helping her husband set up his new business.