b'PROGRAM OF PROMISEMichelle Weiler of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe Countydiscusses sodium levels in popular foods.Fresh herbs at your fingertips can mean less salt in your dietMichelle Weiler steps up in front of the class.Weiler produces a bag and pulls out several She is a nutritionist with the Monroe Countyleafy bunches. One by one, she passes them Cornell Cooperative Extension and an educatoraround the class to smell and discuss. Each for the Finger Lakes Eat Smart NY Program.time, she brings the bunch to her nose before About 20 people are gathered in the simple,passing it on.bare community room at Pinnacle Apartments in Rochester. Out behind Pinnacles concrete towerEveryone takes a moment to crush the different is a large community garden. herbs between their fingers and smell the lingering aromas. They try to guess the name It really has been a good year for gardening,of each herb and then discuss how to use it in she says to get everyones attention. So, I wantthe kitchen. There is cilantro for Mexican dishes. to do a class today because right now its timeBasil for Italian cuisine and tomato-cucumber for harvesting herbs. And I want to talk about asalad. Thyme for chicken or steak. Sage for couple of things. Thanksgiving stuffing. Lemon balm for lemon-pepper chicken or tea. Even lavender, which First is the amount of sodium in what themakes a great tea as well.residents regularly eat. Second, however, is the challenge of reducing the sodium in a personsFor people who might not know how to diet. incorporate fresh, healthy foods into their regular diets, Weilers classes are a great place The minute you take away salt, your foodto begin learning.tastes bland, right? There are nods of agreement all around the class. So herbs are a great way to incorporate flavor into your food. And you can get them right from the garden. You just pick them and have them.15'