Organic meat will be used weekly in pasta sauce
The Haldane School cafeteria served organic, grass-fed ground beef raised at Glynwood Farm in Cold Spring for the first time in its pasta sauce on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and will continue to do so weekly through the remainder of the school year as part of the school district’s Farm to School Initiative. Last fall, the Haldane Wellness Committee raised more than $1,200 at a Family Pasta Night to pay for the beef.
The Farm to School program at Haldane began in 2010 with cooking demonstrations in elementary classrooms and some special locally sourced vegetable dishes served in the cafeteria. Today, the district has a classroom cooking program led by graduate chefs from the Culinary Institute of America, a farming program that teaches students about sustainable agricultural, and a year-round garden for students in kindergarten through sixth grades.
Hudson Valley Fresh milk is served in the cafeteria, and each month a locally grown vegetable is featured on the menu; parents host taste tests and survey the students’ response. In the fall and spring, Glynwood donates hundreds of pounds of produce, filling the salad bar and adding to hot-lunch menu selections.
“We always go through a lot more on the salad bar when Glynwood produce is there,” said Nancy Norton, the cafeteria director. Sandy McKelvey, Haldane’s Farm-to-School coordinator and the founder of Hudson Valley Farm to School, said the grass-fed beef, which has no additives or fillers, has also been a hit with parents, who “encourage their kids to buy on the days it is served.”
“I hope other schools in the area will follow Haldane’s example and consider incorporating local beef and other local farm products into their lunch menus,” she added. “All kids should have access to fresh, nutrient-dense local foods and know where their food comes and how their food choices impact their bodies, their environment and their community.”