Ag Secretary visits Jefferson Middle School

Published Oct 23, 2013 at 5:12 am (Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm)

During a recent visit to Jefferson Middle School in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary George Greig made certain students ate their vegetables. And, most ate all of their veggies, or at least sampled them, without complaint.

“I never had squash before,” said sixth-grader Marley Young. “It’s actually pretty good.

Carter Davidson, another sixth-grade student, agreed. “I like it,” he said.

Must have been the way the vegetables were prepared.

During a cooking demonstration Oct. 15, Greig, along with school chef Dave Misterka stir-fried fresh yellow squash and zucchini from Wexford Farms.

While October is National Farm to School Month, with the 14th through the 18th deemed as National School Lunch Week, Mt. Lebanon uses produce from local farms. This month, the district is spotlighting Wexford Farms.

“We try hard to be sure we’re getting local vegetables and fruit,” explained Jefferson Middle School Principal Dr. James Walsh.

Greig stressed, “It’s very important to eat local foods whenever you can.” He added doing so supports local farmers and the local economy.

“Food tastes better when it’s fresher,” Greig added.

He also urged the students that when they go shopping with their families to look for local foods, specifically with the PA Preferred label. PA Preferred is the official brand of agricultural products grown or made in Pennsylvania.

While students, like Casey Coco, thought “it cool” that Greig came to their school, Chef Misterka hoped the demonstration showed “how simple it is” to prepare fresh, local foods that taste good and are cool to eat.

Patrick Anderson certainly thought the concoction delicious. The sixth-grader may have liked the zucchini and squash more than any other student at Jefferson.

“I had 12,” he said, pointing to the stack of sample sized bowls that he had finished. “I liked it,” he said.

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