'Farm To School' aims to teach students about healthy eating
Healthy food doesn't have to taste bland, it can actually taste very good. A local chef proved that to students at Hagerman High School on Monday.
"I love it. its such a passion doing this and to get the message across," said Kirt Martin, Chef/Owner of Snake River Grill.
For Chef Martin, that message is to cook and eat healthier while using local ingredients.
"I'm very afraid for our country in our foods today--what is being processed, what the children are eating--and we can see challenges and problems that are happening because of that," he said.
This is part of the high school's 'Farm to School' program in the agriculture department. Idaho Preferred provide schools across the state resources to implement the Farm to School month theme, One Small Step. This initiative aims to incorporate ways that farm-to school efforts can improve nutrition, support local farmers, and educate children.
All of the ingredients that were used came from the community garden, their greenhouse, or a local grower.
"Once they grow something, they take ownership in it and they're desiring to want to eat that. After they harvest it and cook it, there's no plate that's left with food on it," said Daniel Knapp, Hagerman High School Agriculture Instructor.
Chef Martin guided a class of eight and ninth graders on how to cook trout and make his marinara recipe.
"I want to show them that freshness and the flavors when it comes from the garden--foods that have not been processed and how quick and easy it is to do," Martin said.
After it was all said and done, he topped the marinara and trout on spaghetti squash and everyone got a taste of their own cooking. Many even went back for more.
Chef Martin has been doing cooking demos with the agriculture class for a couple years now and plan to educate as many people as possible about healthy eating.
As for the ag department, they hope to expand the community garden to benefit their program and even help the local food bank. That all depends on grants they can get.