Originally published in eCALS
In honor of National Farm to School Month, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and partners launched a series of culinary training videos for school cafeteria staff on Oct. 1 titled “Chop! Chop! Culinary Skills for Wisconsin-Grown Produce in School Meals.”
The five videos are designed to help train school nutrition staff how to work with Wisconsin-grown fruits and vegetables and incorporate them into school meal programs, with the goal of getting more local produce into public schools.
Three training videos are available online, with three more slated for release during October.
Five families of vegetables/fruits are featured in the series, one per video: dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine and chard); winter squash; root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes); brassica family (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage); and tomatoes and bell peppers. A sixth video highlights whole grains. Each video includes an introduction to the crop; culinary skills needed to prepare it; suggestions for how to incorporate it into the school menu; and nutrition information.
For many school nutrition staff, there will be some familiar faces in the videos. Therese Allen, Wisconsin-based food writer, helps narrate the videos, as does Susan Peterman, respected nutrition consultant and former Middleton-Cross Plains School District nutrition director. The videos also include Wisconsin school food service directors and specialty crop producers.
In addition to CIAS, project partners include: CESA Nutrition Purchasing, Wisconsin Farm to School, DPI, DATCP and SNA-WI.
For more information about the project, visit http://www.cias.wisc.edu/chopchop/.
This video series is for demonstration purposes only. When preparing food in school food service operations always follow proper food safety practices as specified by the Wisconsin Food Code. For more information on proper food safety practices please visit the DPI School Nutrition Team’s Website.