coverFarmToTableForSchools
  • Sample pages
  • Page 1

    Foreword

    No childhood is complete without the memory of the cafeteria lunch lady. She was the underappreciated, and often feared, deliverer of a lunch of largely unknown origin. It wasn't her fault that you suffered through five days of government cheese and hockey puck burgers. The school food supply chain has relied on heavily preserved food products for the purpose of long term storage and limited preparation costs. Now, there is a new approach to the school cafeteria food supply chain - the "Farm to School" (F2S) philosophy. Spearheading this new food philosophy is Chef Budd Cohen.

    Chef Budd Cohen has dedicated his culinary career to promoting the connection between local farms and the cafeteria. His culinary ingenuity and ability to build relationships with farmers is transforming the culinary landscape in schools. In this book, Chef Budd uses his culinary journey to instruct other chefs, food service directors, administrators and all interested parties about how to alter their culinary journey, rerouting them to the local farm community.

    This book fills a void in the culinary arts by outlining, in detail, the steps necessary to connect your school to a network of local farmers and farm cooperatives that will supply you with farm fresh produce and meats to introduce new tastes, fresh ingredients, and higher nutritional value to your school meals.

    Chef Budd’s enthusiasm, cheerful personality, and motivational approach to the Farm to School movement have transformed many schools across Pennsylvania and Delaware. In this book, he has designed and perfected the instruction manual for a cafeteria conversion to healthier farm-sourced ingredients, while supporting your local community and economy.

    Foreword by Dr. Timothy Lynch, Science Teacher at William Penn Charter School and Researcher at University of Pennsylvania

  • Page 2

    Introduction

    Why write this book?

    After years of learning about and experiencing firsthand the farm to table movement, I felt compelled to share what I have learned along the way. My hope is that this book will be a guide to help you serve more local, healthful food at your school and to help create a more environmentally sustainable planet.

    The farm to table movement (F2T) and farm to school movement (F2S) are connected in many ways. Farm to table could be considered the larger entity that encompasses all farm direct food distribution settings, with the recipients being groups and individuals. Under this umbrella are many sub-categories. Some of these categories can be broken down even further into subgroups. A good example of this could be farm to preschool (F2PS), a sub group of farm to school. Whether you are involved in an educational setting that is privately run or are in a publicly operated institution, this information should be valuable. It is not difficult to serve local food in your establishment, but it will take patience, planning and communication.

    The collection of stories, points and steps compiled in this book will help you learn how to effectively plan, communicate, and execute a farm to school program.

    Who is This Book For?

    This book is geared towards several people. Chefs, students, teachers, food service directors, school administrators, facility managers, and business leaders. All can benefit from reading this book.

    There are many ways that establishments can benefit from serving local foods and supporting local agriculture. In addition to showing you how to support local agriculture, this guide will demonstrate how your institution can be more sustainable in other areas as well.

    What Can You Get Out of This Book?

    Chapter one walks through five top reasons for adopting the farm to table concept in your institution. Chapters two and three document my background and history. Chapter four lays out nine general points of focus for sustainability and chapter five outlines the steps you need to take to install a farm to school program at your institution.

    It is important to do some self-reflection before attempting to embark on this project. Eating is a personal act. This book can be thought of as a starting point. Consider it a compass that will point you in the right direction. There is no cookie cutter model for taking farm to table into an establishment. Each situation and institution should be handled in a unique way.

    Determine your goals and motivation. As you move through the chapters, ask yourself why you are considering embarking on this journey. Evaluate as you go as to where you are at in your own mind with the project. Farm to table can be a complicated process, so you need to understand where you are coming from and what your reasons are for pursuing it.

    The main goals of this publication are to inspire and educate. In a nutshell, this book may inspire you and show you how to take the next step. I will list successes and learning moments. The goal is to educate you and encourage you to move beyond what has been done.

  • About the Author

    Chef Budd Cohen has been on the cutting edge of the farm to school movement through his experience in educational food service, his insatiable curiosity about local food production and his love of tasty food.

    He is currently the Food Service Director at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and he consults with organizations that are interested in exploring the farm to table experience. He lives in Audubon, PA with his wife and two children.

    Chef Cohen can be reached by email to chefdad007@msn.com. For more information, visit his website at www.chefbuddcohen.com.

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Farm to Table for Schools

Farm to table is making its way into restaurants, and is slowly making its way into schools. This movement makes a lot of sense for schools: it provides great publicity and attracts a higher level of student; it exemplifies the lessons on environmental stewardship that the school wants the students to learn; and it provides greater nutritional value in the food being provided. The challenge is to figure out how to implement such a system within the confines of a school system – delivery times, budget, bureaucracy, etc. This book provides a step-by-step guide on how to implement a farm-to-table approach for schools, written by a chef who has implemented farm-to-table systems in many schools.

Chef Budd Cohen’s love for food is deeply rooted in his family. While his grandparents in¬stilled a love of cooking and inspired Budd, today he generously shares his wealth of knowl¬edge so that your children can benefit from recent healthy food movements.
Darryl J. Ford
Head of School, The William Penn Charter School

Budd Cohen has been at the forefront of the movement to transform school food. In our region, he is a leader in promoting the idea that school cafeterias can serve healthy, local and delicious food. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning how to implement a successful Farm to School program at their school.
Tatiana Garcia-Granados
Common Market Philadelphia, Co-Founder & Executive Director

Chef Budd Cohen has documented one of the most ex¬citing chapters in the Local Foods Movement, helping to ensure a long-term transformation. Farm to Table for Schools adds an inspiring personal story and an instruc¬tion manual for taking action.
Mary Ann Ford
co-founder and co-owner of Harvest Local Foods
Lansdowne, PA

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