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Fall 2009
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Sidebar: Land Grant

CALS Kitchen Cooks Local Produce on TV

by Isabel Lea Sterne '10

Now in its second season, From Farm to Table is a televised cooking show with a twist—the chef cooks up meals that are healthy, tempting, and show audiences the ultimate starting point for the ingredients of all good meals—the farm.

“We want to educate consumers about how food is grown,” says Theresa Mayhew, a resource educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Columbia County and the driving force behind the show. Mayhew partners with the TV network WMHT in the Albany–Capital Region to produce the series, which showcases tasty, easy-to-prepare meals using locally available, in-season ingredients to encourage people to buy and eat local foods.

Each episode opens with a short video clip of the farm where that day’s main menu item originated. In one episode, “Wonderful World of Berries,” the opening clip begins at a local strawberry field and then moves to the kitchen, where the host of the show, CCE nutrition educator Kim Sopzyk, whips up spinach, strawberry, and walnut salad. Along with nutritional advice, chef Sopzyk offers anecdotes and tips from her own personal experience as a mother trying to overcome her children’s picky eating habits.

Shown throughout the Albany area, the upcoming season includes 13 episodes ranging from recipes for root vegetables to making healthy “comfort foods” with less fat, calories, and sodium.