Parents concerned about their children’s eating habits at college can breathe a sigh of relief. For Princetonians, pecorino is the new pizza.
At the University’s first student-organized farmers’ market Sept. 25, the line for cheese at the Valley Shepherd Creamery booth was more than 15 people deep.
“No nettles?” cried a dismayed Grant Gittlin ’08 when he’d reached the front of the line. “You’re killing me, man.”
Gittlin was hoping for a taste of the creamery’s signature creation, a mixed-milk cheese flavored with stinging nettles. He settled for a round of organic sheep’s milk chèvre.
“I’m going to get my George Foreman grill and some health nut bread,” Gittlin explained. “I’ll put some cheese in the bread — maybe a mélange of cheeses — then grill it up for a late-night snack.”
Students, faculty, staff, and community members filled the sun-drenched courtyard outside Firestone Library, hoping for a taste of the organic
foods for sale by local farmers. The farmers’ market was scheduled to return to the plaza on the following four Tuesdays.
At the Honeybrook Organic Farm stand, Daphne Oz ’08 picked out yellow heirloom tomatoes the size of pumpkins, fresh lettuce, and organic radishes. A few moments later, she was slicing the ingredients for a farm-fresh lunch salad. Nearby, chefs from University Dining Services offered a cooking demonstration, using ingredients from local producers and herbs grown by Princeton students to whip up a tomato and crouton salad.
Although Posie Harwood ’09 confessed to gorging herself on bread and cheese from the market, she said she had come for more than just the food. “I really like going to the farmers’ market for the community feel,” she said. “There’s a happy vibe being there — seeing students coming and getting stuff, people from the town coming, teachers coming, and everyone mingling with the vendors. Underlying that is the idea that people are buying and getting into healthy, organic food.”
Gittlin also appreciated the market for bringing people together in celebration of local produce and organic foods. “Everyone’s in a rush. It’s nice to take a step back and see people who take the time to enjoy good food in their daily life,” he said.
While the market’s first day was a success, Princeton students have a long way to go in terms of making educated, sustainable decisions about food, said Katy Andersen ’08, the co-organizer of the event. “I think most students just want to eat food that tastes good without thinking about where it comes from,” Andersen said.