PITTSBURGH -- North Hills High School students in Amy Patsilevas’ “The Future is Foods: Healthy, Sustainable Food for All” course harvested produce from the school garden last week.
They grew several tomato and pepper varieties, basil, oregano, Swiss chard, eggplant and zucchini and, after gathering, voted on recipes to make with the produce.
Winning recipes included bruschetta, white pizza with fresh tomatoes and basil and zucchini noodle “pasta” with fresh tomatoes and garlic, with plans to make salsa and eggplant parmesan in the coming weeks.
As part of the course, students research what grows seasonally in Pittsburgh and plant crops accordingly. Grow lights in the classroom are also used for indoor gardening.
Another crop of lettuce and other greens will be planted this week.
“The Future is Foods: Healthy, Sustainable Food for All” is offered during the fall semester to students in grades 10-12
Hands-on labs take place throughout the course as students learn about the global food system.
Other topics covered include the story of food, growing methods and the farm to table journey, religious and cultural food traditions, USDA policies and regulations and the role of the USDA, food advertising and the media, food additives, and food and health.
“I truly believe that we’re on the forefront in our area with this type of class being offered to kids!” Patsilevas said. “The students want to know where their food comes from and have been really receptive to learning more about the local versus industrial food system.”
A 1997 graduate of North Hills, Patsilevas has been teaching in the district for 19 years.
She also lives in Ross Township and her three children attend McIntyre Elementary, North Hills Middle and North Hills High schools.
In addition to the healthy and sustainable foods course, Patsilevas teaches CHS Nutrition, Nutrition, Food & Wellness, and Teen Transitions, and she is the high school’s Hands for Service club sponsor.