'Maggie' and 'Jennifer' feed Yale students

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CECARELLI Farms in Northford, in the US, recently unearthed the first harvest of Jennifer potatoes and Maggie potatoes, two specialty varieties planted on-site for use in Yale University’s dining halls. 

The seeds were bred in the Netherlands, and thanks to a new partnership between Netherlands-based potato seed breeder HZPC, New Haven-based Freshpoint Produce Distribution and Yale Dining, students will soon be dining on the varieties.

James Benson, director of culinary excellence at Yale, told the student newsletter, Yale Daily News: "We needed to look for different varieties of potatoes with higher nutrients and positive environmental impact.”

The two varieties Yale is growing are coveted for their faster cooking times, making them a good choice for student dining, he added.

James also emphasized the importance of events like the potato harvest on food literacy across campus.

“We continue our innovation not only through locally, regionally-grown food, but better quality and ‘better for you’ food which is better for the planet. It’s important for us to remember where our food really comes from, and educate our students through these interactive experiences as well.”

The Yale Dining team plans on creating more varieties of the potatoes for future harvests.

Photo: Stanley Morales from Pexels