Hello there! My name is Melissa, and I am one of the Seacoast Eat Local interns this year. This is my second time around with SEL, having interned over this past summer at the farmer’s markets, and I’m very excited to be working in a great environment and be totally surrounded by wholesome, locally grown foods again!
I am a senior at UNH in my last semester of the Nutrition and Dietetics program, as well as a dual major in EcoGastronomy, which is the study of sustainable food systems and its impact it has socially, economically, and nutritionally. I can’t wait to graduate, and while I haven’t sorted out my exact dream job, I feel a strong pull towards community nutrition and sustainable local foods—so you could say this job is a great fit for me!
One of my favorite parts about the markets would have to be watching the young kids get all excited about being able to pick out the fruits and veggies they want at the market, and seeing them have the same excitement about picking fresh carrots as I’ve heard some little kids get excited about candy. It warms my heart as a future nutrition professional, and makes me think about how I was raised around food. I didn’t have parents who were really into it and brought me every week to help them pick out our groceries like I see many children with their parents, but instead grew up the rather “conventional way”. I grew up in Hooksett, NH, a nice town in the middle of Concord and Manchester, but spent most of my time in either Hooksett or Manchester. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Manchester market almost every weekend of the summer when I was about 11 or 12, and though the market is pretty small there, I loved everything the market had to offer, and wished I could have spent more time there. But my parents just weren’t into it, and I was pretty much only allowed to go there to grab a little snack after they picked me up from the nearby summer camp. Looking back on an adult and experiencing the market every week now, I’m so happy for all of the little kids I see running by with our wooden tokens, racing to find a bundle of carrots or rhubarb, sort of wishing I had the same up-bringing, but knowing that it only enriches the advice I will give to parents as a future dietitian, because I believe that once the children think it’s fun and are on-board with healthy eating choices, the rest of the family just sort of follows suit, and it leads to better chances of a healthy lifestyle sticking in a family over a longer period of time.
I’m looking forward to this spring with SEL to experience a spring harvest for the first time, and I’ll be sure to provide some fun, interesting blog posts in the future for recipes and nutritional information, so if you have a request in mind, don’t be a stranger! Come visit me at the Rollinsford markets, I would love to meet you and chat!