Tuesday, December 24, 2013

U.S. cranberry policy

Even the cranberries on Christmas tree chains have a U.S. food policy story to accompany them. I enjoyed speaking to David Gura for his Christmas Eve Marketplace Morning Report story this morning:
The Congressional Cranberry Caucus -- yes, such a thing exists -- asked the Department of Agriculture to add cranberries to what’s called the “USDA Foods Available List.” These are “foods that are available for schools to purchase as part of their commodity feeding programs,” says Scott Soares, the head of the Cranberry Marketing Committee.

These are the kinds of fruits and vegetables the federal government buys for school meals programs.

“When the National School Lunch Program started in 1946, it was very explicitly half about helping children and half about commodity disposal,” says Parke Wilde, who teaches nutrition at Tufts.

These days, Wilde says, that balance has shifted; now it is more about nutrition goals.

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