WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. grain industry said on Dec. 19 that it applauds the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to suspend daily and weekly maximum quantities placed on grains, meats and meat alternatives for the school year 2012-13.
The action is positive for both school foodservice operators and school communities, as schools will now have more flexibility to offer grain products to their students, the groups said.
The Grain Chain, an industry collaboration representing grain producers, millers, bakers and allied manufacturers, including the Grain Foods Foundation (GFF), Wheat Foods Council (WFC), American Bakers Association (ABA), USA Rice Federation, National Pasta Association (NPA), National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), U.S. Wheat Associates, and North American Millers Association (NAMA), commends the USDA for closely monitoring the situation, listening to concerns of the community, and taking positive action.
“Childhood nutrition is a topic we in the milling and baking industry care about deeply, so any regulation restricting schools from delivering full nutrition benefits is not the answer,” said Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation. “We commend the USDA for recognizing the need to allow schools greater opportunity to provide adequate nutrition to their students.”
USDA’s new school meal nutrition rule’s support of more whole grains, fruits and vegetables is making very positive changes in meals served to 31 million children each day. The new nutrition goals are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommended six 1-ounce servings of grain foods each day for adults, with at least three servings coming from whole grains.