Tuesday, November 27, 2007

School Food and The Farm Bill

Nicole Gaouette of the LA Times has written an informative article about links between Farm Bill provisions and school lunches: Stirring up nutrition goals for farm bill. She notes that many blame the Farm Bill and subsidies for corn and soy growers for the high calorie, relatively low nutrient-dense foods often favored in school lunches. Corn and soy product fillers are cheap, and those foods are often the highly processed and fried foods favored by kids. This year's farm bill was put on hold, and there's no word on when there will be a final decision, but it may end up with some changes that will favor more fresh fruits and vegetables for schools, as well as more support for farms growing food crops for humans (as opposed to feed corn, soy and sorghum). The delay provides more time for public feedback to influence the decisions. (Also, as you may know, the Farm Bill also has draft provisions to clarify purchasing rules so that schools have more flexibility to buy from local farms.)