Question of the month

Congress blocks Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act revisions regarding tomatoes and potatoes.

Congress’s recent move to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from implementing some rules designed to make school meals healthier has generated a lot of comment in and around the foodservice industry. For readers who haven’t kept up with the news, the USDA sought to increase the amount of tomato paste that would be required to make items—such as pizza—qualify for a serving of vegetables. The agency also wanted to limit the amount of potato products that could be served in foodservice operations.

Congress, reportedly after intense lobbying from companies that sell frozen pizzas and potato products to schools, put the kibosh on those efforts. This has led many news columnists and bloggers, including this editor, to question whether Congress should have the power to scuttle such endeavors.

Recently, FoodService Director created a new offering called “Question of the Month.” Currently found on our Facebook page, QOTM invites readers to sound off on a particular topic. We thought this would create a social media forum for readers, something that if successful would be expanded on the site.

To kick off this effort, we chose the topic of the USDA vs. Congress. Specifically, was Congress right to step in to block proposed USDA regulations regarding potatoes and tomatoes?

We’ve already gotten some interesting and informed responses. We’d like to know what you think. The best answer will appear in next month’s issue of FSD, but the debate can rage on within our Facebook page. So please take some time to visit the site and weigh in. And don’t forget to keep checking back for more provocative questions as we move into 2012.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Ideas and Innovation
food allergy

When potential students come to campus, we match them with a student from our allergy support group for a tour of our dining facilities. The ambassador helps the potential student to understand how they navigated campus with their food allergy. This showcases what we do for allergies on campus, and is a highly successful way to make the students feel good about dining.

Menu Development
muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

FSD Resources