Courtesy American Mushroom InstitutePennsylvania senator Bob Casey tries mushroom meatballs before a Senate committee hearing on school nutrition.Mushroom meatballs were among the items served at a recent U.S. Senate committee hearing on school nutrition.
Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.) arranged for his fellow senators to sample mushroom meatballs, which are half meat, half mushroom, at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, according to a news release from the Washington, D.C.-based American Mushroom Institute.
The mushroom industry is touting the mushroom meatball as an example of “mushroom blendability” — foods that combine meat and mushrooms for a more healthful alternative.
School foodservice directors can use the U.S. Department of Agriculture commodity program to purchase beef and mushrooms, which are sent directly to meat processors to create meatballs, burgers, tacos and other entrees that have less fat, calories, and sodium than all-meat entrees, according to the institute.
The Senate committee hearing at which the mushrooms were served addressed the pending reauthorization of school nutrition programs. The hearing featured testimony from school foodservice directors from Mississippi, Michigan and Kentucky.