I also question funding of projects to invest in kitchen equipment to serve local products year-round through processing and freezing techniques.
Really? For the sake of argument, do New Jersey kids really want frozen “local” zucchini in mid-winter rather than fresh baby carrots from California?
“I got rocks,” Charlie Brown will say as he goes through the lunch line.
I do think there are some solid ideas in the farm-to-school grants, particularly relating to funds supporting nutrition education efforts, school gardens, field trips to local farms and cooking classes.
Other smart investments were used for grants to programs that use food hubs, or partner with mainline distributors.
The USDA, like Linus, is trying too hard to convince us about the value of the farm to school program.
“There are three things you must never discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin,” Linus concluded in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
Though we shouldn’t add the “farm to school program” to that list just yet, the blind faith of the USDA leadership in farm-to-school program is troubling.
Do kids really care about farm to school produce? Are kids in Iowa going to be more thrilled with a California grape cluster or a turnip from the next county? Let the market lead, not ideology.
If there are great opportunities in fresh produce growers finding opportunities to service school districts with local food, a government-funded farm to school program won’t be the key to success.
Profit potential is all the sincerity fresh produce growers and distributors need.