CFA Ensures "All Forms" Are Included

PITTSBURGH (July 11, 2012) – In conjunction with the House Agriculture Committee’s markup of the 2012 Farm Bill, the Canned Food Alliance (CFA) sent a letter to Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) commending them on the inclusion of a provision in the Farm Bill discussion draft to open the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to “all forms” of fruits and vegetables, whether they are fresh, canned, frozen or dried.

In addition, the CFA urged the Chairman and Ranking Member to support the inclusion of Farm Bill report language that encourages the USDA to recognize the benefits of all forms of fruits, vegetables and beans – whether they are canned, fresh, frozen or dried – in all federally funded food assistance programs.

“Opening the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to include all forms of fruits and vegetables is a position that is consistent with the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans that encourage all forms of foods to ensure Americans – especially and including children – get the critical nutrients they need,” CFA Executive Director Rich Tavoletti said. “Allowing schools to have the option to offer multiple forms of fruits and vegetables in this program will help ensure the efficient use of school facilities and budgets without compromising nutrition.”

A recent peer-reviewed study1 buoys this recommendation by showing canned foods provide the important nutrients people need, often at a lower total cost-per-nutrient than fresh, frozen or dried forms. “Practically speaking, the combination of lower cost nutrition, ease of preparation, year-round availability and long shelf life means people are more likely to follow the USDA dietary guidelines if canned foods can figure equally into their options,” Tavoletti said.