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SCHOOL LUNCH REPORT UNDERSCORES VALUE OF PROCESSED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, SAYS NFPA

 /ADVANCE/ WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) "supports the basic premise of a new report that calls for school lunch programs to serve more fruits and vegetables," according to the association.
 The report was released today by Public Voice for Food and Health Policy.
 "Many of the fruits and vegetables that are popular with children are not available out of growing season unless they've been processed and packaged," said NFPA President and CEO John R. Cady. "Moreover, the convenience of shelf-stable foods is a big plus in terms of being able to turn out 24.5 million school lunches each day. Using processed and packaged foods, much of the preparation already has been done," he added.
 "There is little or no difference in the nutritional value of canned, frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables once they have been prepared to eat," Cady pointed out.
 Cady took exception with the report's recommendation that the School Lunch Program takes steps to purchase and serve organic foods or foods grown using low levels of pesticides. "This recommendation has absolutely no scientific basis and would provide no health or nutrition benefit whatsoever," Cady said. "Virtually all processed foods are free of pesticide residues."
 Cady noted that "There is one major difference between these products, however: cost. Organic produce is far more costly -- and much less available -- than traditionally grown fresh, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables."
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry, concentrating exclusively on food issues. The association's 500 member companies produce the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and specialty products.
 -0- 9/8/93/1100
 /CONTACT: Timothy Willard of the National Food Processors Association, 202-637-8060/


CO: National Food Processors Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

MH-DS -- DC042 -- 9548 09/07/93 18:16 EDT
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Date:Sep 7, 1993
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