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The Washington Post reports on how the US Congress currently is debating the renewal of farm legislation, with the Senate "pressing to keep the program limited to fresh produce. The House, however, has proposed making room for frozen, canned and dried produce — agitating program supporters and pitting factions of the food industry against one another in a bout of frenetic lobbying."

Here's how the Post frames the story: "Since its creation a decade ago, the tiny program has been distributing free fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks to elementary schools that have a high percentage of low-income children, a group that typically has less exposure to fresh produce and does not consume anywhere near the amount recommended by national dietary guidelines.
The effort raised consumption in participating schools by a quarter-cup per day, or 15 percent, according to an analysis released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the program. The increase did not contribute to weight gain, suggesting that the fruit and vegetables replaced other foods, the study said."

It goes on:

"Advocates of the House legislation say schools should have access to produce in all forms. The frozen, canned and dried varieties are often more affordable than fresh produce, they argue, and their inclusion would enable schools to provide a wider range of options year-round ... School nutrition associations in three states — California, New York and Texas — have signed on.

"But while the California School Nutrition Association wants the program expanded, the California Department of Education does not. The department said kids have plenty of exposure to frozen, canned and dried produce in federally subsidized school meals. United Fresh Produce Association, a trade group that primarily represents fresh-produce firms, has made the same argument."
KC's View:
I smell lobbying money here. It is not a particularly sweet aroma.

Listen, I think there is no reason why, when certain fruits and vegetables are not available fresh, that they can't be provided to kids in canned or frozen form. But it has always been my belief that they were anyway ... and that this program was to heighten their exposure to fresh foods.

Let's not pretend they are exactly the same. They're not. Except, of course, to politicians who hunger for the kinds of dollars that lobbyists can steer their way.

Nope, there is nothing particularly sweet about the aroma of this debate.