Changes to School Vending Machines Cause Cranberry Concern

vending machines for saleBecause of the changes proposed by Michelle Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will propose new nutrition standards for what can be sold in school vending machines. Naturally sugar is expected to take a nose-dive. Even though we expect there to be far less sugary snacks, the cranberry industry wasn’t expecting to be hit as well. As our taste buds already know, cranberries are naturally tart and sugar must be added to sweeten the taste. The issue was recently brought to light at a caucus on Capitol Hill.

Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Scott Brown came to the fruit’s rescue by saying an exception should be made for cranberries because of their overall health benefits. The pro-cranberry committee  asks that a variety of cranberry juice and dried cranberries be included in the nutrition program for children –they even sent a letter to the first lady herself boasting about urinary tract health and the fruit’s fight against cancer cells. Proponents fear a ban of the fruit in snack vending machines at schools could seriously hurt the cranberry industry.

Do you think an exception should be made for the super fruit? It will be interesting to see the effects of the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs on both the food and vending machine industries.