Frozen food sections could experience even more traffic if the American Frozen Food Institute has its way.
Last week the McLean, Va.-based group submitted comments to the Child Nutrition Division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service urging the inclusion of frozen products, like fruits and vegetables, in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, also known as WIC. AFFI is also requesting that frozen foods be included in other nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program.
“School children and participants in the WIC program can benefit from learning that good nutrition can be achieved by consuming a wide variety of foods,” said Robert Garfield, interim president for AFFI, in a statement. “AFFI's member companies are hopeful that Congress and the agency will recognize the innovation that has taken place within our industry and the value of frozen products as part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Frozen fruits and vegetables maintain the same nutritional integrity of fresh, Chuck Fuqua, spokesman for AFFI, told SN.
“If you look at frozen fruits and vegetables, chances are they were frozen the same day they were picked, so the nutrients were locked in,” he said. “Those that end up in the produce aisle are picked, transported, brought to the warehouse, put in the store, purchased by the consumer, and finally, when they're eaten, an entire week may have passed.”