Keeping America in Mind this July 4th … and Beyond!

Celebrating America and supporting American growth initiatives is a great way to spend July 4th! At Foothill Farms®, we are keeping American products a priority on every other day, too.

We commit to manufacture our food products from American sources as much as possible.
We commit to manufacture our food products from American sources as much as possible.

As July 4th celebrations of barbeques and fireworks begin, we are reminded of our commitment to celebrate America’s great traditions with our families, friends, and coworkers. Being a foodservice provider to schools, we also acknowledge our commitment to manufacture our food products from American sources as much as possible to exceed U.S. government regulations regarding federal nutrition programs. According to the regulations, a food product must be processed in the U.S. and at least 51% of each product must contain domestic ingredients. Buying American supports our domestic farmers but also helps ensure that food safety inspection standards are being met. Put simply, if the food is grown here, it is easier to monitor all stages of growth, harvest, cleaning and packaging processes right here in America. All Foothill Farms® products are processed in U.S. plants located in Bolingbrook, Illinois, New Sharon, Iowa and in Columbus, Ohio. And ingredients are sourced from America when possible. One exception to this would be crops that are not grown in the United States. Examples of products that are not available in America are spices which are grown around the equatorial regions. Cassava, of which tapioca starch is made, is primarily sourced from Thailand and provides the type of starch used in our sauces. Cocoa trees, which provide the cocoa for desserts and frozen treats, live exclusively in the tropical climates of Africa, Asia, and South America. Dehydrated vegetables come from other countries as U.S. grown vegetable are largely sold fresh, canned, or frozen.

Flavorful sauces, dressings & dips to entice kids to eat more veggies!
Flavorful sauces, dressings & dips to entice kids to eat more veggies!

Foothill Farms® admires the USDA’s Farm-to-School initiatives, which have been implemented by 44% of public schools and another 13% launching a program in the near future. Farm-to-School programs have the dual benefit of instilling healthy learning habits to future generations but also providing funding of school programs directly into the local community. Local farmers reap the benefits of providing healthy fresh ingredients to the schools right in their own communities and kids are eating freshly grown products. Our products can complement the Farm-to-School program by adding flavorful sauces, dressings and dips to entrees and sides in order to create tasteful dishes that entice kids to eat more vegetables. Learn more about the Farm-to-School program www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/census and check out this infographic.

Celebrating America and supporting American growth initiatives is a great way to spend July 4th! At Foothill Farms®, we are keeping American products a priority on every other day, too.

Lose the Sodium without Losing the Kids

Spaghetti, pizza, sloppy joes, chili, and tacos are known as “kid-tested, mom-approved” meals but when the ingredients have too much salt, they quickly turn into cafeteria no-gos! Flavorwise™ from Foothill Farms® was created to help reduce sodium on school menus without sacrificing taste. Each product has 310mg sodium or less per serving, 0g trans fat, is low fat or fat free and contains no cholesterol or added MSG.

Flavorwise™ by Foothill Farms® Reduced Sodium mixes
All Flavorwise products are sodium-conscious, lower in fat and cholesterol and don’t contain added MSG, so your customers can make smarter choices.

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are federally funded by the USDA each year to cover the cost of free and reduced meals, as well as some additional financial support for paid meals. The NSLP and SBP mandate the amount of sodium, calories, trans fat, and saturated fat allowed in school meals. For example, for the 2014/15 school year, food prepared for K-5 lunches can’t have more than 1230 mg of sodium, 550-650 calories, 0 g per serving of trans fat and less than 10% of calories from saturated fat.  Source: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/uploadedFiles/School_Nutrition/105_Meetings/CurrentandPastMeetings/CurrentMeetingPages/LegislativeActionConference/Presentations/1-Comparison%20of%20Current%20and%20New%20Regulatory%20Requirements%20under%20Final%20Rule.pdf?n=9218

Over the next eight years, school cafeterias and foodservice providers need to continue to reduce the amount of sodium in their meals. The USDA’s target sodium content allowed in school meals for 2022/23 is 640 mg of sodium. Source: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/sodium.pdf. To help put sodium levels in perspective, we found a helpful chart that coverts teaspoons to milligrams (tsp to mg).

1/4 teaspoon salt = 600 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt = 1,200 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt = 1,800 mg sodium
1 teaspoon salt = 2,400 mg sodium

Source: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Shaking-the-Salt-Habit_UCM_303241_Article.jsp

At the current target sodium rate, students are allowed about ½ teaspoon of salt in their lunch. By 2022, that allowance will be cut in half. Which means, the focus on reducing sodium is now! A gradual reduction of sodium is the best way to achieve student acceptance. The nutritional information for Flavorwise™ products will gradually change as the years go by, decreasing the sodium amounts so that they correspond with the federal nutritional guidelines outlined through 2022/23.

Our goal is to keep the kids eating school breakfast and lunch, rather than bringing their own from home. Therefore, taste is extremely important to us as well as waste. If the kids don’t like what they eat, they’ll pitch it! For more reasons than one, this isn’t acceptable! Currently, we have 29 products in our Flavorwise™ product line. Please click here for our newest brochure on Flavorwise™.