Friday, December 11, 2009;
-- In 1981, the USDA offered schools 54 foods. Today, more than 180 are offered.
More fruits and vegetables
-- In March, the USDA bought 3.3 million pounds of pre-sliced apples for a pilot effort in five states. The program was so popular that this month, it will make 3.5 million more pounds available to schools in 10 states.
-- For the 2010 school year, the USDA established a new sodium limit for all canned vegetables of 140 milligrams per serving, down from 180 to 550 milligrams. USDA canned green beans have 64 percent less sodium than commercial products.
-- Last year, to replace french fries, the USDA manufactured fat-free potato wedges with 25 percent fewer calories and 92 percent less sodium than in a comparable commercial brand. This year, it provided 3.9 million pounds to schools.