Food Trends & China Ready for Pork

Food Trends & China Ready for Pork

Food Trends & China Ready for Pork plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack had some good news for pork producers who have been fighting an up-hill battle since the outbreak of the H1N1 virus.

VILSACK: China has indicated publically through the Minister of Agriculture, Minister Sun that they are indeed lifting their ban on pork imports from the Unites States. What we are waiting for is a detailed explanation from another Chinese ministry, their Ministry of Standards that will establish the circumstances under which imports will be allowed. We have received some preliminary information from them concerning those standards and we are in the process of clarifying precisely what is meant.

The National Restaurant Association's annual survey of hottest menu trends indicates there are three areas for focus in 2010. They are: sustainability, local sourcing; and nutrition. Michael Ty, president of the American Culinary Federation, calls the report - retro — it's what we did in the past when chefs relied on local markets because we did not have the luxury of today's transportation system. Other trends are farm- and estate-branded ingredients; regional ethnic cuisine; newly fabricated cuts of meat; mini-burgers or sliders in appetizers; and special preparations.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make her drink. School officials are finding out that this old saying also seems to apply to school children. In an effort to provide students with healthier, more nutritious lunch choices many school districts have spent thousands of dollars, focusing on local foods and meals made from scratch; only to discover their youngest students are turning their little noses up to the healthier fare and not partaking of the new school lunch menus.  The middle school and high school students however seem to appreciate the healthier food choices being offered to them and are buying more hot school lunches than ever before. School officials have decided that inviting parents to have lunch at school with their elementary age students might just be the influencing factor they need to increase lunch sales. School officials are relying heavily on the assumption that their students’ parents will prefer to make healthy food choices.  Hopefully this strategy won’t backfire on them. But then the parents will probably be on their best behavior.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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