You'll want to check out this discussion thread at the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group.  I asked this question: "Why did this go wrong?", speaking to the Los Angeles school district's attempt to put in place healthy school lunches.

The kids didn't like the changes so LA reverted back to more traditional fare. I asked the group what they thought of the aborted effort and we have 19 comments so far, with a lot of varying opinions on what went wrong and what should be done. One member said, " I think the LA school district neglected their audience/customers. Menu designers offered meals that  would appeal to them, not to high school kids." Another said: "What went wrong as that the governing elite,  well-intentioned but clearly without common sense, tried to tell people what what's good for them."

Yet one member objected: "So it's wrong for the school district to offer healthy food ??? Does that mean they would be better off serving "chocolate and strawberry milk, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, nachos and other food high in fat, sugar and sodium" ? The healthy menu may have been rejected by some, but it may well have been embraced by many others and could provide a chance for some of these children to have at least one healthy meal a day."

So a lot of diverse opinions on that issue. One aside: the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group now has about 2,900 members, up from about 1,300 at the start of 2011.

We will need to watch this week to see if the FDA releases proposed rules on produce safety. I  don't see anything yet at the office the Federal Register to indicate that they're ready for publication tomorrow so we'll wait and see about the rumors of a Jan. 4 publication date in the Federal Register.

Fresh Talk hot links

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This week in Canadian ag

Japan and GM papaya

Top 5 ICE stories

Private label study

Fruit and veggie lovers not immune to weight gain

Russian market consultants

Should the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association merge?

Join the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group.Check out the stats from LinkedIn on the growth of the group. Facebook link here.

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E-mail me at tkarst@thepacker.com