Home Industry News Economics California Walnut Industry Supports USDA’s Expansion of Food Offerings to Include Walnut-Based Products

California Walnut Industry Supports USDA’s Expansion of Food Offerings to Include Walnut-Based Products

The California Walnut Commission (CWC) supports the recent announcements by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the authorization of nuts and seeds to comprise the full meat/meat alternative component of meals in the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Child Nutrition Programs. This follows the recent notice of the addition of nut and seed butters, such as walnut butter, as alternatives to peanut butter and eggs in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

The CWC believes these changes align more closely with U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and better promote nutrition security. Walnuts are an important component of a healthy diet for Americans and allow for broader access to food choices and nutrition.

This is an important strategic step forward in providing increased access to California walnuts to both underserved and school-aged populations. Robert Verloop, CEO for the CWC stated, “California walnuts are a great tasting, nutrient-dense food which fits with USDA recommendations and provide a wide-range of nutritional benefits, including essential omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA).  We are excited for the addition for walnuts and walnut butter to be available for consumers looking for more plant-based options, vegetarian diets and other food preferences.” CWC provided comments to USDA in February 2023 on food products available in the WIC food packages and in March 2023 on the revisions to the Child Nutrition Programs, for the allowance of nuts to be 100% of the meat/meat alternative component of meals.

The California walnut industry applauds USDA for the FNS Child Nutrition and WIC program revisions and looks forward to supporting these food assistance efforts by providing high quality, nutritious and safe walnuts and walnut products for schools and the community participating in the WIC program.

About the California Walnut Boardand Commission

The California Walnut Commission (CWC) represents more than 4,600 California walnut growers and nearly 75 handlers, grown in multi-generational farmers’ family orchards. More than 99% of the walnuts grown in the United States are from California, which in 2023 accounted for 1.64 billion pounds of walnuts, shipping into more than 50 countries around the world. The CWB also provides funding for walnut production, food safety and post-harvest research. The CWC, established in 1987, is mainly involved in health research and export market development activities. For more industry information, health research and recipe ideas, visit www.walnuts.org.

One Comment

  1. hORTENCIA mOCK

    05/01/2024 at 3:36 PM

    Walnuts packaged for USDA FOOD from Stutz packing co. Indio, Ca 92201
    package labeled no. 23177 2A
    23157 2A 232592E
    show no expiration date how safe are they

    Reply

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