Federal Court Blocks 2018 Rollbacks to Sodium Reduction Guidelines in School Lunches
This pivotal ruling for the National School Lunch Program means that the sodium reduction plan will return to its original form.
On April 12, 2020, a federal court officially struck down the 2018 ruling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that eased nutritional standards for school lunches.1
This ruling was made in response to lawsuits by health organizations expressing concerns with rolling back these nutritional guidelines, which were established by the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The original Obama-era act mandated that schools exclusively offer whole-grain pastas and breads, nonfat unflavored milk, and established sodium reduction guidelines that occurred over time in three phases.1
In December 2018, the USDA pushed back and eliminated some of these school meal nutrition standards. For the three-part sodium reduction plan, USDA delayed the deadline requirement for the second phase and eliminated the third phase altogether.2
Now, a federal district judge has determined that this 2018 roll-back to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act violated regulatory law. This pivotal ruling for the National School Lunch Program means that the sodium reduction plan will be returned to its original form.2
It has not yet been determined when schools will need to reverse their menus to adhere to the original nutritional standards, though it is clear that the restoration will likely wait until post-pandemic school operations ensue.3
This change begs the question… how can schools offer good-tasting lunches with lower sodium levels, while still delivering good-tasting foods that kids will eat? At Cargill Salt, we believe this complex problem can be resolved with a simple solution – potassium chloride. Similar to sodium chloride, potassium chloride is a naturally occurring mineral extracted from the ground or sea. When used in food manufacturing, potassium chloride can replace sodium chloride (table salt) and help reduce sodium by up to 50% in certain applications. By purchasing from vendors who utilize this effective salt substitute, schools have the potential to provide a win-win scenario by significantly lowering sodium in food options without compromising taste.
Learn more about Cargill’s Potassium Pro® Potassium Chloride products and other sodium reduction offerings: https://www.cargill.com/food-beverage/na/sodium-reduction-solutions