May 24, 2021

Impossible Foods Granted Child Nutrition Label by USDA

Impossible Foods Granted Child Nutrition Label by USDA

Impossible Foods, a company that develops plant-based meat substitutes, targeted towards “people who love meat,” has just received a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Child Nutrition (CN) Label. The CN Label Program provides food manufacturers the option to include a standardized food crediting statement on their product labels and are generally purchased by foodservice providers for FNS meal programs, such as the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

“Making Impossible™ products available everywhere people consume meat, which for kids often includes schools, is key to the mission of the company,” said Pat Brown, CEO, and Founder of Impossible Foods. “Schools not only play a role in shaping children’s dietary patterns, they play an important role in providing early education about climate change and its root causes. We are thrilled to be partnering with K-12 school districts across the country to lower barriers to access our plant-based meat for this change-making generation.”

With the CN Labels secured, Impossible Foods is starting a K-12 pilot program this month with specific school districts across the US, such as Palo Alto Unified School District, Palo Alto, CA; Aberdeen School District, Aberdeen, WA; Deer Creek Public Schools, Edmond, OK; and Union City Public Schools, Union City, OK. The menu items will include the “Impossible™ Street Tacos”, “Impossible™ Frito Pie”, and “Spaghetti with Impossible™ Meat Sauce”. The pilot schools will be interviewing the participating children to see if school lunch participation improves with the inclusion of Impossible™ options.

Not everyone supports this idea, though. “Just on principle, we believe that schools should be commercial-free,” says Marlene Schwartz, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. “Companies should really keep their branding out. When you allow a giant corporation to use that setting to get their brand in front of kids … It’s completely in conflict with the purpose of schools in the first place and I just think it’s completely unfair,” Schwartz continues. “There’s something sacred about the school environment, that it should be a place where students aren’t being pressured to buy particular products.”

Read this Animal Frontiers article about fake meats for background information on meat substitutes.