If you’ve never tried sorghum, you might want to look into some. This easy-to-grow, gluten-free grain is prized by chefs such as Evan Rich, Sam Kincaid, Dan Barber and Alice Medrich, who have used it to create everything from chicken liver mousse sprinkled with sorghum to gluten-free granola. to sorghum-infused porridge. And while American school children are unlikely to feast on dishes of this caliber, they will soon get to know sorghum in one form or another.
According to a Press release released today by United Sorghum Checkoff Program – essentially a researcher and promoter of US-grown sorghum – the ancient grain was recently added to the USDA’s Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs. The buying guide is what school food service managers primarily rely on to plan menus and purchase meal ingredients that meet USDA nutritional requirements, which means grain will be featured in school meals this fall when schools reopen.
The sorghum recommendation fits squarely with a new USDA requirement, announced on the first of this month, that at least 80% of weekly school lunch and breakfast cereals must contain whole grains (as opposed to cereals refined). So, in what form should school children expect to learn about sorghum? “In bowls, salads, soups, pastries, etc.,” said Lanier Dabruzzi, Director of Food Innovations and Institutional Markets at Sorghum Checkoff, in the press release.