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NYC Schools Get Applesauce from China

By Shane Dixon Kavanaugh
Crain's New York Business 

Sunday, May 29, 2011  

Apples are the official fruit of New York State and the pride of its agricultural system. No fewer than 21 varieties grow in the state, the nation's second-largest apple producer. New York's apples are sold far and wide, including to the City Department of Education, which serves applesauce in its schools.

It turns out, however, that not all that applesauce comes from the Empire State, despite the department's pledge to buy more local food. In fact, at least some of it - the DOE won't disclose how much - comes from China.  

Documents show that a food importer used by City schools purchased thousands of cans of applesauce from Shanghai last year. Other data show that canned pears, peaches, tuna and spinach from the Far East were also dished out.