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Looking Back While Preparing to Move Forward with Summer Meals

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 10:52am
This week is National Summer Food Service Program Kickoff Week, an important time to emphasize USDA’s commitment to ensure children and teens have access to safe, nutritious meals when school lets out. Through the Summer Food Service Program, federal assistance is provided for state agencies and non-profit sponsors to help children in eligible high-need areas [...]

Changing the Way 650,000 Students Eat in Los Angeles

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 4:47pm
Cross posted from the Let’s Move blog: The city of Los Angeles is known all around the world for Hollywood, Beverly Hills, celebrities as well as glitz and glamour.  There are more than 125,000 millionaires and more than 20 billionaires in this city I now call home. But the reality is there is still a [...]

MyPlate Has a Game Plan for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 4:17pm
Everyone wants to save money at the grocery store, especially those on a tight budget. The new Healthy Eating on a Budget section of empowers cost-conscious consumers to make healthy choices with insightful information about meal planning, smart shopping ideas, and creating healthy meals with simple ingredients.  Web-based trends indicate that consumers continue to [...]

Picking a Winner Part II – More Tips and Insights for Selecting Seasonal Produce

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 10:12am
We all have our own methods and traditions for selecting fresh produce, especially as the weather gets warmer and our stores and markets are full of fresh seasonal offerings. Whether it’s smelling the rind or checking the firmness of the skin, these age-old practices are all designed to help pick the winning ingredients for snacks [...]

Don’t Play Politics with our Children’s Health

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 10:09am
Cross posted from The Hill Op-Ed: Politics should never trump sound policy, particularly when it comes to our kids. Four years ago, Congress, in a strong bipartisan effort, committed to America’s children that they would enjoy healthier and more nutritious meals at school. Sadly, just as we are beginning to see the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids [...]

100+ Years of Tracking Nutrients Available in the U.S. Food Supply

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 10:03pm
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. What’s in the food we eat? Have you ever wondered if the foods past generations ate as children were more nutritious than the [...]

USDA Relies on Feedback to Help Schools, Children Adapt to New Meal Standards

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 12:03pm
As many schools wind down for the year, USDA is gearing up for exciting new improvements designed to make the 2014-2015 school year even healthier for our nation’s future leaders.  It’s a commitment rooted in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  In that legislation, USDA is directed to update the school meals to reflect [...]

Insects for Dinner? Potential Tool in the Toolkit to Achieve Global Food Security

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 5:41pm
As an entomologist, the notion of eating insects isn’t new to me. However, for most Americans, the thought can make their stomachs churn. And yet, maybe seeing insects on their dinner plates is something Americans should get used to seeing. Yesterday, I delivered the keynote address at the Insects as Food Conference, which was hosted by the [...]

Organic 101: Understanding the “Made with Organic***” Label

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 11:39am
This is the sixteenth installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations. Deciphering food labels and marketing claims can be a challenge for the average consumer.  Companies use production and handling claims as a way to differentiate their products in the marketplace. Organic is one label that most [...]

Beef Up Your Knowledge: Meat Marbling 101

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 5:35pm
Grilling season is upon us.  It’s time to enjoy that wonderful smell of meat cooking across neighborhood backyards. With so many choices available at your store and meat counter, choosing the best cut of meat for your dish can be overwhelming. With a bit of beef knowledge, you can avoid that problem, and be the [...]

Innovative Approach to Feeding At-Risk Children during Summer Shines in Florida

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 5:35pm
With summer approaching, many of our nation’s students will soon be out of school enjoying their break.  However, too many of these children may miss out on a meal they normally would receive through USDA’s school meals programs.  Thanks to an innovative approach, Florida’s at-risk children can now have meals brought to them through the [...]

Cinco de Mayo Event Offers an Opportunity to Promote Healthy Lifestyles

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 11:25am
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo last week, we here at the Food and Nutrition Service had the chance to participate in the 22nd National Cinco de Mayo Festival® Latinos Living Healthy Feria de Salud, sponsored by the League of Latino American Citizens (LULAC). The exciting event, held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., [...]

USDA’s Innovative Technology Streamlines Federal Food Purchasing Logistics

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 5:02pm
Logistics is not just a fancy buzz word; it is the oil that keeps the engine of an interconnected global market running smoothly. For U.S. food purchasing agencies, logistics means ordering, procuring, and delivering nearly 8.5 billion pounds of domestically-produced foods by successfully awarding nearly $3 billion in contracts during the last fiscal year. It [...]

California Food for California Kids, Especially on Thursdays

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 10:48am
I collect aprons like other people collect coins. There are dozens hanging in my kitchen, so many I suspect several have never actually been used. So it was with some self-consciousness that I accepted yet another apron last fall from the Center for Ecoliteracy. The Center was handing out hundreds of aprons to California school [...]

The Heroism of Fostering a Healthier Next Generation

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:46pm
Cross posted from the Huffington Post: As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Nowhere is this more evident than in our nation’s schools. Each day, millions of America’s young people are educated, fed and nurtured in these academic “villages.” A crucial aspect of each child’s education is learning how to [...]

Developing National Dietary Guidance for the Birth to 24 Months Age Group

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:46pm
Good nutrition is vital to optimal infant and toddler growth, development, and health. The importance of this age group has been emphasized by First Lady Michelle Obama, who said that “If our kids get into the habit of getting up and playing, if their palates warm up to veggies at an early age, and if [...]

School Nutrition Professionals – Our Everyday Heroes

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 10:21am
As the school year begins to wind down, let’s take time to acknowledge the unsung heroes in our nation’s school cafeterias.  School nutrition employees contribute greatly to a child’s short- and long-term health and academic success, but their contributions often go without recognition.  Today is School Lunch Hero Day, and next week (May 5-9) is [...]

FNS Uses Research to Protect Taxpayer Dollars

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 10:09am
During the month of April we will take a closer look at USDA’s Groundbreaking Research for a Revitalized Rural America, highlighting ways USDA researchers are improving the lives of Americans in ways you might never imagine, while ensuring that our program are effective and well managed. For Federal nutrition assistance programs to succeed over the [...]

Expanding Opportunities for Small-Scale Beef Producers

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 4:05pm
Sometimes big things come in small packages.  At USDA, we provide programs and services to producers of all sizes – and now we’re offering even more to small-scale and local beef producers.  Many small-scale producers are contributing to the growth of the grass-fed beef industry.  And, thanks to a new program tailored to meet their [...]

USDA’s Nutrition Evidence Library: Answering Food and Nutrition Questions with Systematic Reviews

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 3:58pm
During the month of April we will take a closer look at USDA’s Groundbreaking Research for a Revitalized Rural America, highlighting ways USDA researchers are improving the lives of Americans in ways you might never imagine, such as laying the foundation for evidence-based food and nutrition policies and programs by compiling and reviewing the best [...]