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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Blog
Updated: 6 hours 21 min ago

When Schools Improve Meals, Positive Results Follow

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 1:03pm
The last few years have seen significant improvements to the health of the school environment.  Schools across the country are increasing their efforts to prevent childhood obesity by serving healthier school meals providing more time for physical activity, and helping kids learn about proper nutrition.  It’s clear that the new, healthier school meals implemented last [...]

Organic International – Opening New Markets for American Organic Producers

Thu, 09/26/2013 - 5:41pm
Today, we celebrate a historical announcement in the global organic community – beginning in 2014 organic products certified in Japan or in the U.S. may be sold as organic in either country. The United States has trade arrangements with several nations to facilitate the global exchange of organic products. This particular partnership will streamline access [...]

Food Safety and Chicken Served in the National School Lunch Program

Wed, 09/25/2013 - 11:24pm
In response to a recent report about chicken served in the National School Lunch Program, I wanted to provide some clarification.  Food safety is one of our highest priorities, and USDA is committed to ensuring that food served through the National School Lunch Program is both healthy and safe. Schools that participate in the National [...]

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with MiPlato

Wed, 09/25/2013 - 11:12am
Para la versión en español de este blog, por favor visite: National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated annually from September 15th to October 15th, pays tribute to the history, culture and traditions of Americans with Hispanic ancestry. To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and increase awareness about MiPlato – the Spanish complement to MyPlate – [...]

Celebre el Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana con MiPlato

Wed, 09/25/2013 - 11:12am
For an English version of this blog, please click here: Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, se celebra cada año del 15 setiembre al 15 de octubre, para rendir tributo a la historia, cultura y tradiciones de los Estado Unidenses de origen Hispano. El USDA a través del Centro de Políticas y Promoción de [...]

Now That’s Special: USDA Program Fuels Economic Development

Tue, 09/24/2013 - 4:55pm
“Specialty crops”—the label may sound like exotic foods or something reserved for a special occasion, but this area of agriculture represents more than half the foods we eat on a daily basis.  Defined as fruits and veggies, tree nuts, herbs, dried fruit, decorative plants and flowers, these crops are not only a key component of [...]

Healthy School Meals in Their Own Words

Fri, 09/13/2013 - 2:43pm
Schools across the country are telling us that they are successfully serving healthy, delicious breakfasts and lunches to students. But how do the students and staff feel about the changes? We interviewed students and staff at Bondurant-Farrar School District outside of Des Moines, Iowa to get their take on the new meals. Lexi Atzen, a senior at [...]

New Campaign – Water: You Are What You Drink

Thu, 09/12/2013 - 8:40pm
Today the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) along with their Honorary Chair, First Lady Michelle Obama, launched a campaign encouraging Americans to drink more water more often. The ‘Water: You Are What You Drink’ campaign is a collaboration between PHA and stakeholders across the public and private sectors. The initiative brings together leaders from [...]

Hunger Knows No Season

Tue, 09/10/2013 - 2:20pm
There is no “off-season” for the nearly 15% of people in this country facing hunger. Although demand remains high all year round, many of the nation’s food banks experience a major decline in donations during the summer months. USDA programs, however, work year-round to help those affected by hunger. Through The Emergency Food Assistance Program [...]

Our Nation’s Schools are Trending toward a Healthier School Day

Mon, 09/09/2013 - 8:17pm
Schools, teachers and school nutrition professionals across the nation are working hard to make the school day healthier. According to a new study by the CDC, schools across the nation are embracing healthier policies, such as increased physical education, reducing kids’ exposure to tobacco, and of course, improving the nutrition environment at schools.   Children who [...]

Partnering with Cooperative Extension to Support Farm to School

Thu, 09/05/2013 - 1:47pm
Kids are headed back to school and so are county Extension agents. As schools continue to teach kids where their food comes from and bring local and regional products into the school cafeteria, one group they may want to partner with on their farm to school activities is their local or regional Cooperative Extension office. [...]

Calling All Ag Supporters: Tell us What’s at Stake Without #MyFarmBill

Wed, 09/04/2013 - 7:44pm
At USDA, we remain committed to sharing with all Americans the need for a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill to keep up momentum in American agriculture, grow the rural economy and create jobs.  And today, we launched Instagram, @USDAgov, to highlight photos and videos from around the country that bring into your home the [...]

Reach Your Goals: Start with a Healthy Breakfast

Thu, 08/29/2013 - 7:12pm
At a very early age, I learned about the value of healthy eating. By the time I was 11 years old and training daily as a gymnast, I knew that eating right would help me achieve my goals. The goals I had for health, athletics, and academic performance were all tied to eating nutritious foods, [...]

Celebrate Labor Day with a MyPlate Picnic

Thu, 08/29/2013 - 1:10pm
A picnic is an easy and relaxing holiday activity. USDA’s MyPlate resources can help take the “labor” out of your Labor Day picnic. You can enjoy an easy, healthy meal by following this simple MyPlate formula: 5 food groups + family and friends = fun! When planning your picnic, be sure to include more healthful [...]

The Track & Field Fuel-Up Challenge! Summer Fun that Helps Kids Learn

Wed, 08/28/2013 - 7:06pm
It’s summer time! And kids’ thoughts naturally turn to ways to have fun and enjoy themselves! Moms, on the other hand, want kids to continue to learn and develop their skills while they enjoy the lazy days of summer.  The Track & Field Fuel-Up Challenge is an online game that meets the needs of moms [...]

Schools Around the Country Successfully Implementing New Meal Standards

Wed, 08/28/2013 - 1:01am
Today a news report claimed that schools across the country are dropping out of the National School Lunch Program because the standards are too difficult to implement. The truth is that the vast majority of schools across the country are meeting the updated meal standards successfully, which is so important to help all our Nations [...]

Secretary’s Column: Continuing the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

Fri, 08/23/2013 - 12:34pm
Ensuring the health and well-being of our nation’s children is a top priority for President Obama, and for all of us at USDA. We have focused in recent years on expanding access, affordability and availability of healthy foods for families and children. Recently, we learned of some promising new results in the fight against obesity. [...]

Colorado Partners Unite to Fight Summer Hunger

Mon, 08/19/2013 - 11:56am
Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado, is known for its diversity of businesses and residents.  It is home to establishments ranging from upscale restaurants to motels housing low-income and homeless families. However, the upscale scene doesn’t tell the whole story. Within a two-mile stretch of Colfax, there are an estimated 15,000 children who qualify for free [...]

Quinoa: a Plant with a Lot of Potential

Fri, 08/16/2013 - 2:34pm
In February of this year, the United National declared 2013 the International Year of the Quinoa. Yet, I’m sure not many people have even heard of quinoa, let alone know about its nutritional qualities. Originating from Bolivia, Chile and Peru around 5,000 years ago, quinoa is a grain that is growing in popularity across the [...]

Back to Healthy School Meals: USDA Congratulates Six States for Nearly 100% of Schools Meeting New Meal Standards

Fri, 08/16/2013 - 2:34pm
As we continue to combat childhood obesity in America, I am proud to say that this Back to School season our school cafeterias are at the heart of offering great nutrition for our kids. Students and schools are embracing the healthier lunches offered through the National School Lunch Program that, together with the healthier breakfasts [...]