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USDA Supports California’s Efforts to Improve the Nutrition and Health of Low-Income Pregnant Women, New Mothers, Infants and Young Children; Lifts Ban on Stores

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 9:00pm
This month, nearly 1.4 million women, infants and children in California have greater access to the healthy foods provided through the state’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) Program. In 2012, USDA notified the California Department of Public Health that it must continue a self-imposed moratorium on the authorization of stores to accept WIC. The moratorium [...]

Let’s Move Into the Kitchen and See What’s Cooking

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 9:00pm
This is the first installment of the What’s Cooking? Blog Series. In honor of the Let’s Move 5th Anniversary, and the commitment USDA shares with Let’s Move to promote healthy eating and access to healthy foods, this month-long series will high­­light the various features of the What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl recipe website. Did you [...]

Grant Workshops Continue USDA’s Solid Investment into Local Food Sector

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 1:00pm
A year ago, President Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) into law. Equipped with resources from the Bill, USDA continues to support the growth of farmers markets and local and regional food systems. In fact, last year the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), awarded over $27 million in competitive grants to expand marketing [...]

Super Bowl “Super Kid” Promotes Exercise, Healthy Eating

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 1:00pm
Minutes before the National Football League (NFL) teams of Super Bowl XLIX took the field, a middle school student from Orlando, Fla., had the honor of handing the game ball to an NFL official for the kickoff. But Bobby did much more than hand off that football. As this year’s NFL Play 60 “Super Kid,” [...]

Local Food Systems: What Do We Know About National Trends?

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 1:00pm
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 USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. American consumers are enjoying increasingly more opportunities to buy food directly from farmers and to patronize grocery stores and restaurants that offer local foods. [...]

‘Five Faces of the Farm Bill’ Series and New Multimedia Channel Bring the Farm Bill to Life

Mon, 02/02/2015 - 1:00pm
Today, we begin a month-long effort to highlight the one-year anniversary of the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill, by launching a new multimedia channel packed with compelling stories, stunning photography and even a personal note from Secretary Vilsack to USDA’s friends, partners and staff; “It is because of you that [...]

Avocados: Helping Draw up the Perfect Recipe for the Big Game

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 1:00pm
The Super Bowl is next Sunday and people are busy making plans for the big game. For many, the most valuable player will be the avocado, which is quickly becoming a fan favorite. In fact, it’s estimated that Americans will consume 120 million pounds or 240 million fresh avocados during the week leading up to [...]

Summer Sunshine Award Winners!

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 1:00pm
It may be the middle of winter, but at USDA, we like to celebrate the success of our Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) all year long.  Therefore, the Western Regional Office is thrilled to announce the winners and honorable mentions of the 2014 Summer Sunshine Awards.  A total of eight organizations across the region received [...]

USDA Foods Hatches New Chicken Product for Schools

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 1:00pm
School lunches have evolved since many of our childhood days to keep pace with new dietary guidelines and school meal patterns, but one food has been an enduring component: chicken.  The popular protein graces the center of the plate in a variety of forms and flavors, and the new USDA Foods unseasoned chicken strip provides [...]

Meet Your Wellness Goals in the New Year with the USDA DRI Calculator for Healthcare Professionals App

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 9:00pm
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 USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. The USDA National Agricultural Library’s (NAL) Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) today launched its mobile application, or “app,” which calculates Dietary Reference Intakes [...]

Culinary Boot Camps: Designed to Foster a Healthier Next Generation

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 1:00pm
The following guest blog is part of our Cafeteria Stories series, highlighting the efforts of hard working school nutrition professionals dedicated to making the healthy choice the easy choice at schools across the country.  We thank them for sharing their stories! To learn more about FNS nutrition assistance efforts, follow us on Twitter at [...]

South Carolina Features Supreme Chicken Sandwich in School Lunch

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 9:00pm
It’s not surprising that chicken, the most popular meat for kids, is being served in school cafeterias across the nation.  However, in Columbia, S.C., locally sourced chicken has taken center stage on school meal trays in an effort to increase the state’s Farm to School programming. South Carolina’s District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties [...]

USDA… Helping Produce Businesses Meet Consumer and Retailer Demand

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 9:00pm
Ensuring that its food meets the demands of its retailers and the consumers who eat it is essential to the success of any produce business. This builds consumer trust and helps retailers confidently supply the food we all eat. To help out on this front, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) offers audits through the [...]

Six Reasons SuperTracker Is the Answer to Conquering New Year’s Resolutions

Thu, 01/08/2015 - 1:00pm
If you are like millions of Americans, thinking about New Year’s Resolutions makes your hands sweat.  Don’t worry. USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion has got you covered. Whether you want to lose weight, get more calcium in your diet, or increase your activity, SuperTracker is here to help. With these six steps, you’ll [...]

New York’s City Harvest Wins U.S. Food Waste Challenge Competition

Wed, 01/07/2015 - 1:00pm
Beginning in August, food banks across the country competed to see who could sign up the most food donors to the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.  From among the 200 food banks in the Feeding America network, the champion is City Harvest in New York City, which won by signing up 114 donors to the Challenge.  [...]

Initial Launch of the Team Up for School Nutrition Success Training Program

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 9:00pm
Feeding students healthy, tasty and nutritious school meals can be a challenge.  Just ask any one of the thousands of school nutrition professionals who carry out the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.  They have to balance menu planning following nutrition standards, financial management, and inventory management, all while making meals that will [...]

USDA Marketing Orders Help Industries Climb to New Heights

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 1:00pm
Every successful business must have a solid plan to successfully take it from the initial startup phase all the way through its push to expand its operations after the business matures. The same can be said for an industry looking to reach new heights in its lifecycle. A concerted emphasis must be placed on strengthening [...]

Secretary’s Column: 2014, a Year of Action, Partnership and Innovation at USDA

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 1:00pm
This has been a tremendous year for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the rural families and communities we serve. Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden recently shared a reflection on her most inspirational moments this year. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished at USDA over the course of this year, and I thought I’d take a [...]

A Year of Promise for American Agriculture

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 9:00pm
It’s not hard to list our accomplishments here at USDA: After all, our progress on the much anticipated 2014 Farm Bill has been lauded as “the most successful Farm Bill implementation.” We also launched a website for New Farmers and started a conversation with women in agriculture that will continue to grow for many years [...]

Partnerships Make “Gouda” on USDA’s Commitment to Rural America

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 1:00pm
’Tis the season for good cheer, holiday festivities and cheese plates.   There are seemingly endless varieties to enjoy – Gouda, Blue, Cheddar, Asiago, Feta, Muenster and many more.  Hardworking American dairy farmers and cheese artisans make these delicious products. A strong dairy sector not only provides us with delicious food for the holiday table, it [...]