USDA FNS Blog

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Blog
Updated: 1 month 2 days ago

One Day of Gleaning Brings Joy to Thousands of Children

Wed, 11/27/2013 - 3:52pm
What started out with just a handful of FSA employees trying to do the right thing has turned into an annual event that spans six New Mexico counties. Ten years ago John Perea, county executive director for Torrance County, N.M., started a project to glean pumpkins from farmers John and Dianne Aday. “We started it [...]

Thanksgiving – Brought to You by the American Farmer

Tue, 11/26/2013 - 3:31pm
Thanksgiving is a time when Americans come together to celebrate a holiday that connects each and every one of us. During this truly American holiday, we all give thanks for the previous year’s blessings and look ahead to the future. While we may bring our own traditions and flavors to the table, Thanksgiving is a [...]

Farm to School Programs Can Get Kids Familiar with Healthy Foods

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 9:04pm
October was National Farm to School Month and at FNS we ended on a high note. We released our very first nationwide assessment of farm to school activities and there was a lot of good news to be shared. The Farm to School Census showed that adoption of farm to school activities is trending up; [...]

Makeover Your Holiday Meals with MyPlate! – Week 2

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 3:03pm
The MyPlate Team continues to share “Makeover Monday” recipes each week on the USDA blog and the MyPlate Facebook page through January 6th. This recipe was originally created for another festive day.  But everyone loved “green-mash” potatoes so much that this family favorite became part of our Thanksgiving Feast. Since my family has an Irish [...]

During the Holiday of Plenty, Remembering Those with Less

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 3:03pm
This morning, Huffington Post published an op-ed from USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon highlighting the continued need for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, particularly around the holidays, and reiterating the need for Congress to act on a comprehensive, long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill. As we gather around the [...]

A New Partnership to Sack Food Waste

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 7:31pm
Cross posted from the Dairy Good blog: Across the nation, Americans from all walks of life are taking steps to reduce the amount of food that goes to waste. Part of the solution lies in finding innovative new ways to use food that would otherwise by wasted. That’s where the Cleveland Browns, Ohio State University, [...]

I was Local When Local Wasn’t Cool

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 1:27pm
No one would ever accuse me of being a trend-setter—especially my kids.  But I’m proud to say that I’ve been part of the local food movement my whole life. I grew up on a family farm in New Mexico.  For us, local food wasn’t really a trend or a movement.  It was how we made [...]

Secretary’s Column: A New White House Report Highlights the Need for a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 1:27pm
This week, the White House released a new report showing the critical need for Congressional passage of a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill. This comprehensive report highlights how the thriving business of agriculture is a cornerstone of America’s economy, creating jobs and boosting opportunity. Agricultural production and its related sectors contributed $743 billion to [...]

Local Food Leaders Take a Break to Hang Out

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 1:27pm
What do Tristan Reader of Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA), Amy Bacigalupo of the Land Stewardship Project in Minnesota, Haile Johnston of Common Market in Philadelphia and Michael Todd’s environmental studies class at Ames High School in Ames, IA have in common? They’re all building connections between farms and consumers and creating strong local food [...]

Make Small Changes for a Healthy Holiday – Makeover Your Holiday Plate with MyPlate

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 12:56pm
We all cherish time-honored holiday traditions; yet want to make healthier choices when celebrating the holiday season. Simple swaps or ingredient substitutions are a great way to revamp classic favorites – making them healthier without sacrificing the memories. The MyPlate Holiday Makeover infographic provides ideas to help you make great choices. From baking to seasoning, [...]

Food Hubs – Building Businesses and Sustaining Communities

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 12:44pm
Food is a great equalizer.  Whether sharing it with loved ones around our holiday table or worrying about how we’re going to fit lunch in to our busy work days–food is something we all have in common.  But we don’t always think about the path it takes to get to our plates or even the [...]

USDA Announces Farm to School Grant Awards

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 6:26pm
I just spent the morning calling people who had applied to receive a USDA Farm to School grant. They were fun calls to make as I was letting this year’s awardees know their project had been selected for funding. Today USDA announced awards for 71 projects spanning 42 states and the District of Columbia that [...]

Hangout to Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:00pm
At USDA, we know that local and regional food systems are an important part of America’s diverse agriculture sector.   Local and regional food is a multi-billion dollar market opportunity for America’s farmers, ranchers and food businesses. From the produce vendor at one of the nation’s 8,100 farmers markets to the operating  220 food hubs across [...]

Makeover Your Holiday Meals with MyPlate! – Week 1

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:00pm
The holiday season has finally arrived! It’s time to find your favorite family recipes and start cooking! While many of our favorite dishes help us to remember and celebrate special times, choosing healthier options can be a challenge. Let MyPlate help you find solutions with “MyPlate Holiday Makeovers.” During our eight-week series, you’ll find ways [...]

In Case You Missed It: Study Finds Offering Healthier School Snacks Helps Kids Make Healthier Choices at Home

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:00pm
Last week, researchers from Michigan State University, Oakland University, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Education came out with a new study showing that when schools offer healthier snacks in vending machines and a la carte lines, students’ overall diets improve. Students in schools that offered healthier snacks consumed more [...]

Let’s Talk Turkey about USDA Poultry Grades

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 11:52am
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is the perfect time to learn more about the quality grade standards for poultry products and the “Grade A” shield you might find on the label of your family’s main dish.  Most consumers are familiar with the USDA beef grades – Prime, Choice and Select.  But did you [...]

Secretary’s Column: All Americans Benefit from Local and Regional Markets

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 4:55pm
One very important reason for Congress to expedite work toward a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is to continue today’s rapid growth in local and regional marketing opportunities for American agriculture. From local farmers markets to regional food hubs, these new opportunities benefit a wide range of Americans from all walks of life. They [...]

Providing Opportunity Yields Long-Term Insight

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 3:47pm
Growing up on a family farm in New Mexico, I experienced the joys of producing your own food and sharing it with others. For many, the opportunity to own a farm or work in the agriculture industry is a dream come true, one that they can achieve if given the right opportunity. In my position [...]

Borlaug Fellows Gain Inspiration, Insight During World Food Prize

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 3:47pm
Every year the World Food Prize recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug created the prize, which emphasizes the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people. This year’s [...]

MyPlate Meals from the Garden

Wed, 11/06/2013 - 1:29pm
Looking for ways to brighten your meals? Stock up on goods from your local Farmers’ Market! Or try out your green thumb by growing your own food. Gardening and agriculture go hand in hand with MyPlate. When planning a garden, start by thinking about foods that adapt well to the cool, fall season.  Many vegetables [...]

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