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USDA Foods Help Nourish a Culture

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 5:00pm
USDA celebrates National Native American Heritage Month in November with a blog series focused on USDA’s support of Tribal Nations and highlighting a number of our efforts throughout Indian Country and Alaska. Traditional foods are of significant value to Native American and Alaskan Natives today.  The same foods that have been used to feed our [...]

Puerto Rico Colabora con USDA para Fortalecer los Sistemas de Alimentos Locales

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:00pm
El estado libre asociado de Puerto Rico tiene solamente 100 millas de largo por 35 millas de ancho. La pequeña isla está llena de maravillas naturales, rica en cultura y abundante en agricultura. Aun así pocos se dan cuenta que gran parte de los alimentos consumidos por los residentes y visitantes provienen de otros lugares. [...]

Puerto Rico Works with USDA to Strengthen Local Food Systems

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:00pm
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is only 100 miles long by 35 miles wide. The small island is full of natural wonders, rich culture and bountiful agriculture. Yet few realize that much of the food eaten by residents and visitors alike comes from other places. Earlier this month, Puerto Rico Agriculture Secretary Dr. Myrna Comas [...]

USDA Foods: From American Farms to American Tables

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 10/27/2015 - 9:00pm
USDA has programs and services that bring the bounty of American agriculture to people and communities across the country. One of the most impactful ways my agency, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), fulfills its mission is through our USDA Foods purchase programs.  Our food purchases begin with American farmers, ranchers, and fishermen, and end their [...]

Sound and Sensible Initiative Projects Simplify Organic Certification

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 10/27/2015 - 9:00pm
USDA’s National Organic Program is the bedrock regulatory program responsible for developing national standards for organically-produced agricultural products. These standards assure consumers that products with the USDA organic seal meet consistent, uniform standards. In addition to protecting the integrity of the organic seal through a rigorous certification process and oversight, we are committed to connecting [...]

A Student’s Perspective: How Fuel Up to Play 60 Supports Farm to School

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 10/26/2015 - 1:00pm
This post was written by Andrew, a Wisconsin seventh-grader and Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with USDA, to help encourage young people to lead healthier lives. Guest Post by Andrew, a [...]

Nationwide Census on Farm to School Activities Shows Increased Use of Local Foods in Schools

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 10/23/2015 - 1:00pm
  What can $598 million buy you these days? A lot of local food!    This week, USDA announced early results from USDA’s second Farm to School Census indicating that school districts across the country invested more than half a billion dollars in local foods in the 2013-2014 school year. That represents an increase of [...]

Fueling our Future, from Wood to Wing

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 10/22/2015 - 1:00pm
U.S. airline carriers collectively used more than 16 billion gallons of jet fuel in 2014. Given growing concerns over energy independence and the environment, commercial airlines are looking for secure and reliable alternative jet fuels that reduce global emissions. To address this problem, researchers at Washington State University formed the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) [...]

How Can We Support Affordable, Nutritious Diets? Reduce Wasted Food

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 10/20/2015 - 9:00pm
Looking for a way to stretch your food dollars?  Would an extra $30 per month for each person in your household help?  That’s about $370 per person per year, or almost $1,500 for a family of four.  That’s the amount of money USDA estimates the average American spends on food that’s not eaten.  It is [...]

Wisconsin Team Nutrition’s Whipping Up Wellness, Wisconsin Student Chef Competition

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 10/20/2015 - 9:00pm
The Team Nutrition Training Grants are awarded as part of USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative, which provides resources, training, and nutrition education lessons for schools and child care providers. And this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Team Nutrition initiative.  Wisconsin Team Nutrition has used the funding to build out their healthy cooking contest for [...]

Colorado Team Nutrition Makes School Wellness a Success

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 10/16/2015 - 5:00pm
The following guest blog describes how one state education department used a USDA Team Nutrition grant to develop training to help schools implement programs that promote student wellness and to meet updated meal standards. By Heather Hauswirth, RD, Program Specialist, Office of School Nutrition, Colorado Department of Education   In September 2014, our office, the [...]

Tales from a School Food Service Director: It’s all about the Brand

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 10/16/2015 - 5:00pm
This guest blog showcases the success story of a school food service director in an upper-class suburb of Boston.  The director discusses some of the creative methods her school meal program uses to boost participation and, thereby, promote health and nutrition in their district. By Gail Koutroubas, School Food Service Director in Andover, MA For [...]

Next Steps for Team Up for School Nutrition Success

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 5:00pm
Over the past year, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service partnered with the Institute for Child Nutrition (ICN) to host seven regional workshops called Team Up for School Nutrition Success.  The two day, face-to-face workshops used a research-based mentorship model to educate and empower school nutrition professionals around the country. Each training was tailored to the [...]

Taste Fall Flavors with “Simply Soup” at the USDA Farmers Market at Night on Friday, October 16th

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 10/15/2015 - 5:00pm
There is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup in the fall. Our vendors are serving soups, stews, and chilis from all over the globe at the last USDA Farmers Market at Night this Friday, October 16, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  From spicy Lao rice vermicelli soup to a Scottish soup dish [...]

Top Chef’s Carla Hall Supports a Healthier Next Generation. See How!

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 10/14/2015 - 3:44pm
Baked parmesan fish, butternut squash with black beans, honey lemon chicken… No, these aren’t items on a high-end restaurant menu.  They’re delicious dishes being offered in America’s school lunchrooms! This National School Lunch Week, we’re celebrating school meal programs around the country and renewed efforts to provide nutritious and appetizing meals featuring more fruits and [...]

During National Farm to School Month, USDA Celebrates Grantees’ Accomplishments and a New Office

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 10/13/2015 - 5:00pm
Along with brilliantly colored hard squash, crisp apples, and hearty greens, October ushers in National Farm to School Month, a time to raise awareness about and celebrate the impact of farm to school programs on children, producers, and communities. Since 2012, I have directed USDA’s Farm to School Program, guiding the work of a small [...]

Celebrate National School Lunch Week 2015

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 10/13/2015 - 5:00pm
The fall season has arrived and with it the National School Lunch Week celebration! During the second week of October, USDA recognizes the important role school meal programs play in providing healthy, appetizing foods to their students. Over the last several weeks, USDA leaders visited schools to experience their meal programs first hand. And they [...]

What’s Growing On, in This Rural Community?

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 10/09/2015 - 5:00pm
Rural communities are looking for innovative ways to sustain quality of life and build viable food systems that support the health and economic needs of their people.  Working Landscapes is a Warrenton, N.C. nonprofit that creates sustainable food hubs by bridging the gap between local farmers and area consumers.  As a 2015 USDA Farm to [...]

2015 Dietary Guidelines: Giving You the Tools You Need to Make Healthy Choices

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 10/06/2015 - 5:00pm
One of our government’s most important responsibilities is protecting the health of the American public, and that includes empowering them with the tools they need to make educated decisions. Since 1980, families, nutrition and health professionals across the nation have looked to the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture for science-based dietary guidelines [...]

USDA Grants to Help Farmers, Entrepreneurs and Retailers Market Local Foods

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 10/02/2015 - 5:00pm
Thanks to a recent grant from USDA, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is now in better position to help get locally grown potatoes, carrots, apples, broccoli, and cheese onto school lunch plates. In Wisconsin, and across the nation, there is a strong interest to supply healthy, local foods to schools while [...]

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