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Secretary’s Column: Another Step Forward Towards a Healthier Next Generation

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 02/28/2014 - 1:29pm
This week at USDA, we took several steps forward in the fight for a healthier future for our nation’s children. On Tuesday, we rolled out new proposed guidelines that will make sure only healthy foods and beverages are allowed to be marketed to kids at school. The new guidelines will ensure that schools remain a [...]

USDA Then and Now: Part IV

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 02/27/2014 - 7:19pm
Thanks for tuning in this month to our installments of USDA Then and Now photo series on the amazing innovations that have helped rural America grow and respond to a constantly evolving agricultural landscape. Here you can see Part I, Part II, and Part III. In our fourth and final Then and Now, we look to [...]

Organic 101: Ensuring Organic Integrity through Inspections

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/26/2014 - 1:01pm
This is the fifteenth installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations. USDA certified organic products are produced and sold around the world, many originating from over 17,700 organic operations right here in the United States. The USDA organic label assures consumers that products have been produced through approved [...]

MyPlate Celebrates the 4th Anniversary of Let’s Move

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 02/24/2014 - 6:32pm
Four years ago, the First Lady launched Let’s Move!, to help Americans create a healthier future.  To celebrate, First Lady Michelle Obama is asking individuals, families and communities to Show Us How You Move! Use the hashtag #LetsMove to share the steps you’re taking to live healthier. From climbing the stairs instead of the elevator [...]

Secretary’s Column: Census of Agriculture Results Tell Story of Unlimited Potential in Rural America

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 02/21/2014 - 12:11pm
This week, USDA released preliminary data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture that provides a snapshot of a rural America that remains stable in the face of difficult economic times. While the data do not paint a perfect picture, they do tell a story of the unlimited potential and growing opportunity in modern rural America. [...]

Ag Outlook Forum to Offer Sessions on Food Prices and Farm Income

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/19/2014 - 5:54pm
Here’s what the Economic Research Service (ERS) has in store for the Agricultural Outlook Forum. We have arranged two afternoon sessions on Thursday, February 20.  One will discuss farm income and the other the outlook for food prices. The food price session, moderated by Michael McConnell of Informa Economics, will provide a perspective on food [...]

It All Starts with a Seed

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 02/18/2014 - 5:49pm
Believe it or not, food doesn’t come from the refrigerator or even the kitchen.  It doesn’t even come from the grocery store or the farmer.  All food—whether meat, grain, vegetable or fruit—owes its existence to seeds.  Seeds are the backbone of human existence, providing us with the fundamental necessities needed for life: food, clothing, medicine, [...]

Secretary’s Column: New Farm Bill is an Investment in Rural America

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 02/14/2014 - 5:32pm
The 2014 Farm Bill, passed by Congress and signed last week by President Obama, strengthens the farm safety net and ensures vital nutrition assistance for hardworking children and families during tough times. It closes loopholes and achieves much-needed reform, saving billions of taxpayer dollars. Those accomplishments are significant and should be commended, particularly at a [...]

USDA Innovation Improves Rice Grading

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 4:13pm
With a little help from USDA, consumer-grade photo scanners could revolutionize rice grading. Consumers much prefer whole kernels of milled rice over broken pieces.  Whole kernels offer more consistent cooking qualities and are in many cases considered more visually appealing.  As a result, the price paid to a rice producer for a load of rough [...]

Happy Valentine’s Day from MyPlate!

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/12/2014 - 10:11am
This Valentine’s Day, give something for the heart. Sharing a heart healthy gift is a great way to let the people in your life know you care.  Instead of offering an over-sized piece of cake or a box of sweets, give something that takes care of the heart. For Your Spouse or Partner:  Make a [...]

Strengthening the Modern Farm Safety Net for Specialty Crop Growers

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 02/10/2014 - 3:59pm
As consumer demand for fresh fruit and vegetables increases, so do the production risks for the nation’s farmers as they grow these crops.  To meet this challenge, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) pays close attention to the changing agriculture sector to ensure that crop insurance is made available where feasible. A tremendous amount of work [...]

USDA Invites Schools to Celebrate International School Meals Day on March 6

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 02/10/2014 - 3:59pm
Last year, the first International School Meals Day was held on March 8. It was a great success and brought teachers and students in both the United States and United Kingdom together to connect on one of the most critical issues facing the world today – child nutrition. This year, International School Meals Day will [...]

The President Signs the Farm Bill: “A Jobs Bill, an Innovation Bill, a Research Bill, and a Conservation Bill”

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 02/07/2014 - 9:48pm
Cross posted from the White House blog: Today, President Obama traveled to Michigan State University’s equine performance center in East Lansing to deliver remarks on and sign into law the Agriculture Act of 2014 — also known as the Farm Bill, which Congress passed earlier this week. It’s a bill whose reach extends far beyond [...]

#MyFarmBill – You Were Heard, and Thank You

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 02/07/2014 - 3:46pm
Today, Secretary Vilsack joined the President in Michigan to sign the 2014 Farm Bill, an accomplishment that would not have been possible without your engagement. Last year we began the #MyFarmBill campaign in an effort to share with all Americans the need for a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill to keep up momentum in [...]

USDA Then and Now

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 02/06/2014 - 1:46pm
For over a century and a half, USDA has worked alongside farmers, businesses, and community leaders to ensure USDA programs put forward the most innovative thinking to meet the changing needs of a modern agricultural landscape. Mission areas across USDA, from agricultural research to forest management to nutrition programs and more, also look forward to [...]

‘Primera Jugada’ – Puntos de Alimentos Inocuos para su Fiesta del Super Bowl

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 1:11pm
Para poder ganar el partido, las jugadas tienen que ocurrir sin infracciones. Además, el domingo del Super Bowl es el segundo día más alto del consumo de alimentos en los Estados Unidos. Esto quiere decir que el anfitrión e invitados tienen que tener sus defensas listas para prevenir que la intoxicación alimentaria no marque puntos [...]

El Super Bowl, las Ollas de Cocción Lenta, e Inocuidad Alimentaria: Un Equipo Invencible

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 1:11pm
Por la mayoría del año, mi olla de cocción lenta se queda guardada en un anaquel en mi cocina. Pero, cuando se acerca el día del Super Bowl, la saco y empiezo a cocinar chili con carne, albóndigas u otras comidas calientes de fiesta. Lo que me más gusta de mi olla es que puede [...]

USDA Proposes Professional Standards in National School Lunch, Breakfast Programs; Announces New Progress in Implementing Meal Standards

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 7:06pm
Today, USDA proposed the establishment of minimum national professional standards and training requirements for school nutrition professionals who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The standards, another key provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA), aim to institute education and certification standards for school nutrition professionals. These [...]

First Down Food Safety Tips for your Super Bowl Party

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 1:04pm
In order to win the game, the first downs have to keep coming without the penalties. Super Bowl Sunday will be a long day of first downs and a long day of eating! It’s the second highest day of food consumption in the U.S., and that means hosts and guests need to have their defense [...]

Healthy Food Choices – How do We Get There? Find out During Livestreaming Panel Discussion Feb. 21

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 7:00pm
Organic, conventional, locally grown and natural – these are all terms consumers hear every day, but do they really understand their meaning? Are consumers making informed purchasing decisions or are they simply making food decisions based on what they hear in popular culture and media? On Friday, February 21, 2014, join a group of farmers [...]