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Last Published: 12/03/2012
  • August 13 2013
    Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, “competitive foods” in schools (a la carte and vending machine items) will be subject to new nutritional standards. 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. Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, “competitive foods” in schools will be subject to new nutritional standards. Competitive foods include à la carte cafeteria items like pizza, French fries, and ice cream, as well as snacks and beverages sold in vending...
  • August 13 2013
    Teachers and students from Adams-Friendship Middle School in Adams, Wisconsin are growing a beautiful People’s Garden in the interior courtyard of their school. Numerous excellent school garden programs have sprouted up across the country. School gardens often provide food that improves a child’s diet and nutrition, areas for learning, places for pleasure and recreation, as well as a continuing lesson in environmental stewardship and civic pride. But how do they take root? School gardens are sown with similar considerations but vary based upon its geographic location, funding, grade level...
  • August 12 2013
    MyPlate On Campus Ambassadors are encouraged to use resources, such as this 10 Tips handout, to promote healthy eating to their peers. The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion launched a new initiative this past March, MyPlate On Campus, to help spread healthy eating messages to young adults during their college years.  MyPlate On Campus is a unique program that encourages students to improve their own eating and physical activity habits as well as promote healthy eating to their peers. Most college students are emerging out on their own for the first time and perhaps vulnerable to...
  • August 12 2013
    Back-to-school is an exciting time of year that provides new opportunities for teaching and learning.  The USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion offers great nutrition resources for young children, parents, and educators for this upcoming school year.  ChooseMyPlate.gov now features MyPlate Kids’ Place, a new section of the website designed for children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old. MyPlate Kids’ Place offers fun resources for kids, such as games, videos, and songs, that encourage them to make better food and physical activity choices throughout the school year.  In...
  • August 9 2013
    In agriculture, we talk a lot about sustainability.  As a method of growing crops, caring for ecosystems like forests or wetlands, or even the economic sustainability of businesses—we look at this word from all angles.  But there’s another component to consider: cultural sustainability. As a nation of immigrants, we have many rich and complex influences woven into the history of our country.  Foods we eat, holidays we celebrate, how we create goods or perform services—these are all things that are shaped by the cultural identities of our families and the communities around us. For many...
  • August 9 2013
    Bartenfelder Farms at Baltimore’s Farmers Market and Bazaar in Baltimore, MD. Vendors now accept Baltimore Farmers Market and Bazaar tokens, thanks to the new wireless connected electronic card reader that accepts the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, Baltimore Bucks, and debit cards. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung. What Agriculture Under Secretary Concannon calls a win-win situation, is taking root in rural Alabama with help from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and...
  • August 9 2013
    Over the first week of August, local markets across the country celebrated National Farmers Market Week. Farmers markets are an important part of America’s diverse agriculture sector, providing unique benefits to communities across our nation. They give Americans a chance to learn about agriculture by meeting some of the people who grow and raise our food. They provide valuable marketing opportunities for small and beginning farmers – many of whom scale up to larger regional markets and other institutions.  And they help expand access to locally-grown foods that are in greater demand than...
  • August 9 2013
    In the largest survey of food security and food spending among SNAP participants to date, researchers from Mathematica Policy Research found that participation in SNAP for about six months was associated with a significant decrease in food insecurity. The study was funded through a contract from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. Infographic credit: Mathematica Policy Research. Click to enlarge image. USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is America’s first line of defense against hunger and new research released today makes it clear that SNAP improves food security,...
  • August 9 2013
    Farmers markets are a perfect venue for teaching children about the food they eat. Initiatives across the country, like this People’s Garden event at the USDA Farmers Market, encourage the development of healthy eating habits at an early age. “We become what we repeatedly do.” In his Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens Sean Covey used these words to help young students preparing to attend college and join the workforce, but they also apply to how children learn to eat healthy. Through innovative programs like the Power of Produce (POP) Club, farmers markets across the country are...
  • August 9 2013
    CDC Study finds Obesity rates among low-income preschoolers declining in many states. Credit: CDC Here at USDA, we’re on a mission to help all of our nation’s children have the best possible chance at a healthy life.  So, we’re very encouraged by some recent news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):  the rate of obesity among low-income pre-school children appears to be declining for the first time in decades. The declining rates show that our collective efforts are helping to gain ground on childhood obesity, particularly among some of the more vulnerable populations...

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