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

Lun, 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”

Vie, 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

Vie, 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

Jue, 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

Vie, 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

Vie, 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

Jue, 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

Jue, 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

Mié, 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 [...]

Super Bowl, Slow Cookers, and Food Safety: An Unbeatable Team

Mié, 01/29/2014 - 12:57pm
Most of the year, my slow cooker stays on the shelf in my kitchen, but, when the Super Bowl approaches, I pull it out to make chili, meatballs, or other hot party foods. The thing that I love about a slow cooker is that it can cook food safely and help me save time while [...]

From Small Potatoes to 36,000 Pounds of Carrots: Farm to School Grows

Lun, 01/27/2014 - 12:43pm
In the past few years I’ve seen an increasing number of news stories about successful farm to school programs. As reflected in the first USDA Farm to School Census, farm to school programs are thriving from Alaska to Florida and in every state between. I attended a recent event that demonstrates just how quickly—and by [...]

Secretary’s Column: The Building Blocks for a Healthier America

Vie, 01/24/2014 - 5:32pm
At USDA, we are working hard to ensure that America’s next generation has access to the healthy foods they need to grow, learn, achieve, and eventually to compete and succeed on a global stage. We are focused on feeding a healthier future, but we are also learning that the country as a whole is making [...]

Cooking Up Change Competition Kicks Off in Chicago

Mié, 01/22/2014 - 5:17pm
This November I served as a judge in the 2013-14 kick off Cooking Up Change competition here in Chicago. What is “Cooking Up Change”?  It’s a culinary competition sponsored by the Healthy Schools Campaign that challenges Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students and others across the U.S to create and prepare meals that are healthy and [...]

The Domino Effect of One Purchase

Mié, 01/22/2014 - 5:17pm
Sometimes one action can have a ripple effect—an impact that spreads outward, touching much more than just the immediate surroundings.  We see it all the time in the process of agriculture. Weather changes crop yields, then ripples through the supply chain, impacting everything from the local economy to the national average of transportation costs.  Sometimes [...]

National FFA Officers Meet with Secretary Vilsack

Vie, 01/17/2014 - 4:51pm
“We are excited by the challenges you presented to us,” said FFA National Secretary Mitch Bayer at the conclusion of a half-hour meeting of National FFA officers with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the USDA Whitten Building earlier this week. In his meeting with the officers, the Secretary covered a wide range of issues, including [...]

The Kindergarten Initiative: Connecting Students and their Families to the Worcester Food Environment

Vie, 01/17/2014 - 4:51pm
Massachusetts Farm to School Project and the Worcester Public Schools are helping kindergarteners understand how and where food is grown. They are teaching children about nutrition through local food tastings, farm and farmer visits, cooking demonstrations and take home produce. The Worcester Kindergarten Initiative is running at nine elementary schools in Worcester, MA, for the 2013-2014 [...]

Secretary’s Column: Fighting Rural Poverty in Appalachia and the Delta Region

Vie, 01/17/2014 - 4:51pm
Cross posted from the Huffington Post: Rural America faces a unique set of challenges when it comes to combating poverty in our towns and communities. Too often, rural people and places are hard to reach or otherwise underserved—but not forgotten. I believe that USDA and its partners have the tools and the wherewithal to expand [...]

Expanding SNAP Farmers Market Access through Innovative Partnerships

Jue, 01/16/2014 - 10:43am
America’s farmers’ markets are a great source of fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods, and at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), we’ve made it a priority to expand healthy food access through farmers’ markets to those participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It’s a win-win situation because, for farmers markets, [...]

Enhancing the Local School Wellness Environment

Mar, 01/14/2014 - 4:28pm
Local school wellness policies are an important tool for parents, local educational agencies, and school districts to promote student wellness, prevent and reduce childhood obesity, and provide assurance that school meal guidelines meet federal standards. They help communicate nutrition guidelines for all foods available on the school campus and include goals for nutrition education, physical [...]

Secretary’s Column: A New Food, Farm and Jobs Bill to Fight Hunger Here at Home

Vie, 01/10/2014 - 3:40pm
America’s farmers and ranchers work hard every day to put healthy food on our tables. Thanks to their incredible productivity, we have the capacity to produce enough food not only for every American family, but for much of the world. In a nation with such an abundance of food resources, it is unthinkable and unacceptable [...]