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“Meet Me at the Market” – The Evolution of a Farmers Market

Mié, 08/07/2013 - 4:17pm
What better time than National Farmers Market Week to explore the history of farmers markets in the United States?  Farmers markets are a critical ingredient to our nation’s food system, and date back to 1730 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the United States. “Meet me at the Market” has for decades been a phrase commonly heard [...]

Farm to School Is An Important Ingredient in the Recipe For Success in Purvis, Mississippi

Mié, 08/07/2013 - 4:17pm
“Our farm to school program helps our district offer more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis,” said Julie Hamilton, school food service director of operations/training for Lamar County Schools in Purvis, Miss.  “Being exposed to more choices, the young students will learn to like them and make healthier food choices over their lifetimes.” Offering [...]

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Help Feed Kids During the Summer

Mié, 08/07/2013 - 10:06am
Although about 21 million children nationwide receive free and reduced-priced meals through our National School Lunch Program, only about 3.5 million meals are served through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) on a typical day. Closing this gap and ensuring that disadvantaged children do not go hungry during the summer months is a goal that [...]

A Small Business Dream Built on a Farmers Market

Mar, 08/06/2013 - 4:00pm
My mom raised five kids, taught high school chemistry for 15 years and then retired back to the family farm in 1986. Her new life on the farm depended on the Salisbury, MD farmers market where she sold daylilies.  The farmers market, just one of 8,000 or more markets listed in USDA’s National Farmers Market [...]

Farmers Markets as Community Centerpieces

Lun, 08/05/2013 - 3:52pm
Farmers markets have become a critical ingredient to our nation’s economy, food systems, and communities. Connecting rural to urban, farmer to consumer, and fresh ingredients to our diets, farmers markets are becoming economic and community centerpieces in cities and towns across the U.S. Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to kick off National Farmers [...]

Enjoy Foods from Many Cultures with MyPlate

Vie, 08/02/2013 - 11:14am
The summer months often present more leisure time for families and friends to gather together.  These celebrations, like celebrations throughout the year, usually involve food. The USDA wants to make sure that your festive meals are healthy and that’s why the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) has released a new resource offering 10 [...]

NIFA Grant Addresses Climate Issues Related to Beef Cattle Production

Jue, 08/01/2013 - 5:09pm
Today, I am on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. When I visit universities across the nation, I look forward to meeting with faculty and students to hear about the work they are doing. On this particular visit, I am excited to meet with a research team working on an issue important to [...]

The Spicy Story of Green Chiles

Mié, 07/31/2013 - 11:00am
It’s no secret I love New Mexican grown green chiles.  So does Melissa’s World Variety Produce in Los Angeles, California. So much so, that during a recent trip to California, I attended a spicy workshop and reception hosted by Melissa’s, featuring New Mexican Hatch green chiles.” “When I grew up, I thought there was only [...]

How Millennials are Reducing Food Waste

Mar, 07/30/2013 - 4:56pm
Today’s college students and young professionals are particularly attuned to the environmental issues that face our nation. Universities across the United States are often stuck with excess food left over from dining halls, sporting events, and other social gatherings that more often than not goes directly into the dumpsters.  While many young adults across the [...]

Spreading Sustainable Seafood Practices Overseas

Vie, 07/26/2013 - 8:05pm
Last month, the Foreign Agricultural Service office in The Hague, Netherlands, partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to highlight the institute’s commitment to sustainable fishing and introduce its new sustainability certification. There is a growing interest among European consumers in sustainable seafood. Many European retailers require their suppliers to demonstrate that their products don’t [...]

USDA Officials Talk about New Meal and Snack Standards at New York City School

Vie, 07/26/2013 - 1:58pm
Our children are our most prized possessions and we must do whatever it takes to help them excel in the future. Leading them on the path to becoming part of a healthier generation, USDA revised the standards for meals and snacks served in their schools. Recently, I had the pleasure of traveling to a New [...]

Serving Summer Meals Requires Hard Work and a Big Heart

Jue, 07/25/2013 - 1:43pm
As a public affairs specialist, promoting and publishing information about federal nutrition assistance programs to partners, media and the public is a key part of the job. But I don’t often get to see the real day-to-day operation of these programs. I have attended summer program kick-off events and visited other program sites for special [...]

Healthy Incentives Pilot Shows Small Investment Leads to Big Impact

Mié, 07/24/2013 - 7:30pm
Earlier today, Secretary Vilsack announced the results of the Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) , a pilot project designed to test the impact of incentivizing fruit and vegetable purchases among SNAP recipients. The pilot showed that an ongoing investment of less than 15 cents per person per day may result in a 25 percent increase in [...]

Double Up Food Bucks Expands to Grocery Stores

Mié, 07/24/2013 - 7:30pm
Earlier today, USDA announced the results of the Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) and additional efforts to empower low-income families with the knowledge and skills they need to purchase and prepare healthy foods using SNAP benefits. To make the announcement, Secretary Vilsack conducted a call with Dr. Oran Hesterman, President and CEO of Ann Arbor, Michigan-based [...]

Summer Harvests Can Turn Into Summer Meals for Kids

Mar, 07/23/2013 - 7:17pm
Summer is the season when harvests of healthful foods are most abundant: gardens overflow with zucchini and berries, trees are laden with sweet, ripe fruit, and farmers tend and harvest crops from dawn until dusk. Despite the seasonal abundance, many children go hungry when school is out and the food programs that fed them during [...]

Advances Help Assure Olive Oil Authenticity

Mar, 07/23/2013 - 7:17pm
This post is part of the Science Today feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. When you plunk down $17.99 for a bottle of your favorite premium olive oil, you’d like some assurance that what you just bought actually [...]

Kids’ State Dinner Celebrates Good Nutrition with MyPlate

Mar, 07/23/2013 - 7:17pm
On July 9th, budding young chefs gathered at the White House for the Let’s Move! Kids’ State Dinner, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, to celebrate their culinary accomplishments in the Epicurious “Healthy Lunchtime Challenge”.  Let’s Move!, Epicurious, the U.S. Department of Education, and USDA collaborated on the challenge and honored the 54 finalists who [...]

Oh the Meals You Can Make With USDA Foods and Some Creativity

Mar, 07/23/2013 - 7:17pm
“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” These words, spoken by Albert Einstein, can hold true for anything. USDA’s Commodity Procurement Program enjoys seeing schools and other organizations develop creative, healthy meals featuring foods we purchase for federal feeding programs. We hope that finding innovative ways to use USDA foods is contagious and that others catch [...]

Reducing Food Waste: It’s More Than Just Cleaning Your Plate

Mar, 07/23/2013 - 7:17pm
When you think of steps that can be taken to improve our environment and mitigate climate change, “reducing food waste” probably doesn’t come to mind right away.  But in fact, food waste is an important factor in climate change, because wasted food represents 20 percent by weight of the solid waste going to landfills. This [...]

Parental Employment, Education, and Disability are Factors in Food Insecurity among Children

Mar, 07/23/2013 - 7:17pm
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. In the wake of the economic downturn that began in late 2007, food insecurity in households with children remains near the highest level observed [...]