Blog

Last Modified: 03/21/2012
  • Introducing students to healthy foods early on through farm to school programs is one way to reduce the amount of fruits and vegetables wasted in schools. October was National Farm to School Month and at FNS we ended on a high note. We released our very first nationwide assessment of farm to school activities and there was a lot of good news to be shared. The Farm to School Census showed that adoption of farm to school activities is trending up; many schools that do not currently have farm to school programs are planning to start them, and millions of children are being exposed to healthy...
  • MyPlate Holiday Makeover: Green Mashed Potatoes The MyPlate Team continues to share “Makeover Monday” recipes each week on the USDA blog and the MyPlate Facebook page through January 6th. This recipe was originally created for another festive day.  But everyone loved “green-mash” potatoes so much that this family favorite became part of our Thanksgiving Feast. Since my family has an Irish ancestry, we first started making this Green-Mash Potatoes Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day.  Green peas add a slightly sweet flavor, and the garlic and pepper gives it some zip.  The white pepper is optional,...
  • This morning, Huffington Post published an op-ed from USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon highlighting the continued need for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, particularly around the holidays, and reiterating the need for Congress to act on a comprehensive, long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill. As we gather around the dinner table this holiday season, we are called to reflect on our blessings–a healthy family, a job, a bountiful meal on the table. Yet there are millions of American families who are still rebuilding in the wake of...
  • Cross posted from the Dairy Good blog: Across the nation, Americans from all walks of life are taking steps to reduce the amount of food that goes to waste. Part of the solution lies in finding innovative new ways to use food that would otherwise by wasted. That’s where the Cleveland Browns, Ohio State University, the City of Cleveland, the Dairy Innovation Center and other partners are stepping in to help. On Sunday, November 24, this new partnership will begin taking waste from FirstEnergy Stadium and turning it into clean, renewable energy. Anaerobic digesters like the one in...
  • This week, the White House released a new report showing the critical need for Congressional passage of a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill. This comprehensive report highlights how the thriving business of agriculture is a cornerstone of America’s economy, creating jobs and boosting opportunity. Agricultural production and its related sectors contributed $743 billion to U.S. GDP in 2011, accounting for nearly 5 percent of economic output. Today about one out of every 12 jobs in the United States are connected in some way to agriculture. Meanwhile, driven by the productivity of our farmers and...
  • We all cherish time-honored holiday traditions; yet want to make healthier choices when celebrating the holiday season. Simple swaps or ingredient substitutions are a great way to revamp classic favorites – making them healthier without sacrificing the memories. The MyPlate Holiday Makeover infographic provides ideas to help you make great choices. From baking to seasoning, this new resource can show you an easier way to make your meals healthier. Choose recipes that include unsweetened applesauce or mashed ripe bananas instead of butter. Boost the flavor of foods with spices and herbs such...
  • USDA Farm to School grants help get healthy, local foods into schools and teach children where their food comes from. (Photo Credit: Katy Campbell) I just spent the morning calling people who had applied to receive a USDA Farm to School grant. They were fun calls to make as I was letting this year’s awardees know their project had been selected for funding. Today USDA announced awards for 71 projects spanning 42 states and the District of Columbia that support USDA’s efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School program. USDA Farm to School...
  • A Classic Holiday Favorite: Sarah’s Green Bean Casserole The holiday season has finally arrived! It’s time to find your favorite family recipes and start cooking! While many of our favorite dishes help us to remember and celebrate special times, choosing healthier options can be a challenge. Let MyPlate help you find solutions with “MyPlate Holiday Makeovers.” During our eight-week series, you’ll find ways to celebrate the season with great new resources such as recipes, a new infographic, and tips for preparing your holiday feast. To keep you engaged throughout the holiday season, the...
  • Last week, researchers from Michigan State University, Oakland University, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Education came out with a new study showing that when schools offer healthier snacks in vending machines and a la carte lines, students’ overall diets improve. Students in schools that offered healthier snacks consumed more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and not just at school—at home, too. This is encouraging news for schools and school nutrition professionals as they begin implementing the Smart Snacks in School standards, which will ensure that...
  • The curly tips of the fiddlehead fern can be found in early spring before they open to reveal a full taste akin to asparagus. U.S. Forest Service photo. Elizabeth Nelson tasted then added more spice to a soup made with fiddlehead ferns, those curly leaves of a young fern that resemble the scrolled neck of a superbly crafted violin. Although Nelson has made the soup hundreds of times before, her culinary prowess this day is being documented for a project called Mino Wiisinidaa!, or Let’s Eat Good! – Traditional Foods for Healthy Living. “When we were kids, my mom would send us all out with a...

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