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National School Lunch Week: Reasons to Celebrate

A young girl enjoying a healthy school lunch.

A young girl enjoying a healthy school lunch.

National School Lunch Week is underway this week. It’s an annual event, of course, but this year I think we have a lot to celebrate because more and more people are coming to understand how important it is to provide America’s school children with a healthy nutrition environment at school.   In fact, as I look around, I see encouraging developments in many areas, but none more so than the growing number of schools that have decided to take on USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge. Read more »

USDA Recognizes West Virginia School for Earning Gold in HealthierUS School Challenge

Dishing it out in the cafeteria.

Dishing it out in the cafeteria.

I recently had the pleasure accompanying Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Audrey Rowe and Yvette Jackson, Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator on a visit to Duval Elementary-Middle School in Lincoln County, West Virginia.  Known for wide open spaces and a laid back lifestyle, Lincoln County is also becoming known as a healthy place. We were there because Duval was recognized with a HealthierUS School Challenge gold award, the first of its kind in West Virginia. Read more »

All Hands on Deck!

Audrey Rowe speaking at the Faith, Families and Schools Conference in CT

Audrey Rowe speaking at the Faith, Families and Schools Conference in CT

It was all hands on deck at the 3rd Annual Faith, Families & Schools Conference held in Cromwell, Connecticut.  I was extremely pleased to see many of my state colleagues working together in such an important effort.  I participated as the keynote speaker and was introduced by George A. Coleman, Deputy Commissioner Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). Working together for Student Success was the theme throughout conference.  Members of numerous organizations set up exhibits and had the opportunity to listen to our FNS messageRead more »

USDA Science Creates More Fresh Food Choices

Fresh-cut apple slices like this one quickly turn brown and mushy when exposed to air.  USDA-ARS chemist Dominic Wong and his collaborators discovered a method to protect apple slices from browning.

Fresh-cut apple slices like this one quickly turn brown and mushy when exposed to air. USDA-ARS chemist Dominic Wong and his collaborators discovered a method to protect apple slices from browning.

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 the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

It’s hard to imagine average Americans of the 1950s and ‘60s walking around carrying bottles of water or worrying about getting to the gym three times a week.  But just as lifestyles have changed over the decades, so have eating styles.  Today’s Americans demand a variety of fresh, convenient, healthy, quick snacks and meals—and USDA scientists made a major contribution to meeting that demand. Read more »

Electric Co-op Promotes Home Energy Efficiency With “The Wall”

(Left to right)  Bob Dickey Discussing features of the Wall With North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan. Also shown: Aaron Ridenour at a North Dakota Energy Expo.

(Left to right) Bob Dickey Discussing features of the Wall With North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan. Also shown: Aaron Ridenour at a North Dakota Energy Expo.

Born in the first half of the 20th century, rural electric cooperatives drove the monumental effort to bring electricity to remote areas of the country where investor-owned utilities could not make a profit.  Owned by their members and not-for-profit organizations, rural electric cooperatives have been providing safe, reliable and affordable electric power for 75 years. Read more »