Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Opportunities Abound for U.S. Agribusinesses in Panama and Colombia

Juan Carlos Cadena (left), Colombia’s Director of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and Bryce Quick, Associate Administrator for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, participate in a welcome plenary session for a USDA trade mission with Panama and Colombia, which took place in Bogota Nov. 14-17. With 24 U.S. agricultural companies participating, it was the largest delegation ever on a USDA trade mission. Photo by Fernando Soto, U.S. Embassy Bogota.

Juan Carlos Cadena (left), Colombia’s Director of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and Bryce Quick, Associate Administrator for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, participate in a welcome plenary session for a USDA trade mission with Panama and Colombia, which took place in Bogota Nov. 14-17. With 24 U.S. agricultural companies participating, it was the largest delegation ever on a USDA trade mission. Photo by Fernando Soto, U.S. Embassy Bogota.

Last week, I was honored to travel to Bogotá and lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s trade mission with Panama and Colombia. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Happy Thanksgiving

Beginning with the American pilgrims, Thanksgiving has always focused on celebrating the harvest and the abundance of food we are able to share with our friends and family.

This year is no different.  As we take stock of what we are thankful for, I hope that Americans will think of our farmers, ranchers and growers – and recognize the incredible contributions they make to the health and strength of this country we all love. Read more »

Disfrute los Días Festivos: Prepare Comidas Inocuas y Saludables

Serie especial para los días festivos- 5to blog de 5

Durante la pasada semana, la Dra. Janey Thornton, subsecretaria comisionada de Alimentos, Nutrición y Servicio al Consumidor del USDA y yo hemos compartido con ustedes recetas de bajo costo con consejos simples para un manejo adecuado de alimentos que les ayudaran a preparar cenas saludables e inocuas para los días festivos. Hasta ahora, hemos compartido con ustedes recetas para un delicioso pavo,  relleno, y acompañantes como manzanas y camotes (batatas) al horno y salteado de ejotes . Pare este último blog, nos enfocamos en el pastel de calabaza, uno de los manjares de la cena festiva. Al igual que otros platos festivos que contienen huevos, la preparación del relleno para el pastel de calabaza puede envolver pasos que lleven a enfermedades transmitidas a través de los alimentos, si no se hacen con cuidado. La receta para el pastel de calabaza envuelve pasos para manejar cada alimento cuidadosamente, desde el paso de mezclar los ingredientes hasta el paso de guardar las sobras del pastel. Le incluimos una hoja informativa que le puede ayudar a contestar cualquier duda que pueda tener sobre cómo cocinar con huevos crudos durante esta temporada festiva. En adición, usted puede llamar a la Línea de Información sobre Carnes y Aves del USDA al 1-888-674-6854, de lunes a viernes, desde las 10 a.m. a 4 p.m. (hora del este), y desde 8 a.m. a 2 p.m. durante el día de Acción de Gracias.

¡Disfrute y tenga un feliz día de Acción de Gracias! Read more »

Enjoy the Holidays: Preparing Healthy and Safe Meals!

Special holiday series – Blog 5 of 5

Over the past week, Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, and I have provided low-cost recipes incorporating simple food safety tips to help you prepare healthy and safe holiday meals. So far, we’ve posted recipes for turkey, stuffing, baked apples and sweet potatoes, and green beans. For the final blog in this series, we’re focusing on pumpkin pie, one of the mainstays of holiday meals. Like other holiday treats containing eggs, pumpkin pie filling can be messy to prepare and may lead to foodborne illness if not done carefully. This pumpkin pie recipe incorporates food safety tips at every step from mixing to storing leftovers. If you have further concerns about cooking with eggs this holiday season, this fact sheet should be really helpful. Additionally, I invite you to call USDA’s Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m EST, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST on Thanksgiving Day.

Enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Read more »

How Much Time Do Americans Spend Eating?

Responses from time use surveys reveal that on an average day, Americans age 15 or older spent 23.5 minutes eating while engaging in another activity considered “primary.” A common example: eating while on the job. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Responses from time use surveys reveal that on an average day, Americans age 15 or older spent 23.5 minutes eating while engaging in another activity considered “primary.” A common example: eating while on the job. (Photo: Thinkstock)

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. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Assists the Stinson Family in the Aftermath of the Bastrop, Texas, Wildfires

The Stinson family lost their home and their rental home to wildfire.   With USDA help, they are in a new home, recently acquired with a Rural Development Guaranteed Home Loan.

The Stinson family lost their rental home to wildfire. With USDA help, they are in a new home, recently acquired with a Rural Development Guaranteed Home Loan.

On Sunday, September 4, 2011, a firestorm known as the Bastrop County Complex Fire engulfed Bastrop, Texas, located just 25 miles east of Austin.  By September 30, the fire had destroyed 1,645 homes, burned 34,000 acres, and killed two people.  It is now regarded as the most catastrophic wildfire in Texas history and has set a somber state record for the most homes lost in a single fire. Read more »