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USDA APHIS Celebrates 40 Years of Public Service

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is celebrating the agency’s 40th anniversary today.  While

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is celebrating the agency’s 40th anniversary today.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is celebrating the agency’s 40th anniversary today.  While APHIS’ program activities and responsibilities have grown and evolved since the Agency’s founding in 1972, the mission remains the same:  serving the public by protecting the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources. Read more »

USDA Supported Project Helps South Dakota Seniors Improve their Quality of Life

Brandon, South Dakota, with a population of about 9,000, has seen significant growth in the last decade, including the area of senior care.  There are two assisted living communities in Brandon, but there has never been a nursing home.  This has put strain on both the patients and their families.

Bethany Lutheran Home for the Aged, LLC operates a nursing home in Sioux Falls, a neighboring community, and the Bethany Meadows independent and assisted living facility in Brandon.  Bethany, which is owned by six area churches, proposed building a nursing home addition on its Bethany Meadows campus in Brandon.  Because the nursing home industry is regulated, financing can be hard to come by, and financing for new construction needs to be at the lowest possible interest rate. Read more »

The Citrus Wizard of Florida

Pictured here with his pet rooster, March, Lue Gim Gong’s work with citrus trees helped develop a frost-tolerant orange after a disastrous winter in Florida.

Pictured here with his pet rooster, March, Lue Gim Gong’s work with citrus trees helped develop a frost-tolerant orange after a disastrous winter in Florida.

No one should live in this world for himself alone, but to do good for those who come after him. Read more »

An Epic Disaster Required Unprecedented Response

From left: Jessica Shahin, Associate Administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Mika Brzezinski and Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe and Masters of Ceremony  listen to Shahin explain the emergency food assistance provided to survivors of Hurricane Katrina at the United States Department of Agriculture's 150th Anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.

From left: Jessica Shahin, Associate Administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Mika Brzezinski and Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe and Masters of Ceremony listen to Shahin explain the emergency food assistance provided to survivors of Hurricane Katrina at the United States Department of Agriculture's 150th Anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly seven years since the lives of the citizens of New Orleans and surrounding areas of the Gulf Coast were changed forever in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This epic storm demanded an immediate and unprecedented response. I was proud to be part of USDA’s team that quickly mobilized to provide disaster food assistance. Read more »

Healthy Foods Not Necessarily More Expensive Than Less Healthy Ones

Fruits and vegetables appear more expensive than less healthy foods when the price is measured by calories rather than by weight or by amount in an average serving. The price measure has a large effect on which foods are determined more expensive.Fruits and vegetables appear more expensive than less healthy foods when the price is measured by calories rather than by weight or by amount in an average serving. The price measure has a large effect on which foods are determined more expensive.

Fruits and vegetables appear more expensive than less healthy foods when the price is measured by calories rather than by weight or by amount in an average serving. The price measure has a large effect on which foods are determined more expensive.

Most Americans’ diets fall short of Federal recommendations, especially when it comes to whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and fruits and vegetables. Some nutrition researchers and food writers blame cost, saying fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods are more expensive than less healthy ones.  And on a per calorie basis, that’s true.  Calorie-sparse fruits and vegetables cost more than a donut, and skim milk costs more than whole.  But is price per calorie the only way to think about a food’s cost? Read more »

USDA Introduces New Resources to Help Nutrition Educators Reach Moms

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, it is most appropriate to recognize the important role women play in shaping the eating patterns of their family members and especially, their children.  So today, we are launching an updated web site with new messages, tools, and resources to help nutrition educators reach one of the most critically important target groups—moms.  FNS administers 15 nutrition assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infants and Children Program that help individuals and families meet their nutrition needs.  Since many participants in these programs are women and children, moms are a high priority for nutrition education because they can make a big impact of the eating habits of their families.

The new resources include 13 audience-tested core nutrition messages, tips for making healthier choices, ideas for tasty meals and snacks that include whole grains, milk, fruits and vegetables, and other easy to use ways to help consumers to understand and put MyPlate recommendations into practice.  Testing showed that these materials resonate with moms, provide realistic ways to engage their children, and offer appealing tips to incorporate whole grains, fat-free and low-fat milk, and fruits and vegetables into family meals and snacks.

Read more »