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Don’t Go Green this Spring, Greening Disease (HLB) Kills Citrus

Delicious citrus: Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Delicious citrus: Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service

It’s time to grab those gloves and get outside for some gardening!  April is not only a great time to plant citrus trees, but it’s also Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. Before wielding that shovel, take a few minutes to learn how to keep your trees healthy and prevent the spread of citrus disease.

Citrus greening disease, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), is one of the most severe plant diseases in the world. The disease has devastated millions of citrus trees in the United States and now has the potential to eliminate the citrus industry.  Once a tree is infected with the disease, there is no known cure. Read more »

U.S. Food Companies Refocus on Product Healthfulness

ERS research on voluntary health and nutrition claims on over 7,000 recently introduced food and beverage products found that the fastest growing claims related to trans fats, gluten calories, vitamins/minerals, and antioxidants.

ERS research on voluntary health and nutrition claims on over 7,000 recently introduced food and beverage products found that the fastest growing claims related to trans fats, gluten calories, vitamins/minerals, and antioxidants.

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.

On your last visit to the grocery store, you may have noticed the multitude of products proclaiming “no trans fats,” or “gluten-free,” or “high fiber.”  These voluntary claims are one way companies compete for customers. But what influences food companies’ use of these claims, and are they successful in boosting sales? Read more »

Working Together to Prevent Summer Hunger

Making sure children have nutritious meals and keep their bodies moving all year long is one of USDA’s most important missions. Our Summer Food Service Program plays an important role in ensuring that all children get healthy meals during the summertime.    We’re proud to say that in 2012, our partners helped to serve 144 million summer meals at 38,800 sites across the country. That translates to 2.3 million children served on a typical summer day.

But there is still a lot of work to be done. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of kids who rely on free and reduced price meals during the school year participate in the summer program. So this year we’ve set out to serve 5 million more summer meals. We need your help to meet that goal. Read more »