In 2012, there was significant growth in the number of operations in California, Iowa, and New England, and only slight growth in the number of operations in the southeastern United States. This map shows the concentration of organic operations within the U.S.
This is the eleventh installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations.
Last week the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) published the 2012 list of certified organic operations. Our online database now provides information on 17,750 certified USDA organic farms and processing facilities in the United States. That’s almost a 240 percent increase since the NOP began tracking this data in 2002. Worldwide, there are now close to 25,000 certified organic operators representing more than 100 countries. Read more »
SuperTracker is an interactive website used for creating customized healthy dietary plans that include required daily vitamins and minerals, and age and gender appropriate daily portions and calorie levels. Users can also tap tools called “Daily Food Plan,” “SuperTracker,” and “Food-a-Pedia” on this site. USDA photo by Stephen Ausmus.
I am pleased to report that over two million Americans are now using USDA’s SuperTracker, our online dietary planning and tracking tool!
Today, as never before, our awareness is heightened about the importance of healthy eating. Cookbooks and diet books reign supreme in the bookstores. There are entire TV channels devoted exclusively to food and, of course, stories of too many Twinkies, doughnuts and sodas provide constant fodder for the late night comedians. A day doesn’t go by that new food-related research isn’t released. Diet and health information abound on social media. Grocery stores are constantly adding new, healthier products. And communities across America are trying new and novel approaches to promote healthy eating. Read more »
On a recent trip to Wisconsin, USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager had an opportunity to revisit a specialty cheese plant in Montfort, Wis. that he had helped to establish about ten years ago.
In 2002, the Wisconsin Farmers Union hired a cheesemaker and took steps to begin the start-up of a specialty cheese plant in Montfort, Wis. to add value to milk produced by Wisconsin dairy farmers and to create the WI Farmers Union Specialty Cheese Company. To ensure success of the endeavor, the Wisconsin Farmers Union sought assistance from Golden Plains Ventures, an organization founded by Under Secretary Tonsager. Read more »
This screen shot depicts the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SuperTracker application on Jan. 11, 2013. The application allows users to track the foods they eat and compare it to their nutrition targets.
From the start of the SuperTracker project, meeting the needs of our nearly two million users has been our top priority. We pride ourselves on our ability to quickly respond to feedback on everything from tweaks to the site’s layout and design to suggestions for new features—such as the recently added a function that allows users to set a personal Calorie goal. We were even recognized as one of the government’s best in customer service by the Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council! Read more »
The Midwest Region encouraged interns to participate in the People’s Garden as part of its Cultural Transformation efforts.
It is amazing what successful partnerships we have developed through our USDA People’s Garden initiative in the Food & Nutrition Service’s Midwest Region. It’s been four years now since we began working with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest Program to create our garden. The garden is a symbol of USDA’s history in connecting our people to the land. Throughout the years, we have helped maintain raised garden beds in one of Chicago’s most economically and socially challenged neighborhoods. Now we have expanded those efforts to include our federal neighbors and partners at the Environmental Protection Agency. Read more »
Interest in the MyPlate Facebook page grew rapidly with more than 1,000 followers on the first day. Facebook page by Sasha Bard, MS, RD.
MyPlate is using the power of Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to make it easier for consumers to find simple science-based and practical guidance in many forms to help consumers eat healthier and live healthier. These social media platforms reach broad audiences and can now direct users to the wealth of consumer-friendly content supporting the MyPlate icon.
“Through social media, USDA can reach people where they need to make food decisions – on-the-go, in stores, at restaurants, and at home — and provide timely tips and information that can be shared with family and friends.” – Dr. Robert Post, Associate Executive Director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Read more »