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Deputy Secretary Merrigan Sowed Seeds for Community-Based Agriculture in Baltimore

Livia Marqués and Juanita Ewell stand in front of the tool shed at Eat Healthy Live Healthy Urban Garden in the 900 block of Cherry Hill Road, Baltimore City, Maryland. The mural was painted by Towson University student John Rice.

Livia Marqués and Juanita Ewell stand in front of the tool shed at Eat Healthy Live Healthy Urban Garden in the 900 block of Cherry Hill Road, Baltimore City, Maryland. The mural was painted by Towson University student John Rice.

I’m thrilled that I could join Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan last week when we announced the recipients of the People’s Garden Grant Program in Baltimore, Maryland.  The backdrop for the $60,000 grant announcement to Towson University was set at the Eat Healthy Live Healthy Urban Garden in the Cherry Hill neighborhood. Cherry Hill is an approximately one square mile, geographically isolated, food desert neighborhood. These residents are impoverished and experience some of the highest rates of chronic disease in Baltimore city. Read more »

Poultry Classifications Get a 21st Century Upgrade

USDA is updating the definitions for poultry classes, such as broiler or roaster, which are based on the sex and age of the bird when harvested.

USDA is updating the definitions for poultry classes, such as broiler or roaster, which are based on the sex and age of the bird when harvested.

When cooking poultry, chefs know choosing the right bird will affect the outcome of a final dish. That’s why most recipes call for a fryer, roaster, or other class—terms based on the age and sex of the bird and printed on poultry labels.  While breeding and raising practices have improved over the years, the definitions for these terms have remained roughly the same since the 1970’s. Read more »

Disfrute los Días Festivos: Prepare Comidas Inocuas y Saludables

Serie especial para los días festivos- 2do blog de 5

¡Ya comenzó el conteo regresivo para el día del pavo! Para facilitarles a todos ustedes que estarán bien ocupados cocinando en este día, la Dra. Hagen del Servicio de Inocuidad e Inspección de Alimentos del USDA y yo les proveemos recetas para comidas festivas, de bajo costo, con consejos sencillos para manejar los alimentos adecuadamente que les ayudará a preparar una comida saludable e inocua durante los días festivos. Ayer publicamos la receta para el pavo con sugerencias de gran ayuda para prepararlo adecuadamente. Aquí hay una receta deliciosa para el relleno. Asegúrese de  ver nuestro próximo blog, que se publicará mañana, el cual contiene otra receta, también de bajo costo, para preparar un plato de manzanas y camotes (batatas). ¡Disfrútenlas! Read more »

Enjoy the Holidays: Preparing Healthy and Safe Meals!

Special holiday series – Blog 2 of 5

The countdown to turkey day is underway! To help soon-to-be busy cooks prepare healthy and safe holiday meals, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen and I are providing low-cost holiday recipes with simple food safety tips. Yesterday we posted a turkey recipe with helpful suggestions on handling raw poultry. Below is a delicious recipe for stuffing.  Make sure you check out our next blog tomorrow which will feature another low-cost, easy to prepare –recipe—Baked Apples and Sweet Potatoes.  Happy cooking!!

Grandma’s Stuffing Read more »

NRCS Works with Partners to Protect Wildlife Migration Route in Wyoming

Pronghorn antelope on the move along the migration route. Photo credit: Mark Gocke.

Pronghorn antelope on the move along the migration route. Photo credit: Mark Gocke.

Earlier this month, The Conservation Fund announced the permanent protection of 1,000 acres along the Path of the Pronghorn—the longest land mammal migration route in the continental United States. Read more »

National Organic Program Reexamines Strategies

The USDA Organic seal.  To support their mission to ensure the integrity of products carrying the seal, National Organic Program has reexamined its priorities and refreshed its strategic plan.

The USDA Organic seal. To support their mission to ensure the integrity of products carrying the seal, National Organic Program has reexamined its priorities and refreshed its strategic plan.

Positive brand recognition—having a brand the buyer can trust—is the cornerstone of marketing success.  The same applies to USDA and, more specifically, the USDA organic seal. Since its origination in 2000, the green and white seal for certified organic products has become one of the world’s most recognizable food labels, and the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) is serious about protecting what it stands for. Read more »