Consumers in low-income countries on average spend half their income on food, leaving little or no money to spend on other goods and services. As the world population grows, agricultural science will play an important role in helping us combat hunger and malnutrition around the globe. (photo courtesy of the World Food Program/Rein Skullerud)
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.
The world is not merely facing a challenge of sustainably producing enough food to feed a world whose population will exceed 9 billion by 2050, but also confronting the continuous challenge of ensuring that nutritious and safe food reaches needy families, so that every child can have a safe and healthy childhood. Combating this urgent crisis requires a global collaborative effort. According to experts, by 2050 agricultural production will need to increase by 70% to meet increased demand for food, diet changes and additional demand for industrial uses for plants. To help meet this goal, USDA has developed a Global Food Security strategy, focused on research, development, education and extension. As part of USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist series of white papers on USDA’s research portfolio, this plan aligns USDA’s food security research with the goals of President Obama’s Global Food Security Initiative, Feed the Future. Read more »
Understanding a community’s food environment is key to understanding a community’s identity. But what can a “food environment” tell us?
A community’s food environment is a technical term for assessing information about the who, what, where, and how of food availability in a given community: Who are the people in the community?
What kinds of food outlets are available in their area? How accessible are grocery stores and supermarkets? What are some of the health statistics? Read more »
Data collected in the Agricultural Resource Management Survey generates a broad array of information, analyses, and uses.
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.
Nothing gives us a better insight into the U.S. farm economy than USDA’s annual Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). It’s the major source of information on production practices, resource use, and financial conditions among U.S. farms and farm households. Read more »
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 »
Nutrition label on a can indicating amount of trans fats per serving
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. Read more »
U. S. food is stored in cargo holds on freighters at Lake Charles, Louisiana waiting to be shipped overseas on May 1972. Photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.
USDA’s Chief Economist Joseph Glauber and his staff advise the Secretary on economic issues but are also charged with producing official USDA supply and demand projections and forecasts. The Office of the Chief Economist’s (OCE’s) monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report that is recognized globally as the benchmark report for world agricultural commodity markets. The WASDE report provides valuable planning and decision-making information to U.S. farmers, commodity traders, the agricultural industry, and USDA policymakers. Read more »