Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Posts tagged: Thanksgiving

During the Holiday of Plenty, Remembering Those with Less

This morning, Huffington Post published an op-ed from USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon highlighting the continued need for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, particularly around the holidays, and reiterating the need for Congress to act on a comprehensive, long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill.

As we gather around the dinner table this holiday season, we are called to reflect on our blessings–a healthy family, a job, a bountiful meal on the table. Yet there are millions of American families who are still rebuilding in the wake of the worst recession in decades–and they still need help.

As a country, we have always prided ourselves on providing–on a bipartisan basis–a responsive food assistance safety net through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP recipients have fallen on tough times, and the program provides temporary help to put healthy food on the table–but what does that mean in real terms?  Read more on Huffington Post.

I was Local When Local Wasn’t Cool

Under Secretary Avalos with fresh apples from the USDA Farmers Market.  Share your favorite local ingredients by mentioning @AMS_USDA and using the #LocalisCool hashtag.

Under Secretary Avalos with fresh apples from the USDA Farmers Market. Share your favorite local ingredients by mentioning @AMS_USDA and using the #LocalisCool hashtag.

No one would ever accuse me of being a trend-setter—especially my kids.  But I’m proud to say that I’ve been part of the local food movement my whole life. I grew up on a family farm in New Mexico.  For us, local food wasn’t really a trend or a movement.  It was how we made our living.  By growing, raising and selling our food throughout the year, we connected to other farmers, ranchers and our neighbors.

More American families are making a conscious decision to eat healthier and buy local foods.  Many farmers and producers are combining their hard work with innovative practices like hoop houses and new marketing opportunities like food hubs.  These are two examples of modern approaches that are helping extend growing and selling seasons and bringing farmers and suppliers together to meet the increasing demand for local foods. Read more »

To Wash or Not to Wash… Your Turkey?

Washing anything makes it cleaner and safer, right? Not necessarily.

Wash your hands, but not the turkey!  Many consumers think that washing their turkey will remove bacteria and make it safer.  However, it’s virtually impossible to wash bacteria off the bird. Instead, juices that splash during washing can transfer bacteria onto the surfaces of your kitchen, other foods and utensils. This is called cross-contamination, which can make you and your guests very sick.  Washing your hands before and after handling your turkey and its packaging is crucial to avoid spreading harmful bacteria. Read more »

¿Lavar o No el Pavo?

Lavar cualquier cosa lo hace más limpio y seguro, ¿verdad?

Lave sus manos, ¡pero NO el pavo! Los consumidores piensan que lavar sus pavos ha de remover las bacterias y hacerlos más seguros. Sin embargo, resulta virtualmente imposible lavar la bacteria del ave. Sin embargo, los fluidos que salpican durante el lavado pueden transferir bacteria a superficies de su cocina, otros alimentos, y utensilios. Esto es llamado “contaminación cruzada”, lo cual puede enfermarle mucho a usted y a sus invitados. El lavarse sus manos antes y después de manejar su pavo y su empaque es crucial para evitar propagar la bacterias dañinas. Read more »

The Big Thaw for Thanksgiving

Uh, oh! Thanksgiving is right around the corner. You bought a turkey on sale last year and froze it. You know it’s safe because you recently read that frozen turkeys are safe indefinitely and keep good quality for a year. But what you don’t know is how or when to thaw it.

First of all, turkey should never be thawed on the counter or in hot water. These methods are NOT considered safe and may lead to foodborne illness. Also, never thaw a turkey in a garage, basement, car, on the kitchen counter, outdoors or on the porch. Turkey, as any perishable food, must be kept at a safe temperature during “the big thaw.” If not, once the turkey begins to thaw and becomes warmer than 40 °F, bacteria present before freezing can begin to multiply. Read more »

La Gran Descongelación para el Día de Acción de Gracias

Uh, oh! El Día de Acción de Gracias está a la vuelta de la esquina. Usted compró un pavo en venta el año pasado y lo congeló. Usted sabe que está inocuo debido a que recientemente leyó que era seguro indefinidamente y que mantiene su calidad por un año. Pero lo que usted no sabe es cómo y dónde descongelarlo.

Primero que todo, el pavo no debe ser descongelado en las encimeras o en agua caliente. Estos métodos NO son considerados seguros y pudieran provocar enfermedades transmitidas por los alimentos. En adición, nunca descongele el pavo en el garaje, sótano, auto, en exteriores o en el balcón. El pavo, así como cualquier alimento perecedero, debe mantenerse a temperaturas inocuas durante “la gran descongelación”. Sino, en cuanto el pavo comience a descongelarse a temperaturas mayores a 40*F, las bacterias presentes antes de la congelación pueden comenzar a multiplicarse. Read more »