Today was an exciting day at USDA as I was joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin to unveil USDA’s new food icon, MyPlate. The icon is a departure from MyPyramid and serves as a quick, simple reminder to all consumers, built off of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for all Americans.
We all know that what we eat matters – MyPlate offers a visual reminder to make healthy food choices when you choose your next meal. MyPlate can help prioritize food choices by reminding us to make half of our plate fruits and vegetables and shows us the other important food groups for a well-balanced meal: whole grains, lean proteins, and low fat dairy. Read more »
As National Moving Month, May marks the height of the moving season. It also marks a time of great peril for America’s forests. Gypsy moths normally get their best chance to spread across the country in May as they hitchhike with people moving or traveling from an infested area to a noninfested area. This year should be different, however, thanks to an outreach campaign called “Your Move Gypsy Moth-Free” that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently launched.
The stakes are high: Gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate, weaken, and kill more than 300 different types of trees and shrubs. Since 1970, this dangerous forest pest has defoliated 75 million acres in the United States. If left unchecked, an infestation can defoliate up to 13 million acres of trees in one season. New infestations are typically caused by gypsy moth egg masses that people transport accidentally when moving or traveling from an infested area to a noninfested area. That’s why APHIS requires these individuals to inspect for and remove gypsy moth egg masses from outdoor household items—before they move. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
Last week, Secretary Vilsack joined St. Louis Rams quarterback and Cherokee nation member Sam Bradford in the USDA People’s Garden to talk about the importance of healthy lifestyles to improve the health of our nation’s kids. Secretary Vilsack and Sam Bradford were accompanied by the Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, Robin Schepper, Keith Moore, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education Director, and Janie Hipp, Senior Advisory to Secretary Vilsack with the USDA Office of Tribal Relations. The event underscored the value of programs like Fuel Up to Play 60, Let’s Move! Outside, and the People’s Garden to provide opportunities for parents, teachers and child care givers to get kids up and moving during the summer months. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
It is an honor to be named a Champion of Change by the White House for my work with school nutrition programs in the Pacific Northwest. Last Friday I joined a roundtable meeting with Administration officials and five other chefs from around the nation to discuss best practices for working with schools and teachers through the Chefs Move to Schools program.
We have an extraordinary opportunity in this country to influence a lifetime of healthy eating habits beginning with children and teens. Schools provide a perfect setting, both in the classroom and in the cafeteria. Chef volunteers with Chefs Move to Schools are ready to share their expertise to get kids excited about tasty, healthy foods. Read more »
JC Griffin on the scene at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
After a rather interesting C-130 tactical landing to avoid enemy fire, my first sight of Iraq was at night. My first thought was how far I was from home, but a gaze upward revealed familiar stars and constellations. I felt relieved knowing that I was still indeed on planet Earth–even after traveling for 50 hours. Read more »
Agricultural exports were at the forefront during yesterday’s National Export Initiative (NEI) session at USDA’s 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum. Earlier that day, USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber announced the latest agricultural export forecast for fiscal year 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010-Sept. 30, 2011), which set the stage for a lot of interest in NEI and a packed afternoon session. President Obama and USDA view exports as one of the key drivers of sustainable economic growth and job creation. That’s why, under NEI, President Obama set a goal of doubling all U.S. exports by the end of 2014. Read more »