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USDA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF INFORMATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20250
JUNE 1970 No. 77
TUNE IS DAIRY MONTH
Ailk Is Important the Year Around. From brea kfae mo
the last snack of the evening, dairy products add me-
less, and variety to our diets. In fact, few of us an
entire day without some dairy product, whether we drink it, chew it,
or just let it slide cooly down our throats. Consider what a
colorful item a dairy food can be: white or brown milk, orange
-heese, yellow butter. Consider what milk or its products go
through for us humans: It is standardized, pasteurized, curdled,
soured, sweetened, whipped, flavored. And by all means consider
ifhat it can do for us: Its calcium helps build our bones and teeth
uid clot our blood; its protein repairs our tissues, fights infec-
tions, and gives us energy; its riboflavin helps our cells use
oxygen, keeps our vision clear, and smooths our skin. The presence
and balance of these and the other components in milk makes it one
of the most nutritious of human foods. Bless the Cow.
k SEAWORTHY HARVEST
.rop From the Sea. On the Lummis Indian Reservation along Puget
Sound in Washington State, a seaweed harvesting industry appears to
oe developing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural
research Service, at the request of the Bureau of Indian Affairs,
is helping the Lummis tribe with this project. It has been
established that seaweed found in these waters contains a poly-
saccharide which is useful as an emulsifier in a variety of products--
puddings, ice cream, milk blends, candies, cakes, toothpastes, and
cosmetics. Since supplies of emulsifiers are almost entirely imported,
it is anticipated that an emulsifier of good quality from a domestic
source and at competitive prices should find a ready market.
COOKING CLASSES FOR SMALL FRY
"Cooking Con-Gusto". Cooking classes for children are being tried in
California as a method to get the nutrition message to the children--
and to their parents. The Oxnard Elementary School District held a
workshop, "Cooking Con Gusto," for fifth and sixth grade students,
with parents invited. The workshop,'which showed how to use USDA-
donated foods, was so successful the parents asked for a repeat of
What Does It Cost To Raise A Child? A child reaching 18 in 1969 probably had
cost his parents between $16,000 and $20,000 if raised at a low-cost but adequate
level. However, the answer gets involved with such factors as: In what part of
the country was the child raised? Was he raised in a city, in the country, or on
a farm? How many children were in his family? According to statistics compiled
by the U. S. Department of Agriculture family economists, it would have cost
$15,800 to raise the average child born in 1951, living in a family of husband,
wife, and no more than five children, in a rural non-farm area in the North Central
region of the U. S. A child living in the same family circumstances, in the
Western U. S. would have cost his parents $20,190. Figures for the South and North
East regions fall between these extremes. Costs are computed with the prices that
were current in each year of the child's life, beginning in 1951.
OUT OF OBSCURITY
Camptotheca, "Cinderella" Tree. Camptotheca acuminata, a Chinese tree no one had
foundimuch use for, is now being carefully cultivated at the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Plant Introduction Station at Chico, California. From its bark,
roots, and wood can be prepared a new drug -- camptothecin -- which in studies has
been active against some types of cancer in laboratory animals and in human beings.
Grown from seed sent from China in 1934 by a USDA plant explorer, the unattractive
and "valueless" tree didn't even pass muster as a very good shade tree. Then, in
a screening of plants for substances with cancer inhibiting capability, an extract
from the Camptotheca proved active in two tumor systems in laboratory animals. Not
yet synthesized, camptothecin is in short supply. However, plantings at Chico are
providing sufficient amounts of the new drug for research to continue.
LO, IOWA'S NAME LEADS ALL THE REST
Preparing for those Golden Years. Iowa leads the Nation in providing Federally-
financed, low-cost rental housing for senior citizens in rural areas. In all, 112
such housing projects have been financed through USDA's Farmers Home Administration.
These projects provide new, modern one- and two-bedroom rental apartments at $55 to
$65 a month for older citizens who want to remain in their town after retirement as
well as former residents who want to spend their retirement years in their hometowns.
Here's how Iowa towns have been providing quality housing for these golden years:
Community leaders in towns with populations of up to 5,500 find that adequate rental
housing is in short supply. These leaders -- representing business, industries,
schools, and civic and community organizations -- form a nonprofit association, draw
up plans and specifications for the proposed construction including water, sewage,
electrical, and heating systems, and file a loan application with one of FEA's 48
Iowa offices. Loans may not exceed $300,000, are repayable over 50 years, and bear
64 percent interest; if some of the apartments are rented to low-income families,
interest rates are even lower. The rental housing program initiated in 1963 by FHA,
is designed to provide rental housing in rural areas for senior citizens, 62 years
of age or older, other rural residents, and low-to-moderate-income urban residents
who work in a rural area. Besides Iowa, leading States in the program include
Missouri, North Dakota, Alabama, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
A LIGHT ITEM
Light destroys riboflavin and may cause off-flavor in milk products. Don't let milk
and cream stand in the light; put them in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
FOOD PREVIEW FOR SUMMER
Food price advances slowed greatly in March and April as supplies expanded and the
economy slowed. But because of advances earlier this year, the January-April average
was nearly 71 percent above a year earlier.
USDA economists expect food prices to level off in the coming months and decline more
than seasonally in the fall. For all of 1970, food prices will likely average 41
percent above 1969. This would be less than last year's 5.2 percent increase, which
was also less than the advance in prices for nonfood items during 1969.
Meat and dairy products. Look for poultry and egg prices to be a bit lower
this year than last. And expect little price change for lamb through summer.
Beef and pork prices may rise slightly further, then drop later in the year if
supplies increase as expected. Dairy products will continue to cost more than
a year earlier.
Fresh citrus: Citrus remaining for harvest is substantially below a year-
earlier levels, though total crop is up 1 percent. The Valencia crop, the main
source of orange supplies from now through late summer, is expected to be down
5 percent. Supplies of grapefruit through early summer will also be down.
Apples are the only fresh noncitrus fruit remaining in quantity from the 1969
crop: Cold storage supplies on April 30 were 42 percent larger than a year
Fresh Vegetables: Supplies of fresh vegetables this spring are running smaller.
Fresh cabbage, celery, and carrots are in adequate supply, while lettuce is
plentiful. But spring onion crops are below a year earlier and spring cantaloup
output is off about a fifth. Florida is now contributing a larger share of our
tomato requirements as our imports of IMexican tomatoes taper off seasonally.
Look for fresh vegetable prices to come down from their winter and spring levels
as seasonally larger supplies come on the market.
Housewives put more rice on the family menus. Last year, the average consumer ate
over 8 pounds of rice, or a third more than in 1960. Much of the gain has come in
prepared breakfast cereals. The rate of rice consumption varies sharply among
various areas and income levels. Rates are highest in Hawaii, New York City, and
California, and in parts of the Southeast, where rice is a traditional food.
Sweet-tooth soothers will continue to cost more. Processing and distribution costs
for bakery products and sweets have been increasing. Beverage prices will also go
up, partly because of a reduced coffee crop in Brazil.
How does your food spending relate to your income? By dividing the total expendi-
tures for food by the total population, we find that last year American consumers
spent an average of $511 per person for all food, up 34 percent from 1957-59. True,
part of the increase was due to rising food prices. But we also shifted to more
expensive foods and ate out more. And our after-tax disposable income per person
also rose -- up 68 percent from 1957-59. As a result, the share of income spent
for food declined steadily the last decade from 20 percent in 1960 to last year's
low of 16.5 percent. And the portion may decline further this year.
Your food dollar goes further in relation to your earning power than you may think.
For example, the average wage earner last year could purchase 3.3 pounds of Choice
beef (all cuts) with 1 hour's wages compared with 2.7 pounds in 1957-59. Or 7.6
pounds of frying chicken versus 4.7 pounds then.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
FUN AND FOOD ON THE OLD FOGG FARM 3 1262 08740 0775
It's a Real Picnic. For the third summer, a group of about 40 needy youngsters from
Bangor, Maine, will spend their summer days down on the farm. The children come to
the farm daily to enjoy long, warm days in the outdoors as the guests of the owners
of the Old Fogg Farm near Bangor. The day-camp program is sponsored by the Parks
and Recreation Department of Bangor with food help from the U. S. Department of
Agriculture's Special Food Service Program for Children. The farm is ready-made as
a summer day-camp: picnic tables, fireplaces, and recreational facilities--including
a swimming hole -- are set up. The meals served on the farm daily, however meet the
same standards set by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service for the regular school lunch
program. Summer day-camps like the Fogg Farm and other daytime recreation programs
join in the Special Food Service program to help fill the nutrition gap when school
is out. In addition to food items donated by USDA for meal preparation, cash reim-
bursement is made for breakfasts, lunch or supper, and snacks to public and nonprofit
private institutions participating in the program. Nationally, USDA helped provide
summer lunches or between-meal snacks for some 300,000 youngsters in 1969 for the
first ti-e. Even more are expected to participate in 1970.
PRAISE FOR NEW CLEMATIS
A Dream Ornamental. A summerlong bloomer with a profusion of large, fragrant flowers;
a dense and graceful plant that is easy to cultivate, hardy in winter, and able to
withstand drought. This only begins to describe a cultivar (horticultural variety)
of Clematis viticella being grown at the USDA's National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.
A botanist with the Agricultural Research Service saw the plant in a private garden
in New York State, recognized it as an unusual cultivar of Clematis viticella -- a
native of southern Europe and western Turkey -- and brought it to the Arboretum to
observe its merits and cultivation requirements. The bell-shaped, violet-blue flowers
of the perennial climber -- named the Betty Corning -- bloom in Albany, New York,
from June through September and in Washington, D. C., from I'ay through October. It
has withstood temperatures as low as -20 It is a vigorous climber with rich, dark
green foliage and trains well on trellises, fences and posts. Although there are only
30 plants presently growing at the Arboretum, stock will be released to nurserymen
sometime in late 1970 or in 1971.
Whet The Apetite and Imagination. Featured in a solo bit or combined in harmony, the
Plentiful Foods for June -- milk and dairy products, honey, canned applesauce, and eggs--
can make beautiful mealtime music. For instance, a tall frosty glass of fresh milk
can make a summer lunch sing. Or how about an applesauce cake which combines milk,
butter, eggs, and applesauce -- with a few other necessary ingredients, of course. In
fact, honey can add to the taste medley of the cake. In cakes, honey can replace as
much as one-half of the sugar without making it necessary to change the proportions of
the other ingredients in the recipe. And an applesauce cake would make a dandy dish to
set before Dad on Father's Day, June 21. Looking ahead, the July Plentifuls will
include broiler-fryers, honey, fresh vegetables, watermelons, fresh and processed lemons
and limes, fresh peaches, fresh plums, and rice.
SERVICE is a monthly newsletter of consumer interest. It is designed for those who
report to the individual consumer rather than for mass distribution. For information
about items in this issue, write: Lillie Vincent, Editor of SERVICE, U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Office of Information, Washington, D. C. 20250. Please include zipcode.
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