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S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
JITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE E OF INFORMATION WASHINGTON. D.C 20250
2/ ak 0
DECEMBER No. 83
HE FOOD ON YOUR TABLE
Reason for Thanks. America's food supply, unequaled in abundance
nd quality anywhere on earth, has expanded 20 percent in the past
decade, Secretary of Agriculture Clifford M. Hardin said in a
thanksgiving Day message. "Today's agriculture is a unique combin-
tion -- many forces, many sciences, many talents, many cooperative
programs of Government and farmers" he said. The Secretary noted
hat this abundant food supply makes possible for the Nation to
share with those less fortunate the vast bounty from farms, fields,
nd ranches"; that nourishing food has been provided to more Ameri-
ins this year than at any time in history. Food assistance programs
served more than 12 million of the Nation's poverty victims, a gain
f 5 million since Thanksgiving, 1969, and child feeding programs now
each far more schools and related institutions than ever before, the
EW TEST FOR LEAD POISONING
ermits Rapid Detection. A new test for screening children to detect
victims of lead poisoning has been developed by chemists of the
onnecticut State Agricultural Experiment Station. Present tests
require a large input by doctors and technicians in the laboratory.
ith the new test, a sample can be taken by the mother, sent to the
laboratory, and analyzed twice as rapidly as before. The new process
as field tested by the Connecticut State Department of Health, which
s now converting to the new method. Tragically, many victims of lead
oisoning are children living in older houses in urban areas. Paint
sed years ago on these houses contained lead. Often the old lead
aint is exposed as layers of newer paint peel. Children pick off the
ld paint and put it in their mouths. Details of the new detection
ethod and the results of the field tests are scheduled to be published
his month in Clinical Pediatrics, a professional journal. Additional
information on the new method can be obtained from the Office of the
director, State Agricultural Experiment Station, Box 1106, New Haven,
'TIS TREE TRIMMING TIME
0 Christmas Tree. 0 Christmas Tree.! Bright lights, glittering ornaments, and shining
eyes -- the fun and joy of a Christmas tree. Choosing just the right tree to decorate
is all part of the the festivities. More than a decade ago, USDA's Consumer and Mar-
keting Service established U.S. grade standards for Christmas trees to help you make
your selection. The grade standards require that a tree be: fresh with pliable needles
that are firmly attached to branches; clean, at least moderately free of moss, lichen,
vines, and other foreign matter; healthy, freshand natural in appearance; well-trimmed,
free of barren branches and smoothly cut at the butt. Specific requirements of each
grade are: U.S. Premium-not less than medium density, normal taper, four faces (sides)
free from any type of damage; U.S. No. 1 or U.S. Choice-not less than medium density,
normal taper, and three damage-free faces; U.S. No. 2 or U.S. Standard-light or better
density, "candlestick", normal, or flaring taper, at least two adjacent damage-free
DECEMBER'S PLENTIFUL FOODS ...
Happy Holiday Choices. Whether you plan to serve traditional fare for the holidays--
or plan to start your own tradition, the December Plentiful Foods list has some mouth-
watering ideas. The List includes fresh oranges, turkeys, pork, eggs, fresh apples,
applesauce, apple juice, fresh cranberries, cranberry sauce, frozen orange juice con-
centrate, grapefruit, tangerines, potatoes, dry onions, and walnuts. For January the
Plentifuls will be pork, applesauce, fresh oranges, frozen concentrated orange juice,
canned orange juice, dry peas, fresh apples, apple juice, fresh grapefruit, canned
grapefruit juice, onions, and potatoes.
Vegetables--Canned and Frozen. Have you ever picked up a can of vegetables and noticed
that it was bulging? If so, don't buy or use it. Bulged or swelled cans indicate
spoilage. Small dents in cans do not harm the contents, but badly dented cans should
be avoided. Frozen vegetable packages should be firm. Vegetables that have been de-
frosted should be used immediately to avoid loss of quality. If the package is limp,
wet, or sweating (signs of defrosting), don't buy it. Also watch for packages stained
by the contents. This may mean that the contents have been defrosted and refrozen at
some time during the marketing process. Although the contents may be safe to eat,
refrozen vegetables will not normally taste as good as freshly frozen vegetables. For
more tips on canned and frozen vegetables, send a post card for the free pamphlet "How
to Buy Canned and Frozen Vegetables" (HG-167) to Office of Information, U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
INDIAN WOMEN FORM ORGANIZATION
NAIWA. The North American Indian Women's Association (NAIWA) the first national or-
ganization of Indian women, was formed recently as an outgrowth of a national seminar.
The seminar, held at Fort Collins, Colorado, was attended by 68 Indian women repre-
senting 42 tribes in 23 States. Goal of the new group is to work toward more stable
home and communities and preservation of the culture of North American Indians. The
seminar was sponsored by the U.S. societies of the Associated Country Women of the
World in cooperation with the USDA's Extension Service, land-grant universities, the
Country Women's Council of the U.S., the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the tribal
FOOD PREVIEW FOR WINTER
Careful menu planning will hold down holiday meal costs. Food prices rose sharply
earlier this year, but have edged down since August, and some favorite winter items
are in abundant supply.
Begin with a citrus cup. Citrus crop is huge; harvest is on. Low-priced, high-
quality oranges and grapefruit as well as other citrus fruits are abundant. Or,
be fancy with shrimp cocktail. Shrimp supplies are large. Cranberries are also
Main course choices. Maybe pork, turkey, beef. Turkey prices are near those of
last winter, pork output is unusually heavy, and beef prices are only a little
higher than last winter. Lamb and fresh fish cost more though.
Side dishes should be planned with care. Except for cabbage, onions, and pota-
toes, prices of most fresh, canned, and frozen vegetables will be slightly higher
than last December.
Dessert will cost more, whether store-bought or home-made. Many noncitrus fruits,
pecans, cheeses and other dairy products, sweets, baked goods, and beverages are
up. Eggs are about the only lower-priced baking ingredient. But apples, citrus
fruits, walnuts, almonds, and peanuts are in good supply.
Price Prospects. Food store prices for the fourth quarter are above late-1969 levels
by a margin of only 21 percent, narrowing from a 71 percent margin for the first
quarter this year. In the first half of 1971, prices will increase a little, staying
within a percent or so of current levels. Small price increases for fish, dairy pro-
ducts, sugar and sweets, pastas and breads, and more substantial hikes for some fruits,
vegetables, and beverages will nearly be canceled by price savings in meat, poultry,
other food items.
Eating out is a different story. Restaurants, snack bars, and institutions
raised prices 7- percent in 1970 to keep up with labor and overhead cost increases,
as well as food price increases early in the year. Since prices may advance fur-
ther during the first half of 1971, economists foresee more dampening of the eat-
Shopping Cart Cues. These supermarket developments are likely: Meat department
features pork as prices continue well below early 1970. Beef prices go up slightly,
but remain lower than last summer. Lamb prices are on the rise. Despite slightly
lower supplies, broilers stay cheaper than last winter.
The dairy case is the site of higher prices--currently averaging 41 percent over
1969, and due to rise a little more before spring. However, egg prices will
avoid their high marks of last winter, as supply stays larger.
Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables show many cost increases. Though ample
in the first half of 1971, processed vegetable supplies will be somewhat smaller
than the year before, and prices higher. Supplies of many processed fruits are
down, too. But orange juice and other citrus products and processed apple pro-
ducts will be ample.
On produce counters, potatoes, onions, cabbage will be the low-priced leaders.
But you'll see the usual seasonal markups on the tender winter vegetables. While
fresh citrus fruit is attractively priced, prices of apples, grapes, pears, and
cherries won't be as favorable as a year ago.
Tea Takes Off. Tea drinking, which rose sharply during the sixties, will continue
upward in seventies due to popularity of instant tea products. We've about quit
drinking tea prepared from loose leaves, but make more tea from bags, instant crystals,
and mixes that combine tea, sugar, and flavorings. Prices of tea bags are no higher
now than in 1960. Meanwhile, coffee prices have risen and consumption of coffee per
person has declined.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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3 1262 08740 0718
Man's Best Friend Is. .. not his dog, but his tree So says USDA's Forest Service.
To back up that statement it has prepared a leaflet detailing the many benefits man
receives from trees. For instance, we're aware that trees provide shade and beauty,
but did you know that they dilute pollutants in the air by releasing oxygen? Or that
they act as sound barriers to cut down on noise pollution? Or that decaying leaves
replace minerals in the soil? In urban areas the benefits from trees often get over-
looked. To assure successful tree planting under adverse city conditions, Forest
Service scientists are searching throughout the world for tree strains that are re-
sistant to attack by insects and diseases and that are hardy enough to withstand air
pollution and people pressure. In addition, the Forest Service has established the
Pinchot Institute of Environmental Forestry Research to focus on the needs of urban
people. Copies of the leaflet, "Man's Best Friend, the Tree," and information on the
new Pinchot Institute research program are both available from the Northeastern Forest
Experiment Station, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania 19082.
FOOD'S REAL VALUE
It's What In It That Counts. And over the years, the nutrient content is the health
factor. For 1971, per capital supplies of calories, fat, and thiamin will rise, and
vitamin A will decline. This is because we'll be using a little more meat, but less
milk and sweet potatoes. Fractional diet shifts, the result of changed eating habits,
add up over the years. We eat 5 percent more calories, 5 percent less' calcium, 3 per-
cent more ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and 2 percent less vitamin A than we did 12 years
ago. Why? Our diets now include more vegetable fats, sugar, sweeteners, meat, cit-
rus; less milk and green and yellow vegetables.
WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU?
Nutritive Value of Foods. What are the nutrients in a glass of milk, a slice of
cooked meat, an apple, a slice of bread? How much protein is recommended a day for
a healthy 14-year-old? You can find the answers in the 1970 edition of "Nutritive
Value of Foods," one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's most popular bulletins.
The revised publication gives nutritive values for household measures of 615 foods;
a table showing the yield of cooked meat; and a table showing the Recommended Dietary
allowances for individuals from newborn infants to men and women 75 years and older.
Foods are listed under 10 headings and values are shown for energy (calories), protein,
fat, fatty acids, total carbohydrate, two minerals (calcium and iron) and five vitamins
(A and C, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin). The publication is prepared by nutrition-
ists of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service for use by homemakers, teachers, die-
titians, physicians, and other persons responsible for planning nutritionally adequate
diets. Copies of "Nutritive Value of Foods," (HG-72) are available for 30 cents from
the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
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 your
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