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USDA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF ~I TON, D.C. 20250
NOVEMBER 1972 1972 M 106
MARKETING AMERICA'S FOOD S
Remarkable Facts. Did you know the number ry stores in the
U.S. dropped from 260,000 in 1960 to 204,000 in 19717. .. The
volume of farm products entering the marketing system has risen
over a fourth since 1957-59?. The U.S. food marketing system
services more than 200 million Americans by getting farm products
to consumers when, where, and in the form they want them? USDA's
Economic Research Service has compiled a wealth of such marketing
facts into a new leaflet, "Marketing America's Food." The leaflet
gives, in quick reference form, facts on food expenditures at home
and away, on marketing, processing, packaging, transporting, and
selling food, and on new "market accepted" foods. If you have
been shopping around for some concise information on food marketing
copies of "Marketing America's Food" (ERS-446) are available free
from the Information Division, Office of Management Services, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
A LIGHT IN THE DARK
Primarily Red. Blue. Or Yellow. Man's need to see after dark has
resulted in "night lights" over much of our environment: lighted
streets, highways, parks, even private yards. The lights are a
boon to man, but a bane to his trees. Scientists tell us that only
a pin-prick of light in the middle of the night can affect the
blooming schedule of some plants. Just think what it can mean to
trees, shrubs, and other plants along streets that are flooded with
lights all night long. According to USDA scientists, not only is
the length of time the plants are exposed to light important, but
the kind of light -- red, blue, or yellow -- also has an effect.
Mercury vapor lamps, standard street lights for many years, have
only a slight effect on growth and development of green plants.
However, the blue light given off by these lamps often attracts
hordes of plant eating insects. To avoid this undesirable attrac-
tion, many cities substitute "color improved" lamps for the blue
ones. These are not really the answer either. The red light
emitted by these lamps cause the green leaves of many kinds of
plants to stay on instead of dropping in autumn. This delays the
dormancy period leaving the plant vulnerable to cold weather damage.
Yellow light seems to be the best compromise in many cases. It
attracts fewer insects than the blue lights and has little effect
on plant growth. In any lighting program, planners would do well to
consult the State or municipal horticulturists for guidance in
selecting the right night light to avoid plant blight.
SELLING CONSUMER EDUCATION
To The Sellers. Few things change as fast as men's and women's fashions. One reason
for the fast change is the increasing variety of natural and man-made fabrics avail-
able to designers and home sewers. These fibers have added beauty and comfort to 20th
Century living, along with confusion on fabric care, sewing methods, and fabric uses.
Consumers often depend on sales people for advise and information on fabrics. All
these problems were of concern to Mrs. Ruth Scarlett, an Extension Service home econo-
mist in Yakima County, Washington. She became convinced that training department store
sales personnel in clothing and fabrics would be an excellent way to benefit customers.
The training was launched with a short-term program for 45 sales people from two depart-
ment stores and a drug store. The success of this program prompted a training venture
for sales staff of a department store chain. Working closely with the personnel manager
for the chain's large store in a new shopping center, Mrs. Scarlett conducted a series
of 20 training sessions. Sales staff from fabric, fashion, sportswear, infant and chil-
dren's wear, and boys' and men's wear participated in the one-hour sessions held twice
a month. Regulations on labeling clothing, label notations and instructions, natural
and synthetic fibers and their uses and care, fabric finishes, clothing construction
details, and fiber and fabric terms were included in the training. The personnel manager
is convinced that the training program will be beneficial to both the sales staff and
to the customer; Well-informed sales clerks who can answer questions and volunteer use-
ful information can help the consumer make more astute and satisfactory decisions about
NOVEMBER PLENTIFUL FOODS LIST
Traditional Favorites. Turkeys, the traditional bird for this time of year, and rice
are the featured foods on the November Plentiful List. Other foods expected to be in
abundant supply and often offering attractive buys for the consumer this month include
broiler-fryers, eggs, apples, applesauce, apple juice, cranberries, cranberry sauce,
and cranberry juice cocktail. For December, the Plentifuls will include turkeys again
along with eggs, broiler-fryers, cranberries, cranberry sauce, applesauce, fresh oranges,
tangelos, tangerines, and dry beans.
ANOTHER CONM COMPRAR
Los Huevos Joins Other Foods. "Como Comprar Los Huevos" (How To Buy Eggs) tells what
the grades and sizes of eggs mean and gives tips on using and storing eggs. This is
the sixth -- and newest -- in a series of pamphlets on how to buy food issued in Span-
ish by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. The pamphlets explain the USDA grades
for food and tell how consumers can use this information and other food buying advise
to make better selections in the store. Single free copies of "Como Comprar Los Huevos"
(G-144S), and of each of the Spanish "how to buys," may be obtained from the Office of
Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. The other pamph-
Como Comprar Fruta Fresca (G-141S) (How To Buy Fresh Fruits)
Como Comprar Hortalizas Frescas (G-143S) (How To Buy Fresh Vegetables)
Como Comprar Bistecs (G-145S) (How To Buy Beefsteaks)
Como Comprar Carne para Conservar en el Refrigerador (G-166S)
(How To Buy Meat For The Freezer)
Como Comprar Habas, Guisantes, y Lentejas en Seco (G-177S)
-2- (How To Buy Beans, Peas, and Lentils)
A STAKE IN YOUR HOME
What Wood You Use. Wood products come in more forms and from a greater variety of
trees than ever before. What was most suitable for a particular use a few years ago
may not be so today. It is more important than ever to be selective in choosing the
most appropriate wood product for use in construction, remodeling, or maintenance.
"Selection and Use of Wood Products For Home and Farm Building' a publication from
USDA's Forest Service, is designed to aid the builder or home owner in making the best
choice for a particular need. One section of the booklet deals with requirements for
principal home and farm uses of wood. For example, the usual requirements for exterior
trim of a house include wood that has medium decay resistance, good painting and weath-
ering characteristics, maximum freedom from warping. This information is followed by
a list of suitable woods and their degree of suitability. Another section classifies
woods according to important properties -- such as paint and nail holding abilities,
hardiness, freedom from shrinking and swelling, bending strength -- and gives principal
uses for each. Lumber grades, information on standard lumber items in retail yards,
and basic principles -- often overlooked -- that should be followed in good construction
are included. Copies of "Selection and Use of Wood Products for Home and Farm Building"
(AIB-311) are available for 60 cents each from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
A Stitch. Patch Or DarnnIn Time. Few of us enjoy repairing clothes, but it does pay
off in better appearance and savings. Using up-to-date methods can help cut the size
of the mending pile and extend the life of the family wardrobe. One up-to-date method
is to help family members learn respect for their clothes and something about the high
cost of rips and tears. But a child on the playground or a husband engrossed in re-
pairing machinery usually doesn't have rips and tears on his mind. So its into the
mending basket, box or drawer. Among the clothing repair equipment and aids you keep
on hand, you might want to include a USDA publication, "Clothing Repairs." In this
publication you will find information on supplies that will help with your mending;
basic repair stitches and their uses; reinforcement of garments before they are worn;
patches and darns; and mends for damage commonly found in family clothing. The publi-
cation is liberally illustrated with photographs and line drawings of mending problems
and solutions, and different kinds of stitches and patches. Step-by-step instructions
are included for many of the repairs. Copies of "Clothing Repairs" (G-107) are avail-
able for 25 cents each from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
CALORIES AND WEIGHT
They Go Torether. A popular little USDA bulletin can help you get a running start on
sensible holiday eating. The publication, "Calories and Weight," gives the number of
calories for dozens of foods and dishes -- including the traditional holiday fare.
For example, 1/7 of a 9-inch pumpkin pie has 275 calories; one tablespoon of canned
cranberry sauce has 25; three ounces of white meat from roasted turkey has 150, the
dark meat, 175. The booklet has some valuable tips on dieting to lose weight or to
maintain weight with an eye to good nutrition. A guide for estimating servings of
meat is a help in judging how many calories to count for the meat you eat. Should you
decide not to be sensible or if the holiday fare is more than your will power will
stand, "Calories and Weight" can be used to support New Tear's resolutions. The bul-
letin, which is pocketsize, is easily carried to be whipped out when in doubt about
the calories in whatever is facing you on the plate. Copies of "Calories and Weight"
(G-153) may be ordered for 30 cents each from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. -3-
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
S11111111216 0181714i 1146 I Il
CA 62-24 -- A SPICY NUMBER 3 1262 08740 1146
'Tis The Seasoning That Makes It Jolly. Spices and herbs have been prized since the
dawn of civilization. Marco Polo and Columbus went looking for them; Shakespeare and
Chaucer wrote about them. Today a great variety of spices and herbs are still adding
aromatic aromas and pungent flavors to everyday and exotic dishes. There is no general
rule for the correct amount of a spice or herb to use. The pungency of each differs
and its effect on different foods varies. A happy side benefit of this difference is
that with a little spice and herb experimentation, a cook can add a touch of her own
personality to her cooking. Some tips on how to use and to store spices and herbs are
included in a fact sheet prepared by USDA's Agricultural Research Service. The publi-
cation lists more than 35 spices and herbs along with the types of foods each can be
used with. Cooks -- from the novice to the sophisticated -- should find "Seasoning
With Spices and Herbs" (CA 62-24) helpful in adding spice to their lives. Copies of
the fact sheet are available free from the Information Division, Agricultural Research
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hyattsville, Maryland 20782.
HOW TO BUY DAIRY PRODUCTS
To Drink. Chew. Or Spread On. Milk comes in more forms than almost any other food.
Wise buying of these various products is the subject of a recent pamphlet in the USDA
"How To Buy Foods" series. "How To Buy Dairy Products," (G-201) can help you shop for
the whole array -- from milk to yogurt. One section of the little pamphlet is a "dairy
dictionary" which defines the various dairy products and gives buying, using, and
storing tips for each one. Illustrations of the USDA quality grade shields used on
dairy products processed under USDA supervision are included, along with the require-
ments processors must fulfill to earn the shield. Another handy reference is the milk
equivalency chart which shows the quantities of various dairy products needed to supply
the amount of calcium found in a cup of fresh whole milk. For example, one and one
third cups of creamed cottage cheese can be substituted for one cup of fresh whole milk
-- calcium wise. Single free copies of "How To Buy Dairy Products," are available from
the Office of Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
USDA'S 1972 CHARTBOOK
Tells Agriculture's Story. USDA's new 1972 Handbook of Agricultural Charts illustrates
the story of America's crops and livestock, farmers, food marketers, and consumers.
The 170 charts depict what's happening in the general economy, the farm commodity scene,
foreign agricultural trade, marketing, farm populations, and family levels of living.
Single free copies of the Handbook (AH-439) are available free from the Office of
Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Color slides and
black and white photographic prints of the charts are for sale from the Photography
Division, Office of Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
Slides are 35 cents a frame or $22.00 for the 157-frame set. The 8x10 prints are $2.00
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, Office of
Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Telephone (202)
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