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USDA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE* OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20250
APRIL 1973 No. 111
APRIL PLENTIFUL FOODS
Fruity And Nutty. For April peanuts and peanut products are joined
on the Plentiful Foods List by fresh oranges, frozen concentrated
orange juice, chilled orange juice, canned orange juice, canned
cranberry sauce, cranberry juice cocktail, and dry beans. In May
the List will include cranberry sauce, cranberry juice cocktail,
dry beans and split peas, fresh oranges, frozen concentrated
orange juice, chilled and canned orange juice, eggs, peanuts and
peanut products, corn grits, and corn meal.
USDA FOOD-PRICE INFORMATION
Where It Comes From: Hgw To Get It. USDA's Economic Research
Service produces a series of situation reports that give lots
of answers to food price questions. If you want to know what's
ahead for food prices or what's affecting the prices of major
foods, the quarterly National Food Situation has answers. How
much of the grocery bill goes to the farmer, to the shippers,
processors, and distributors? The quarterly Marketing and
Transportation Situation provides these figures, in terms of
the familiar "market basket of farm foods." Price Spreads for
Farm Foods, a USDA new release, updates the market basket
statistics each month. Other situation reports which may be
used as background in understanding the complexities behind
food trends include the Fruit Situation, Vegetable Situation,
Livestock and Meat Situation, Dairy Situation, and Poultry
and Egg Situation. They are issued four to six times each year.
All of the situation reports frequently carry analytical articles
of special interest. Some recent articles include "Fresh Beef
Ads and Product Names "Nutritional Review and "Enrichment
and Fortification of Foods." If you are in the food business
or write about food or teach about it, you will find a wealth
of information and answers in one or more of the situation
reports. Single copies of the reports are free on reques1,~A,W,
you may want to receive copies regularly. Send your n A FL;.
address and zip code, specifying the situation report oes '
you want, to Publications Unit, OfS Information Div U. S.
Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. *
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND 1
3 1262 08740 1369
When You Buy Food. There is planning the menu carefully; making and sticking to
a shopping list; hunting economical recipes; taking advantage of unit pricing and
those "cents-off" coupons; comparing prices. all important steps in smart food
shopping. But, to complete the overall picture, here are some additional pointers
to keep in mind:
Put nutrition first on your shopping list. Well-balanced meals each day
are still essential for growing children and grownups alike. Don't shirk
on the nutrition you need to keep healthy and on the go.
Practice "truth-in-eating". Deduct from your grocery bill all those non-
food items you buy at the supermarket--the soaps, toothpaste, napkins. But
add to your bill the food your family purchases away from home--school and
cafeteria lunches, snacks, meals out. That way, you will discover how food
costs actually fit into your total budget.
Be a kitchen experimenter. Many continental "gourmet" dishes, for example,
were invested long ago to dress up economical cuts of meats with careful
spiciig .-d long cooking. 'Or, to substitute another protein food for the
meat%'Your cookbooks'probably contain a wealth of gourmet specialties in-
cluding old world dishes featuring eggs and cheese. Once mastered, gourmet
preparation is not too time consuming--and the results can be so delicious.
Use available information for more tips on food buying. USDA has a number
of sach'iconsumer publications including two new ones just released. One
compa e sthe cost of protein in meats and meat alternates (eggs, cheese,
dry beah', ;.etc a-ndone gives ideas for low-cost menus and recipes for one
week for a ramily.6f four. "ree copies of "The Cost of Meats and Meat
Alternates" and of "Money-Saving Meals" may be requested from SERVICE, Room
541-A, Office of Communication, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington,
LARGE FAMILIES -. SMALL FAMILIES
And Prices They Pay For Food. Small families that cannot efficiently use economy-
size packages of food are generally believed to pay higher prices per unit of food
purchased, than larger families that can use, say, a large box of cereal or a 10-
pound bag of potatoes. A USDA study of prices paid by urban families across the
country shows that small families did indeed pay higher prices per unit (pound,
package, etc.). A person living alone paid prices 11 percent higher and a two-
member family paid prices 7 percent higher than those paid by a household of six.
But the study indicated that size of food unit alone was not the only thing that
made price differences: some of the differences are due to the quality, grade, and
brand of the foods selected. Also, large families were less well off than small
families, on the average; they had lower incomes per person and used a larger pro-
portion of income for food. Therefore, lower prices paid by larger families re-
sulted partly from their selecting lower grades or less expensive varieties of
foods. To measure overall price differences, the cost of a single market basket of
food was figured, using average prices reported by households of 1 to 6 persons.
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 Communication, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
Telephone (202) 447-5437.
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