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USDA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF INFORMATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20250
March 1968 No. 50
SURVEY RESULTS EXPAND NUTRITION EDUCATION
Shift in Food Habits. A preliminary report on "Dietary Levels
of Households in the United States" has been released as part
of the 1965 nationwide survey of food consumption conducted by
the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The study indicates that
despite higher income, and the fact that Americans may choose
from among the greatest abundance and variety of wholesome nu-
tritious food at the lowest real cost of anytime in our history
there has resulted a somewhat adverse shift in food habits and
some change in national dietary levels, according to a
ment by Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freema. OF
A comparison of data obtained in the 1965 su 1
1955 survey shows that 50 percent of the 1965 hos llds had
good diets compared to 60 percent in 1955. The s4,phigher
percentage of poor diets in 1965...20 percent c red tol,5
percent. %n j 3
As a result of study findings, Secretary F n is ex-
panding the Department's nutrition education pro The pro-
gram will be directed to children and young families, .1'ow comee
families, the aged and the general population. Chiefly- respon-
sible for the decline in the percent of good diets over the 10 (
year period is the decreased use of milk and milk products, and
vegetables and fruits, the most important sources of calcium,
vitamin A value, and ascorbic acid.
A partial answer to adding amounts of needed nutrients to
the diet would include enrichment of flour, breads and cereals.
Secretary Freeman is asking millers and the bakery industry to
review the possibility of uniform enrichment, which might also
include calcium--now an optional ingredient. There is also a
possibility of enriching dried milk for domestic use, he said.
Quality of U. S. Diets by Income
under $3000 37% 27% 36%
$3000-$4999 43% 33% 24%
$5000-$6999 53% 29% 18%
$7000-$9999 56% 32% 12%
$10,000 & over 63% 28% 9%
- 2 -
Cotton Flote. A low-cost flame-retardant finish for Cotton Flote, an improved
cotton batting, is under research by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Cotton Flote, developed by USDA's Agricultural Research Service was recently
introduced to industry. It is recapturing some of the markets cotton batting
has lost to synthetic materials for use in upholstery and bedding. An effec-
tive, low-cost flame-resistant treatment that would not require major changes
in production would add safety to the other desirable qualities of Cotton Flote.
One of the best available flame retardants for cotton fabrics would increase
costs by 25 percent and would rule out economy as a major advantage of cotton
batting over other padding materials. Scientists are seeking less expensive
treatments that would be effective and retain the other good qualities of
Cotton rFote. One experimental treatment involves applying a urea-phosphate
complex, along with chemicals that make the batting hold its shape and remain
resilient through long use. All the chemicals can be sprayed on simultaneously
at the time the batting is made. If a suitable treatment is found, automotive,
furniture, and bedding markets could use as much as 750 million pounds of the
new batting and production could reach 200 million pounds by 1969.
Did You Know? Homeowners can cause damage to electric motors by allowing the
voltage of the line to drop. If you overload your electric 'circuits--or use
a fuse too large for the circuit--it can also create a hazard. Did you know
a 100-watt bulb gives out twice as much light as two 50-watt bulbs? For maxi-
mum light, use one bulb of higher wattage, not two alike. Don't use extension
cords for an electric iron or electric heater, but, if you must--be sure to
get a heater-type cord. For power tools, use a special three-wire type cord
that provides for grounding. This information is found in the Department's
publication A Consumer's Guide to USDA Services, available free from the
Office of Information, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 20250.
Please include your zip code.
Controlling Bacteria. Neither water temperatures nor detergents can be relied
on to reduce the number of bacteria in fabrics to a safe level in home laundering
according to U. S. Department of Agriculture researchers. Bacteria--to some
degree--flush down the drain with wash or rinse water. But, many others stay
in the fabric. Both time and temperatures are important in killing bacteria.
Washing machine cycles usually are not long enough even with hot water to solve
the problem. A disinfectant--used regularly when there is sickness in the
home or when laundry facilities are shared--is the most practical solution.
Products suggested include quaternary disinfectants and liquid chlorine dis-
infectants for use in hot, warm or cold water laundering and pine oil disin-
fectants and phenolic disinfectants for use in hot or warm water.
CLUB PROGRAM AIDS
Program Chairmen. Looking for an idea? A new color slide set "Save Our Land"
has been produced by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The 48 slide series
shows how our survival depends on our two basic resources--soil and water. Soil
conservation affects home owners, farmers, consumers--all of us. The slide set
shows a multitude of recreational activities made possible by the government's
conservation programs. The set is offered for $5.50 by the Photography Division,
Office of Information, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 20250.
WATCH YOUR CREDIT
Shop Around...And Compare. You can shop around for credit the same as you would
shop for any other service. The cost of credit may vary from 7.4 percent to 30
percent simple annual rate. The U. S. Department of Agriculture has a quick
credit guide to help you understand credit charges. USDA economists suggest
that you shop around to find where the credit rate is the lowest. Know what
you're paying for credit. Read and understand the contract. Never sign a con-
tract with spaces left blank. Be sure the contract tells exactly what you are
buying and what rate you will be paying for it. More helpful information is
available in the pocket sized Consumer's Quick Credit Guide, available for
5 cents from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D. C. 20402.
Time to Fertilize. It's getting time to "think" lawn again! The U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture says early spring is the time to fertilize blue grass, fes-
cues, and other cool-season grasses. Organic, or urea-form, nitrogen fertilizer
may be used in the spring to prevent burning. It will also reduce over-stimula-
tion of the grass and provide for a more continuous supply of nitrogen. Do not
apply fertilizer, particularly an inorganic fertilizer, when the grass leaves
are wet. Water the lawn immediately after applying fertilizer to prevent burning
of the grass plants.
New Heating Pattern. A new home-heating system--a peripheral circulation
system--has been developed by a U. S. Department of Agriculture scientist. It
distributes and circulates only the desired amount of heat needed to keep a
house comfortable. Insufficient air movement and unequal air distribution
are the problems associated with conventional forced air and radiant systems.
A well-defined flow pattern is the theory behind the new system. It works
with all conventional heat sources. With this system, which is relatively
inexpensive, no radiators must be used, and drafts and dust deposits are kept
to a minimum. However, at this time, it is most adaptable for bne story
houses with crawl spaces. More research is needed to determine the adaptability
to multi-story homes and homes with basements.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08740 0668
Pesticides Protection. Pesticides offer a convenient, effective, and economi-
cal way to fight pests in our homes and gardens as well as on farms, in forests,
and outdoor recreational areas. But--they must be used safely so as not to harm
people, animals or their environment. To help provide this protection, the
U. S. Department of Agriculture regulates the sale and labeling of all pesticide
products marketed in interstate commerce. It requires that all pesticide labels
carry correct and adequate directions for use and clear precautions to guard
against misuse. This built-in protection process is described in a new pamphlet
"Pesticides Registration...How It Protects You." PA. 835. It is now available
from the Office of Information, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington,
D. C. 20250.
Population Shift. Only 1 in 20 Americans were city dwellers back in 1790. To-
day, 14 in 20 are, largely because as cities grew they offered more work--more
hope. But the tide may be turning to a time of rural opportunity, and if it
is, the change could relieve both the overcrowding in and around the cities and
spotty economy that has long pocketed rural areas. A recent booklet, Communities
of Tomorrow, published by the U. S. Department of Agriculture outlines the po-
tential for this rural alternative in solving the nation's people/opportunity
imbalance. It notes what has been done, what can be done, when functional,
multicounty communities blend the economic and cultural opportunities of urban
living with space and beauty of the countryside.
GUIDE FOR CONSUMERS
How to Cook Lamb. A new guide for consumers on the use of lamb in family meals
is now being offered by the Department of Agriculture. Once a seasonal meat,
lamb was often associated with springtime. Flavorful lamb is now available
throughout the year and is rich in essential body-building protein, in iron, and
the B vitamins. Tips on selecting quality lamb, a guide to storing and directions
on cooking are offered in Lamb in Family Meals, Home and Garden Bulletin No. 124,
Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.
20402. Price: 15 cents.
PICK THE PLENTIFUL
Shop Wisely. Peanuts and peanut products will be good buys in March, according
to the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Other plentifuls will include eggs,
milk and dairy products, pork, potatoes, and dry split peas.
For information about items in this issue, write Shirley E. Wagener, Editor,
SERVICE, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Information, Special
Reports Division, Washington, D. C. 20250.
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