Material Information

Service USDA's report to consumers
Portion of title:
USDA's report to consumers
Physical Description:
: ; 27 cm.
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture. -- Office of Governmental and Public Affairs
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture. -- Office of Communication
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture. -- Office of Information
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Office of Governmental and Public Affairs
Place of Publication:


Subjects / Keywords:
Consumer education -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
no. 1- Nov. 1963-
Numbering Peculiarities:
Publication suspended Dec. 1979-
Issuing Body:
Issued Nov. 1963-Feb. 1973 by the Department's Office of Information; Mar. 1973-Dec. 1977 by the Office of Communication.
General Note:
Issues prior to Jan. 1978 were classed: A 21.29:(nos.)

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001360420
oclc - 01716336
notis - AGM1835
issn - 0037-2544
System ID:

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Full Text



JULY 1972 No. 102


Food And The Environment. nsumer Concern," a joint program
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Association of
Retail Grocers, has as its aim "improving the processes of food dis-
tribution and helping achieve a quality environment in America." In
announcing the new program, USDA officials pointed out that the Ameri-
can food industry -- from the farmer to the retailer -- is the most
advanced food industry in the world, providing nutritious and health-
ful food for our Nation's 210 million people every day. But the in-
creasing size and complexity of its operations place new strains on
the industry's efficiency and effectiveness. Improper handling of
food from producer to consumer results in decreased quality, losses
due to shrinkage, reduced profit margins, higher consumer prices, and
development of organisms harmful to health. Then there is the serious
problem faced by both the industry and consumers -- eliminating the
waste materials generated by the production and transportation of vast
volumes of food. Consideration of these problems led to the develop-
ment of "Project Consumer Concern" under the USDA Environmental Thrust
program. Task force committees of both USDA and NLARGUS will cooperate
in implementing the basic objectives of the two-year program: To im-
press on retailers, wholesalers, and consumers the importance of
working together for an improved environment and wholesome food supply;
to demonstrate the benefits of a more efficient and concerned food
marketing system; and to effect improvement in handling, storage, and
distribution of food. Successful retail food stores in three different
areas will be used as "showcases" for the program. Officials hope that
before the two year period is up, a high percentage of retail food stores
will be involved in the program and that it will have expanded to include<
sections of the total food distribution industry.


Cool Menu Ideas For Hot Summer Days. Turkey, featured on the July
Plentiful List, is becoming a versatile and popular all-season menu
item. The other foods on the List can make happy table companions of
tasty turkey dishes. These include fresh plums, watermelons, and fresh
vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, lettuce, and celery,
among others. For August, the Plentiful List will have wheat products,
nectarines, fresh vegetables, peanuts and peanut products, broiler-fryers
turkeys, and eggs.



New Leathers With Added Attractions. Scientists of USDA's Agricultural Research Service
have developed a process that gives leathers new and improved properties -- promising
many advantages for consumers. The process -- call lymerization -- consists
of forming a synthetic polymer within the leathe p 4 physical characteristics
permanently and to a greater extent than convene surface tments. The scientists
experimented with a number of synthetic materi s elongiAg to- ass of chemcial com-
pounds known as polyacrylates. By varying th lditionsgof tr nt and the acrylic
compounds, many of leather's natural character cs could be e inMed or suppressed,
depending on how the leather was to be used. tem treatments i sed the stretch, a
property much in demand for garment leathers. rs had the o ite effect, making a
firmer material. This feature might be applied epsk i ng them enough body to
be used as shoe uppers. Most of the treatments a J~ ~kness of the leather
affecting most of the thinner parts of the skin. to produce a material of
more uniform thickness. Leathers modified by the process were generally stronger, some
increasing their break strength as much as 77 percent. The polymers formed in some of
the leathers could not be extracted with solvents indicating that the treated leathers
could be dry cleaned. Scientists are continuing research into the technical and economic
feasibility of the new process -- so you may have a stretchable, firm, soft, strong, uni-
form, drycleanable leather in your future.


For Shifting Sands By The Seaside. A new low-growing, coniferous evergreen with the
lovely name of Emerald Sea shore juniper is showing promise as a cover plant on coastal
and inland sand dunes in this country. According to horticulturists of USDA's Agricul-
tural Research Service, the mat forming habit and salt spray tolerance of Emerald Sea
should make it an ideal stabilizer in these areas -- as it has done in its native Japan.
The shore juniper is presently undergoing tests along the New Jersey coast, and plant-
ings were recently released by USDA to experiment stations, arboretums and qualified
nurserymen for further tests as an ornamental ground cover, particularly on sandy soils.
The foliage of the evergreen is emarald green in summer and fall, changing to yellowish
green in winter. Each needle-like leaf exhibits a single gray-green stripe on the upper
surface. Unlike earlier introductions of this species, Emerald Sea shore juniper remains
prostrate in growth habit.


For Happier Homeowners. "If a homeowner is dissatisfied with the condition of his prop-
erty, he will be less likely to maintain it and less likely to meet his financial obli-
gation." Working on this premise, the Farmers Home Administration has adopted a new
complaint procedure to assist homeowners-borrowers and to protect its own financial stake
in the property. Under the new procedure, rural families who finance their homes through
FHA may hold builders to performance standards by channeling complaints through local
offices of the USDA rural credit agency. Specifications for each new house or remodeling
job financed by FHA must be approved with inspections conducted during and at the com-
pletion of the work. Now a dissatisfied borrower is asked to submit a list of grievances
to the builder requesting corrective action. If this does not solve the problem within
30 days, he may inform the FHA county supervisor who will intervene with the builder. If
the builder does not respond within another 30 days, the FHA supervisor is'required to
investigate, determine whether complaints are justified, and seek prompt correction of
all justified complaints. Should the builder continue to fail to make required correc-
tions, formal proceedings may be instituted to suspend the builder from further partici-
pation in any FHA-financed construction.


If You Have An Equine In The Family. Officials of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Ins-
pection Service urge owners throughout the country to vaccinate their horses, ponies,
mules, and burros for the three types of equine sleeping sickness present in the U.S.:
Venezuelan, Eastern, and Western equine encephalomyelitis. All three, VEE, EEE, and
WEE, are transmitted to horses by mosquitoes which are now emerging in large numbers.
Each type of the deadly equine diseases is caused by different viruses. However, in-
fected animals exhibit similar clinical symptoms. Laboratory analysis of blood or tis-
sue specimens is needed to confirm a diagnosis. Effective vaccines are available; how-
ever, vaccination for EEE and WEE does not protect against VEE and vaccination for VEE
does not protect against the other two. EEE and WEE are well-known in this country with
devastating outbreaks occurring in the 1930's before effective vaccines were developed.
The lethal VEE entered the U.S. for the first time last summer from Mexico. This year
three outbreaks of VEE have been reported by Mexican authorities with the latest located
about 650 miles from the Texas border.


In Life's Wash Cycle. With synthetic detergents involved in environmental problems,
good old soap is finding its way back into the laundry tub. However, while soap is en-
vironmentally acceptable and the best soft-water detergent there is, it does have a
drawback. In hard water, soap forms a curd or scum which deposits itself on clothes in
the laundry or as a ring around the bathtub. Now, soap may well regain its place in the
laundry, thanks to scientists of USDA's Agricultural Research Service. Recently ARS
chemists announced development of modified soaps that perform as well in hard water and
at low washing temperatures as today's phosphate and carbonate laundry detergents. The
scientists took plain soap and added a fat-based compound that would prevent the hard
water curd (lime-soap) from forming. A number of derivatives of fatty acids, alcohols,
and amines were found to be effective. To make it as efficient as the best detergents,
however, it needed something more. So the chemists replaced some of the lime-soap dis-
persing agent with what detergent makers refer to as a builder. They found nontoxic and
nonpolluting compounds like citrate and silicate made excellent builders. The scientists
tested 15 of their best formulations with results that showed the modified soaps were
equal to or better than either plain soap or present detergent compositions. Since the
modified soaps appear to be completely and rapidly biodegradable, contain no substances
known to be harmful to health or to the environment, and are made from an abundant and
renewable natural material (animal fat), there is a distinct possibility that soap's
future is whiter and brighter.


Care Tips In Spanish. A second leaflet giving tips on meat and poultry in Spanish is
now available from USDA. The newest one, "Carne de Res y de Aves de Corral -- Como
Cuidar Sus Comestibles," G-174-S (Meat and Poultry -- Care Tips For You) gives infor-
mation on buying, storing, handling, and cooking meat and poultry products. It includes
such helpful hints as the proper cooking temperatures for different cuts of meats, re-
commended storage time for fresh and frozen products, how to wrap meat and poultry pro-
ducts, how to wrap meat and poultry for storage, and tips on cleanliness to avoid food
poisoning. The first of the meat and poultry leaflet series available in Spanish is the
"Carne de Res y de Aves de Corral -- La Etiqueta es su Major Consejero" G-172-S (Meat
and Poultry -- Labeled For You). Single free copies of each of these publications --
both Spanish and English language versions -- may be requested from the Office of Infor-
mation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. The English leaflets
are numbered G-172 and G-174.

11 11 I I I I Ii l llllIIll IIIII
3 1262 08740 0890

Landscape For Living. The 1972 Yearbook of Agriculture, "Landscape For Living," takes
up the subject of improving the environment with plants. In the 416-page hardback book,
home gardeners will find a wealth of how-to-do-it information. Chapters cover such
practical subjects as shrubs, perennials, annuals, lawns, vegetables, fruits, herbs,
plant propagation, greenhouses, fertilizing, mulching, and composting. Other chapters
deal with container gardening, landscaping limited areas, ground covers, minimum care
plantings, controlling erosion, brightening neighborhoods, and attracting birds. The
book also discusses some out of the ordinary gardening ideas such as ways to ease visual
pollution, plants as climate changers, new towns, land planning, rent-a-garden projects,
and redesigning downtown shopping areas. One section is devoted to plants in action --
helping raise the spirits of inner city residents, teaching youth about the environment,
aiding the handicapped, and providing new vistas for senior citizens. The handsome book
is liberally illustrated with photographs and sketches including a 32-page color photo
section. Copies of "Landscape For Living" will be available about August 1, in time for
fall gardening, from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402. The cost is $3.50 a copy.


Play It Safe. Everyone looks forward to a summer vacation. But thousands of families
each year have their outdoor vacations ruined by being lost, sick, or injured. And
that's no picnic. Many times outdoor fun is needlessly spoiled because vacationers
don't take the proper precautions -- they don't Play It Safe. USDA is stressing August
as Vacation and Camping Safety Month. The 187 million acres of National Forests provide
outdoor recreation in the forms of camping, picnicking, hiking, backpacking, bicycling,
horseback riding, and water sports. To ensure that your National Forest vacation is a
safe one, the Forest Service has prepared a booklet "Outdoor Safety Tips," (PA-887).
Copies are available at 15 cents each from Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, lashington, D.C. 20402. Also available from the Superintendent of
Documents are two other USDA booklets that can help you keep your vacation safe and hap-
py: "Keeping Food Safe To Eat" (G-162) and "3 Leaves Mean Poison Ivy" (PA-839) are for
sale for 10 cents a copy.


SERVICE Has A New Number. A new telephone system called Centrex has been
installed at the Department of Agriculture. This has changed all the exchange
numbers. The new number for the Editor of Service is:
Area Code 202 447-5437

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)
447-5437. Please include your zipcode.

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