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USDA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF O INGTON. C D.C. 20250
MARCH 1973 110
BONE UP ON YOUR HAMI ;ll'I-l-GE ......
Buy It Wisely and Keep It Safely. erf h4iam becomes even
more popular as the calendar makes th turn toward Easter and
Spring. There are so many different types of ham that choosing
one to fit taste and budget isn't always easy. All hams, of
course, start in the same place--the hind leg of a hog. From
there, hams can be divided into two basic groups: Those that must
be cooked before eating (fresh, cured, and cured-and-smoked) and
those that can be eaten "as is" (canned and those labeled "fully
cooked"). Once you'decide to cook or not to cook, you can decide
on the size. There are whole hams, butt half (the upper, meatier,
rounded half), shank half (the lower, slightly pointed half),
butt portion and shank portion (either the butt half or the shank
half with the center cuts removed). From the time your ham pur-
chase is in your grocery cart, it's up to you to keep it whole-
some and safe to eat. Ham, like all meat, naturally contains
certain bacteria. The one most often involved in ham-related
illness is staphylococcus aureus or "staph" for short. Staph
organisms themselves can't hurt you--in fact, they are in the
air you breathe, on your clothing and skin. Under certain con-
ditions, though, staph germs can multiply rapidly, producing a
poisonous toxin which may cause nausea, abdominal cramps, and
vomiting. Keeping ham safe to eat means storing it properly,
cooking it thoroughly, and handling leftovers with care. De-
tailed information to help you buy, prepare, and store ham wisely
and safely, is available by writing to SERVICE, Office of Communi-
cation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
PLAN A HEAD
Or Your Bathroom May Be A Washout. The right kind of bath areas
add greatly to the livability of a home--and the compatibility of
a family. They should be practical and convenient--and pretty, too.
All it takes is some careful planning. If you are considering
remodeling your bath or building a new one, a USDA booklet, "Planning
Bathrooms for Today's Homes" (G-99) can be of help. With text and
illustrations, the booklet discusses bath arrangements, location,
choice of fixtures and their care, storage and accessories, venti-
lation, lighting and heating, and wall and floor finishes. Copies
of the booklet are for sale at 15 cents each from the Superintendent
of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.
THE BEES ARE STILL BUSY
But Not Keeping Up. Consumers are swarming to buy honey. The surge in popu-
larity for this old-time favorite is related to the increased demand for
"natural" foods generally. But as demand for honey has increased, production
has not. The result is a sharp rise in honey prices. Last year, honey prices,
at 31 cents per pound, were the highest they have been since 1947. On the pro-
duction side, the bees are still at it, but there are fewer to satisfy our sweet
tooth. In 1972 there were slightly more than 4 million bee colonies, compared
with 4.7 million in 1965. Production amounted to 215 million pounds, compared
with 242 million pounds in 1965. And the honey problem is not just local.
Prices for honey on the world market climbed steeply throughout 1972 reflecting
an expanded demand in other countries. The recent increased demand, however,
won't necessarily result in a sudden increase in/'supply. There are a number of
factors involved. Almost an all-controlling one is weather. Cool, and wet
weather, for instance, means the nectar flow is restricted so the bees may come
back with empty pockets. The use of pesticides has also affected U.S. production.
And beekeepers say the lack of floral sources in the U.S. is making it difficult
to locate new apiary sites. Only so many hives can be put in a location for
MARCH PLENTIFUL FOODS
Protein Featured. Peanuts and peanut products, turkeys, and dry beans, all
good protein buys, are on the Plentiful Foods List for March. In April peanuts
and peanut products will again appear on the Plentiful List along with fresh
oranges, frozen concentrated orange juice, chilled orange juice, canned orange
juice, canned cranberry sauce and cranberry juice cocktail, and dry beans.
INFORMATION ABOUT FNS INFORMATION
New Catalog of Food Aid Publications. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
is the agency that administers USDA food assistance programs. In the course
of its work, the agency issues a variety of publications--periodicals, educa-
tional flyers, pamphlets, technical handbooks, leaflets. The materials are
designed both for persons who might be eligible to take part in food programs
and for those who can spread the word about food help. A catalog of FNS pub-
lications--122 of them--has recently been issued so cooperating State and local
agencies, program participants, and community organizations can see just what is
available. Covers of principal FNS publications are pictured, along with a
description and purpose of the contents of each, to help in making appropriate
selections. One section lists the publications that have been translated into
Spanish. For a single free copy of "Publications of the Food and Nutrition
Service" (FNS-11), write to the Information Division, Food and Nutrition Service,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
We've Changed Some. Following recent reorganization activities, the name of
USDA's Office of Information has been changed to the Office of Communication.
The office of the Editor of SERVICE has been moved from 461-A to Room 535-A.
The telephone number remains (202) 447-5437. So keep in touch.
SPRING FOOD PREVIEW
The best food investment you can make this spring? It's time, not just money.
Spending a little more time on careful menu planning, aqQ.7ritsoq_ shopping, and
hunting economical recipes will pay your family big diVi'ends-.i~ economy, good
health, and livelier eating, too. -
Food prices will be up some during scoring, but uh Ass- than iT tte winter
quarter. You'll see a little more increase in ne -nd 3eike U-1 he warming
winds of spring will bring seasonally larger su 1 tf egg~ s at.tr Easter),
dairy products, and fresh vegetables. Lettuce a oarices'wt~ 1 be moderate,
and gg prices should decline seasonally between as of spring.
Milk prices have been a little higher than last wint and ice cream and butter
have remained about the same. Butter prices should droo following Agriculture
Department dairy actions effective March 15. And salad and cooking oil, plus
margarine, have dropped in price over the past year.
A host of carbohydrate foods are generally within a penny of their year-earlier
levels. That includes bread (despite higher wheat prices), rice, canned spag-
hetti, instant mashed and frozen french fried potatoes, and even corn flakes
(they cost less).
Best buys in fruit right now are canned and frozen citrus juices, There are
plenty of fresh oranges and lemons on the counters, although a little less grape-
fruit. Bananas are still a fine buy, and applesauce, canned beaches, and fruit
cocktail are the best buys among canned items.
Meanwhile, fruit growers are hoping for a bigger harvest this fall. Bad weather
made last fall's harvest the smallest in a generation, and boosted apple, pear,
and other fresh deciduous fruit prices. Small harvests also have zapped the pro-
duce section, especially for onions and potatoes. Potato prices will hold above
a year earlier, at least until July.
Animal protein food prices are higher this spring than a year ago, largely a case
of steady-to-smaller supplies in the face of stronger demand by consumers. High
feed prices have forced poultry producers to turn out less broilers and eggs than
last spring. But supplies of beef and oork are on the uptrend, which will likely
have some price impact during the second half.
Here's the outlook this spring for "other" proteins other than red meat and
Egg: Up and down, you'll see eggs do both. As in past years, eggs will go
a little higher until Eastertime, but then decline gradually for the remainder
Cheese: Spring prices will reflect recent wholesale cheese price increases,
and will rise a bit further before the peak in milk supplies, in May and June,
Dry Beans: Prices are mixed this year--pinto, pea beans, and blackeyes have
been more reasonable, while limas, kidney beans, and great Northerns have been
Peanut butter: The price has changed little during the last year and a half.
Little change is likely in spring.
Fish: Although higher this year, fish prices are moderating from the rapid
increases of last year. Fish prices vary widely depending on the species and the
fresh, canned, or frozen form. Canned sardines dropped in price during January.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IlllI IIII I llllllill I III Itl ll I
3 1262 08740 1112
WHAT YOU SEED IS WHAT YOU GET 31262 87401112
If You Follow The Label. Got a new lawn to seed or a seedy looking lawn that
needs another shot of seed? In either case, it will take time, effort, and
money to establish and maintain a good looking and serviceable lawn. Your
investment in all three will be wasted if you don't know how to select lawn
seed. As a starter, it is well to decide what plans you have for your lawn
--a recreation area, a decorative setting for your house, a place to sit and
commune with nature? Then, will the lawn be in the sun or in the shade? The
purpose and location of your lawn will determine the kind of lawn seed best
suited for the job. Next, it is important to use the label on the seed package
as a guide to the type and quality of the seed. A truth-in-labeling law, en-
forced by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, requires that the label for
lawn seed show the kinds of seed in the package; the amounts of inert matter,
weed seeds, and other-crop seeds; and the germination rate the seed had when
it was tested. For more information on how to read labels to get the best buy
--along with a list of commonly used kinds of lawn seed, the areas where they
are most popular, and some of their characteristics--write to the Office of
Communication, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Ask
for "How To Buy Lawn Seed" (G-169).
YCC NUMBER THREE
Youth Work At Conservation. Starting in late June, about 3500 young men and
women from 15 through 18 years-of-age and from all walks of life will take to
the woods and hinterlands to work at conservation. For eight summer weeks
they will be employees of USDA or the Department of the Interior as the Youth
Conservation Corps (YCC). As in the previous two years of the program, YCC
goals are to accomplish needed conservation work, to provide gainful employ-
ment for young citizens, and to develop their appreciation and understanding
of the Nation's natural environment and heritage. There will be 102 residen-
tial and non-residential camps in operation, and corpsmen will each receive a
sum of approximately $300 for the season plus the value of food and lodging.
Recruiting areas will be designated for each of the 50 states, the District of
Columbia, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. School districts
and community youth organizations will do the actual recruiting and application
processing. For more information on eligibility requirements, location of
camps, and recruiting groups, young people should contact their local schools,
the nearest USDA or Department of the Interior office (listed in the telephone
directory), and watch local news outlets. Application should be made before
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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