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USDA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF INFORMATION WASHOIGTON, D.C. 20250
August 1968 No. 55
IT'S THE LEAN SCENE
Changing Signals at the Supermarket. Today's homemaker has a dif-
ferent pattern of buying than her grandmother did. She chooses
lighter foods for breakfast and leaner meats for dinner. It's a
trend that has been going on since 1900, according to the U. S.
Department of Agriculture. The way we shop is only one of the
changes in eating and cooking habits. Eight out of ten U. S.
consumers today are city dwellers--and their needs are different
than when they lived on a farm, a few decades ago. Americans eat
three times as much poultry today as they did in 1900. Statistics
show that consumers eat less pork, less lard, and less butter
than they did in the early part of the century. A distinct change
in the form in which the food reaches our dinner table was reported
The new ready-to-serve, pre-cooked and instant foods are the
most obvious examples of the change.
ON THE TOWN
"Eating Out Tonight?" This question is now echoed in homes from
coast to coast. "Away-from-home" eating is a fast growing market
for food according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture reports.
The food service industry--accounting for imated $28 billion--
is a major outlet for the food produced 1R 's farms. The
first part of a cooperative survey by and the
USDA shows that the food service in is a majb-,e loyer of
labor. Nearly 3.3 million persons luding part-t workers)
are employed in the food service in r)c0uring i~ age week.
Add Science to the Scenery. Headed to Ss s nd of sky blue
waters and deep green forests this sumner ong enough to
see the vast potential of forest products...witness the processes
of research and development. Take the tour through the modern
Forest Products Laboratory, located in Madison, Wisconsin, and op-
erated by the Forest Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Visitors are welcome to the daily guided tour. August is one of
the most popular months for visitors. During 1967, more than
12,000 were hosted at the laboratory.
A NEW APPROACH
Program Aides...and Progress. How do I get on the Food Stamp Program? This
is a question often asked. A new way to reach the people eligible for the
program is being tested and evaluated by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
"Program Aides" go right into the homes--visit households that may be eligible
to receive food stamps, but who for some reason are not participating. The
aides help to dispel misinformation and distrust within the entire community.
The pilot study was first made in three counties in Mississippi. Since that
time the program aides have worked in other areas in Mississippi, as well as
counties in Maryland, New Mexico, and Louisiana. Person-to-person contact,
so far, has proved effective, the USDA reports. A 25 percent increase in
food stamp participation was noted in the first six month period.
FAMILY SPENDING PLAN
It's How You Spend It That Counts! What you earn is one part--but how you
spend your money is just as important. A revised and updated research re-
port published by the U. S. Department of Agriculture called "Helping Families
Manage Their Finances" is now available. All phases of money management from
expenditure patterns of other families to estimating funds available for spending
are included in this publication. Plans for organizing a home office center
as well as keeping accounts and records are offered. True cost of consumer
credit and calculating installment credit costs are also highlighted. Prepared
by the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA, the book is available for
40 cents by writing to the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing
Office, Washington, D. C. 20402. Please include your zipcode.
A PEEK IN THE FUTURE
New Siding for Home Builders. "Solar-groove" may sound like the latest record
album but it's actually a new type of wood siding for home building being
studied by the Forest Products Laboratory, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
The theory is simple. Reflecting surfaces face the sun in summer to reflect
heat away from the house, helping to cool it. In the winter, absorbing sur-
faces face the sun, absorbing the heat to warm the home and reduce the fuel
bill. The siding consists of a series of V-shaped grooves machined in such a
manner that the bottom surface faces the sun in summer while the upper surface
faces it in winter. The bottom of the groove is painted with a reflecting
coating and the upper surface with one that absorbs heat. Also being evaluated
are such factors as potential dollars and cents savings in heating and air
conditioning, and consumer acceptance. The Forest Products Laboratory thus
continues its objective--"to extend the usefulness of wood for the benefit of
Best Food Buys For August. The fruit bowl should be laden with plums, bartlett
pears, watermelons and cantaloupes this month. End-of-the-season vacationers
will find fresh fruit the perfect light dessert. Summer vegetables, onions,
turkeys, wheat products, peanuts and peanut butter are also listed in the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's list of plentifuls. Turkey, a year 'round favorite
will be widely used in connection with August promotions of National Sandwich
PREVENTION RATHER THAN CURE
It's That Time of Year. August by the sea is great. But the closed up rooms
back home may be producing a less happy situation. If your house is closed
for any length of time molds that cause mildew can use the warm, muggy atmosphere
to develop. Molds form most often on cotton, linen, rayon, silk, wool,
leather, wood and paper--but man-made fibers usually are resistant to mildew.
Molds that cause mildew flourish wherever it is damp, warm, poorly aired,
and/or poorly lighted. Watch your shower curtains, draperies, or rugs in
basement recreation rooms. Don't roll damp clothes up for ironing and let
them set. How to get rid of dampness, how to remove mildew and how to treat
special surfaces are all included in the H&G Bulletin No. 68 entitled "How
to Prevent and Remove Mildew...Home Methods" from the U. S. Government Printing
Office, Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. 20402 for ten cents.
LONG HAIR FOR YOUR LAWN
How-To-Clip-A-Lawn. Poor lawn? Maybe you clip it too close. Close clipping
with the mower is a common cause of poor lawns, according to the U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture plant specialists. This is especially true in warm climates
where the hot rays of the sun fall directly on the crowns of the plants. In
cool regions, the grass may be clipped down to one inch, but in warm areas
1.5 or 2 inches is better. A mixture of clover also helps to shade the crowns
of bluegrass. Frequently it is wise to leave the old clippings on the lawn
because they help to maintain organic matter and nutrients in the surface soil.
Heavy clippings from infrequent mowings, however, should be removed to the com-
post pile and not left to smother the grass.
IT'S IN RESEARCH
Sweet Corn To Be Sweeter. Some folks say "corn isn't as sweet as it used to
be." Without arguing the point, a new method to enhance the eating qualities
and shelf-life of fresh corn may be in use in the near future. It is being developed
by scientists at the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Present commercial sweet
corn hybrids lose quality during post harvest handling by transforming most of
their sugar into insoluable (non-sweet) carbohydrates before the corn gets to
the market. By breeding sweet corn varieties that contain more sugar initially,
the loss of sweetness is not so evident. In experiments the higher sugar con-
tent was still evident after seven days of storage. The next step is to pro-
duce sturdier plants that will stay in their prime stage longer and have high
yielding ability. It would be good news for the consumer who likes it sweet.
Yes, There Will Be Meat Tomorrow. Despite the sometimes bleak view of
meatless meals for the future, international researchers are working toward
insuring a continuing supply of meat, according to U. S. Department of
Agriculture scientists. Livestock can thrive on roughages and wastes, in-
cluding some we have not begun to exploit--like feathers and newspapers,
according to experiments reported by Pennsylvania State University College of
Agriculture. The Second World Conference on Animal Production met in July
at the University of Maryland, College Park, Md., to work on international
efforts to improve livestock efficiency. Topics discussed included de-
veloping new and improved meat, milk and egg products to reduce costs, im-
prove quality and extend variety.
UNIVERSTy OF FLORIDA
4 3 1262 08740 0619
GOVERNMENT HELP, SELF HELP
Working For Their Water. Water power started with man power recently
in the remote California desert town of Allensworth. Every man and boy
over 16 contributed labor toward augmenting their outmoded and contaminated
water system. With financial help from the U. S. Department of Agriculture's
Farmers Home Administration, the men of the town dug the ditches and laid
the pipes to provide the community with a modern water supply. The farm
community's previous inadequate source of water was not only short of the
town's needs but the well was also found to have dangerous amounts of
arsenic in the walls. Now the citizens have fresh water...and fresh hope
for the future.
WISE FOOD SELECTION
Reach and Teach. A Food-For-People-For-Health program concept to promote
nutrition knowledge is part of the continuing program of the U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture. Nutrition education depends on communication--by word,
deed, example, and motivation, according to researchers at the USDA. Basic
concepts as developed by the Inter-agency Committee on Nutrition Education are:
1. Nutrition is the food you eat and how your body uses it.
2. Food is made up of different nutrients needed for growth and health.
3. All persons, throughout life, have need for the same nutrients, but
in varying amounts..
4. The way food is handled influences the amount of nutrients in food, its
safety, appearance and taste.
Club groups, service organizations, news, radio and TV are all being en-
couraged to use the USDA materials and information to further the program
on educational nutrition--to reach and teach for better health.
WORDS FOR WEIGHT WATCHERS.
New Aid for Weight Control. "Beat the Calorie Count"--eat less food to
force your body to draw energy from its stored fat; increase your activity
to burn up calories; or do both; eat less, exercise more. A handy new pocket
size publication "Calories and Weight" prepared by the Consumer and Food
Economics Research Division of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, offers
many suggestions for weight control. One point to remember, the booklet
warns, is that for every 3,500 extra calories you eat and do not use, you
gain about one pound of weight. "Calories and Weight" H&G Bulletin 153 is
available from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing
Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Price 25 cents.
For information about items in this issue, write Shirley E. Wagener, Editor,
SERVICE, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Information, Special Re-
ports Division, Washington, D. C. 20250.
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