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USDA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF INFORMATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20250
October 1968 No. 57
IT'S CO-OP TIME
Working Together. There are all kinds of cooperatives doing
all kinds of things to help people and that's why the folks
who run the co-ops like to talk about them. In fact, they
set aside October to talk about them. Many events will be
held throughout the nation to mark the October observance.
However, this year's theme "Cooperatives--Community Builders"
may best be articulated in eleven national meetings across
the country; the schedule of which pretty well spells out the
diversity of cooperative enterprise in the United States:
Oct. 3, Farm Credit Co-ops, Omaha, Nebr.; Oct. 7, Farmer
Co-ops, Madison, Wis.; Oct. 8, Telephone Co-ops, Billings,
Mont.; same day, Electric Co-ops, Raleigh, N.C.; Oct. 17,
Credit Unions, Boston, Mass.; Oct. 17-19, Opportunity Co-ops,
Santa Fe, N.M.; Oct. 19, Opportunity Co-ops, Selma, Ala.;
Oct. 25, Forestry Co-ops, Jackson, Miss.; Oct. 26, Housing
Co-ops, N.Y. City; Oct. 29, Health Co-ops, Seattle, Wash.; and
Oct. 30, Co-op Stores, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
LESS PUSH TO PRICES
Better News for Christmastim e recent advance in the retail
cost of the market base ~'ard acted to slow materially
in the last half of '6 1 S. Department of
Agriculture economists 7 prospects f rge supplies of fruits
and vegetables, conti e large supply \ f meat, and a slower
rise in income will eOtpward gggs s on food prices.
This might also ease cost for holi a menus.
A CHEAPER AND BETTER S 1.
Is Soy Protein the Answer. e answers to the problem of
the short supply of protein around the world is to use soy pro-
tein. The yield of edible protein per acre of soybeans is one
of the highest of all plant or animal protein sources, according
to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nutritionally, the soy-
bean protein quality is the best available from plant sources.
It is used now for bakery products, vegetable protein foods and
beverages. Soy protein use in foods has increased about five to
seven percent annually during 1965-67. In 1968 the use is also
expected to be increasing. You'll probably be hearing more
about expanded uses in both domestic and foreign markets, according
to USDA forecasters who are in touch with mr.iLketi. and f.'c tech-
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LETTUCE--ALL YEAR ROUND
Price Depends on Supply. What can't be left in the field--can't be stored--and must
be cut, packed and shipped as soon as it's mature? Lettuce, that's what. Whether
it's ready to harvest or not depends entirely on the weather. Ninety percent of
our year-round supply of iceberg lettuce comes from California, Arizona, New Mexico,
and Texas, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture. The rest of the
lettuce comes from different parts of the United States at various seasons during
the year. The price for lettuce on the farm is determined each day, based on:
Supplies on hand nationally--and how quickly they are moving into re-
tail stores; previous day's shipments and prices; the supply expected
to be shipped that day; and price being paid by retailers to whole-
salers at terminal markets in large cities.
These facts are reported daily by the Federal-State Market News Service--to help
assure you of a steady supply of lettuce, year round.
READERS, TAKE NOTE--A CORRECTION
Spring Will Be A Little Later Than We Thought. The new azalea varieties we told
you about in the September issue of SERVICE will not be available for 1969 spring
of fall planting. The varieties are expected to be ready for distribution to
commercial nurseries at that time--but, to home gardeners maybe a year or so later.
MAKE IT SOFT AND SWEET
Consumers--All Ages. Soft drink consumption is on the rise and per capital consump-
tion of candy is growing too according to basic data supplied to U. S. Department
of Agriculture reports. Soft drink consumption was four percent higher in 1967
than the previous year. The beverage industry, largest commercial user of refined
sugar, accounted for 18 percent of total sugar consumption this year. Low-calorie
soft drinks apparently have cut very little into the growing consumption of sugar-
sweetened drinks, according to the records. The figures for per capital consumption
of candy shows a total of 19.6 pounds in 1967, up 16 percent since 1960. That's a
lot of sweetness.
GARDEN LOVERS, TAKE NOTE
A Beautification Project For The Great Indoors. Why not start an indoor garden for
decorative plants? The U. S. Department of Agriculture recently published a booklet
describing ways to build six types of indoor gardens with suggested locations and
types of plants. Plans described include a free standing round garden and a wall
garden mounted on a folding screen. High intensity fluorescent lamps illuminate the
plants 12-16 hours daily to provide enough daylight for the plants to thrive. Most
conventional house plants may grow in this environment--as will plant collections;
mosses, ivies, and orchids. "Indoor Gardens for Decorative Plants," Home and Garden
Bulletin No. 133 may be ordered from the U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington,
D. C. 20402--Price 10 cents.
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FOOD STORES AND THE INCOME AREA
Study Shows No Price Bias. A recent U. S. Department of Agriculture study in
six cities found no consistent differences in prices charged by stores of the
same chain located in low and high income areas. Though there was some vari-
ation from store to store in prices of individual items, most of these were
small. In the entire survey, there were only five out of 130 purchases where
the shopper did not receive the benefit of a price reduction when the package
had a cents-off label. A few checker errors were noted, but overall, these
were found to favor consumers more often than the store. Quality of the meat
purchases was subjected to laboratory analyses for various quality factors.
Of the 244 samples of frankfurters tested, only a few contained more than the
Federal tolerances for water added.
THE PROVERBIAL LOAF OF BREAD
The Marketing Spread. It helps if you understand. The farmer's share of the
retail price of bread was only about 15 percent in 1967 compared to 25 percent
in 1947-9. During the 50's, the average retail price advanced by 3.2 percent a
year. During the 60's, however, the rate of increase slowed considerably with
an advance of 1.8 percent a year. Higher costs for baking, distributing and re-
tailing bread account for the yearly increases. Actually, only 3.4 cents of the
average price--22.2 cents--paid by consumers for a pound loaf of white bread in
1967 was received by the farmer for wheat and other ingredients of farm origin.
This is only one-tenth of one cent more than he received for these ingredients
in 1947-9, when a loaf of bread sold for 13.5 cents.
SEVEN THOUSAND "KNOWN" VARIETIES
There's Brown Rice...and Then There's White Rice. U. S. Department of Agricul-
ture nutritionists say if you're looking for the most nutritious variety of rice
you should select brown rice--only its hull is removed in milling. The bran
remaining contains B complex vitamins and minerals. Around the world there are
at least 7,000 known varieties of rice. If you want to use rice for a side
dish, use the long grain variety. Its grains are tender and usually remain
separated after cooking. Short and medium grain are moist and sticky when
cooked--better for puddings and hot breads. The average American eats 7.3
pounds of rice a year--just as he did in 1909, according to USDA records.
MAKING SURE IT'S SAFE
If You Can Eat It--We Can Test It. Did you know that the U. S. Department of
Agriculture dairy laboratory tests some highly special, speciality products--
would you think wild boar meat? The range of products extends from wild boar
meat, goose livers, dehydrated chicken soup, dried and frozen eggs to dry cream
substitute. The emphasis is on bacteriological testing for the wholesomeness
and keeping quality of the product. The scientists can also test for the
presence of pesticides and salmonella...the bacteria that cause infection
of the digestive tract.
UNIVERSITY OF P
3 1262 08740 0593
PICK THE PLENTIFUL
October Food Buys. Shades of autumn bring thoughts of succulent pork roasts
and all the ways of serving apples. Harvest time dinners might include other
plentifuls of potatoes, rice, dry beans, and cheese.
FROM ROOT TIP TO CROWN TOP
How A Tree Grows. Maybe teachers can't take their students to the forests to
show new growth on trees--or how annual rings reveal the age of a tree. A
bright color wall chart developed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture's
Forest Service may do the job. Another valuable color chart for studying
products from trees which grow on commercial forest land is called "What We
Get From Trees." Almost seven-tenths of our commercial forest land is privately
owned. Thirty-two percent is owned by the Federal Government, states, counties,
cities, and villages. "How A Tree Grows," FS-8 and "What We Get From Trees,"
MS-293 may be ordered from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Price, 20 cents each.
FOOD FOR THE FAMILY
How Much Does It Cost? Do you feed a family of two...or four? How does your
spending compare with the U. S. Department of Agriculture estimates of weekly
costs of well balanced meals at home? USDA reports costs quarterly for food
plans at three levels; low, moderate, and liberal. The quantities of food
included are based on family food consumption surveys adjusted to provide a
recommended intake of nutrients. 'Based on the three levels in June 1968, the
cost per week was:
Family of Two 20-35 Years 55-75 Years
Low-cost plan $16.70 $13.60
Moderate-cost plan 21.10 17.70
Liberal-cost plan 25.80 21.10
Family of Four Pre-school Grade School
Low-cost plan $24.20 $28.20
Moderate-cost plan 30.70 35.90
Liberal-cost plan 37.20 43.80
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: Shirley E. Wagener, Editor of SERVICE, U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture, Office of Information, Washington, D.C. 20250. Please include
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