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USDA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
NITFD STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF INFORMATION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20250
SEPTEMBER 1971 No. 92
NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH WEEK
Closing The Nutrition Gap. This year, National School Lunch Week,
October 10-16, takes on added meaning. It celebrates the 25th
Anniversary of a program authorized by Congress "to safeguard the
health and well-being of the Nation's children." Since the National -
School Lunch Act was signed in 1946, the basic program was broadened
and expanded. During its first year, the National School Lunch
Program reached 6.6 million children. In the 1970-71 school year,
more than 24.5 million children in nearly 80,000 schools partici-
pated. Of these 7.3 million children received free or reduced price
lunches. Expansion over the past 25 years has included a school
breakfast program, Federal help to provide kitchen equipment for
child feeding programs, and, in 1970, emphasis on improving all
child feeding programs and particularly on reaching needy children
with a school lunch. Schools across the country are planning their
own observances for National School Lunch Week. On October 13,
most of the schools will be serving the same lunch menu, the 1971
Universal Menu: School pizza, green beans and butter, tossed
salad (spinach, lettuce and tomato with oil dressing), applesauce,
brownie, and milk. Because of the National School Lunch Program,
schools can be more fun and learn a boost. Or as the
National School Lunch Week theme f ft unch Closes The
THE SCHOOL LUNCH BUNCH rp 1971
What's It All About? Getting a cation fo e in a modern
world keeps young people on the -irLa- Where does the
National School Lunch Program fit ves? A new USDA
filmstrip and slide set, "The School un nch -- Nutrition in
Today's Schools," tells how the Nation's largest lunch program works.
It explains who uses and runs the program and why it's important for
today's student to eat a proper lunch. Slide sets (Spanish or English)
are available for $11.00 a set from the Photography Division, Office
of Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington D.C. 20250.
Copies of the filmstrip (English only) can be ordered for $5.50 from
Photo Lab, Inc. 3825 Georgia Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20011. A
record (English only) with audible and inaudible frequency pulses to
change frames manually or automatically is available from either source
for $3.00. An audio tape in Spanish for manual projection with slide
sets is available for $1.00. Narrative guides in both Spanish and
English are supplied with each purchase.
FALL FOOD PREVIEW
All indications add up to food prices holding steady this fall. Coupled with food
supply trends, the Government's ceiling on most food prices reinforces the outlook for
little overall change.
The factor that's designed to give relief from inflation--the price ceiling--works like
this for food:
--The government has provided a ceiling on food prices rather than an absolute freeze.
So don't be surprised to see prices fluctuate.
--Any food price is still free to go down when, for example, it's marked for weekend
special, or when supplies become more abundant.
--Prices of "raw" foods are exempt from the ceiling and will vary as always. The list
includes mainly fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and eggs and fresh fish arriving on
the counter in their natural, unprocessed form. Expect their prices to vary through
the fall season.
--The ceiling covers all other groceries and foods eaten away from home. Prices can
bounce, but no higher than in the 30-day period preceding the mid-August wage-price
action, or alternately, no higher than on May 25, 1970.
Limited food price gains thus far in 1971 suggest that grocery store prices for the
entire year will average no more than 3 percent higher than in 1970. This will be the
smallest yearly increase since 1967. Prices at eating places are rising much more
slowly this year, too.
WELL KNOWN AND LITTLE KNOWN FACTS
About "Agriculture USA." In all its parts, agriculture is both the Nation's largest
industry and its largest employer. Modern American agriculture gets food to you where
you want it, assures its quality, produces more food per acre than ever before, and
gives you more food for your money than in any other, country in the world. Agriculture
serves you by employing environmental and-. conservation 'practices to improve the quality
of the land, water and air -- providing recreation sites, protecting from flood damage,
making the landscape more attractive,. Basic to much modern agriculture is research.
Agricultural research continues to improve.farm efficiency, develop new products, fight
disease, and look the world over for new plants. Facts and figures on these fascinating
feats of American agriculture are included in a new USDA leaflet, "Agriculture USA."
Writers, educators, consumers -- anyoht interested in knowing about the many facets of
agriculture -- will find the little leaflet an informative source. Copies of the pub-
lication are available free from the Office of Information, U.S. Department of Agri-
culture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
PLENTIFUL FOODS FOR SEPTEMBER
Get Good Marks For Good Eating. For the golden back-to-school days of September, the
Plentiful Foods List features golden, luscious fresh pears. And other foods on the
List can go a long way in handling those school day appetites -- fresh purple plums,
potatoes, split peas, eggs, broiler-fryers, peanuts and peanut products. Fresh pears
will also appear on the October Plentiful List along with canned pears, fresh apples,
canned applesauce, apple juice, potatoes, pork, and eggs.
FALL FOOD PREVIEW
HERE'S WHAT FALL HAS COOKING FOR CONSUMERS:
As always, fall will be a time of harvest abundance. A big 1971 harvest is in store
for many crops, including food grains and most fall fruits. Broiler, turkey, beef,
and pork supplies are largest this time of year. Thus, autumn is the season when food
prices, like the weather, traditionally cool off a bit.
Take your pick at the meat counter. Fresh cuts of beef, veal, lamb, and processed and
frozen meats will be priced about like now, held in place by the ceiling. As autumn
ripens, beef will become more plentiful, but strong demand will deter lower prices.
Pork still means economy. Pork items, from fresh cuts to bacon, appear in good supply
and below 1970's prices. Like beef, supplies of pork are largest in the fall, so re-
tail prices could become even more reasonable later on this year. Watch for specials.
Get set for gobblers. Turkey prices ordinarily rise into the holiday season. But the
large supplies and the May 1970 ceiling price will hold prices to a penny or two per
pound over right now. Chicken prices will ease down a little during the months ahead
as production increases seasonally.
Eggs will remain a good buy. Since they're exempt from the ceiling, egg prices will
rise, as usual, during the fall. But prices may not go quite as high as last Decem-
ber's nationwide average of a moderate 58 cents a dozen.
An assortment of bumper harvests will deck out the produce section. Except for
slightly fewer apples, there are more fall fruits this year. Harvests of sweet and
sour cherries, pears, grapes, and walnuts are especially large this season; prices
should be below last fall's. Bananas have been lower priced so far this year, too.
The frosty season holds plenty of cabbages, cauliflower, and potatoes. It looks like
another generous potato crop, although a smaller harvest of sweetpotatoes. Onions
may be priced somewhat higher than last fall's low levels. Early prospects suggest a
price rise for early fall tomatoes.
Up and down the market aisles, most canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are priced
higher than a year ago. Canned and frozen vegetable supplies about like last year's
are fairly tight. Among processed fruits, apricots have been quite reasonable, and
larger crops portend ample supplies of canned peaches, pears, fruit cocktail, apple
sauce, and apple juice. Frozen grapefruit juice abounds among the processed citrus
Frozen orange Juice prices are higher now because of very strong demand this year.
Fresh chilled orange juice has gained in popularity but has changed little in price
Fish entrees are still governed by a small world catch. Prices for all fish items have
been on the rise, but the price ceilings will hold the line for canned and frozen fish
Glancing in the condiment cabinet, brewing a pot of coffee to take off the chill will
cost the same or less than last fall if it's fresh, but a little more if it's instant.
Hot chocolate costs no more this year. Flour and sugar prices, you've noted, are a
little higher, while strong demand has boosted salad/cooking oils, margarine.
UrJNIL E STry OF FLORIDA
HOW ABOUT A DATE? 3 1262 08740 0957
For An Open Dating Conference. If you have an opinion -- or an open mind on open
dating of foods, you have a chance to express your sentiments -- or listen to other
points of view. Your chance is the Food Stability and Open Dating Conference, October
21-22, at Rutgers University. The Conference is sponsored by the University's Food
Science Department with assistance from USDA's Economic Research Service. It is plan-
ned to provide an opportunity for industrial, legislative, governmental, and consumer
groups -- as well as the general public -- to review, debate, and exchange ideas and
information on the need and operation of open dating. Four program sessions will deal
with: Research, the consumer's viewpoint, the retailer's viewpoint, and a legislative
review. For information on the program, registration, and other details, contact Dr.
N.D. Pintauro, Program Coordinator, Food Science Department, College of Agricultural
and Environmental Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903. The
telephone number is (Area Code 201) 247-1766.
AGRICULTURE IN THE ENVIRONMENT
You Can't Have One Without The Other. How has -- and does -- agriculture affect the
environment? What factors must be considered in planning for the wisest use of land?
Environmental quality -- who pays for what? These are some of the questions raised,
answered, and discussed in a new USDA booklet, "Agriculture In The Environment." Based
on studies and articles developed by USDA's Economic Research Service, the fact-filled
booklet takes a look at the environmental problems caused by agriculture, agricultural
problems caused by polluted environment, and some things that can be done to correct
and prevent both. Single free copies are available from the Publications Office, Office
of Management Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
A RESOURCEFUL RESOURCE
To Keep You In The Know. Much of the education material distributed by the U.S. Depart-
nent of Agriculture deals with food -- how to shop for it, care for it, prepare it, and
use it effectively for healthful diets. There is literally "something for everybody"
among the dozens of booklets, leaflets, films, displays, and other materials on food
and nutrition. A recently published bibliography, listing a large selection of these
materials, can be an aid to nutritionists, home economists, teachers, and others who
are working to educate the consumer to be more knowledgeable about food and nutrition.
Single free copies of the bibliography, "USDA Consumer Education Materials for Wise Food
Shopping and Nutritious Meal Planning," can be ordered from the Information Division,
Consumer and Marketing Service, USDA, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10007.
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, U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Office of Information, Washington, D.C. 20250. Or telephone DU8-5437.
Please include your zipcode.
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