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:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

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OCTOBER 1971 No. 93


A New Piece For The Puzzle Of Disease. A new'kind of d 4s
producing particle has been isolated and identified by a
pathologist. The particle, smaller than a virus and dubbed
"viroid," may be the culprit that has eluded scientists in their
search for causes of some human diseases. The new particle, de-
scribed as a very small molecule of free RNA ribonucleicc acid),
was found to be the cause of potato spindle tuber disease. A
virus was the suspect in this disease, but until now, the causative
agent had eluded scientists. With the discovery of the viroid,
USDA scientists are convinced that other plant, animal and human
diseases whose causes have eluded the probing of science are prob-
ably caused by viroids. They speculate that human diseases such
as multiple sclerosis, infectious hepatitis, and possibly some
types of cancers for which science has not yet identified the
causative agent, all appear to have some common properties that
lead to the suspicion of a viroid origin.


Doing Something. .. Now. USDA employees in the more than 3,000
counties in the United States have been directed by Secretary
Clifford M. Hardin to "lend all possible support" to individuals,
communities, groups and organizations, volunteer leaders, and local
and State governments to help reverse the trend of degradation of
our environment. The directive is basic to the nationwide USDA
environmental campaign designed to provide help in first initiating
and then carrying out community-wide activities in environmental
quality. Termed, "Environmental Thrust," the campaign will muster
all available resources of the agricultural community to provide
educational, organizational, and technical assistance. while
stressing citizen effort and local determination in developing
environmental improvement programs. If you have a suggestion, a
good idea for a specific project, or questions to ask, get in touch
with a local USDA office, such as the Agricultural Stabilization and
Conservation Service, or the Cooperative Extension Service. They are
listed in your telephone book under the heading for local government
or U.S. Government. A leaflet outlining the campaign "Environmental
Thrust: Citizen Projects for A Better America" (PA985) is available
from the Office of Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Washington, D.C. 20250.


Saves Nutrients And Avoids Pollution. Valuable nutrients, leached out of vegetables
during blanching with steam or hot water, often become serious pollutants in the
output from processing plants. An experimental blanching method, conceived by USDA
researchers, can retain up to 90 percent of these nutrients -- to the nutritional and
environmental benefit of .the consumer. The reason for blanching vegetables in the
first place is to cook the product long enough to stop enzyme action that would lower
food quality by discoloring it and breaking it down in storage. The new method, cal-
led individual'quick blanching (1.E), puts vegetable pieces through a steam chamber
in single layers, rather than in..the conventional deep piles or layers. They are
held in the chamber for only paAial steam penetration then conveyed into an isolated
chamber for the heat to redistribute and penetrate to the interior of each piece. The
time exposure to the high.,het is cut down and overcooking is avoided. Preliminary
taste tests rated fr.pien knd o6oked IQB carrots better than conventionally blanched
carrots, because I-' carrots had a firmer texture. The 1:E method will be tested in
both canning and frozen food processing plants during the 1971 season.


It Tastes Good For A Long Time. Chemists of USDA's Agricultural Research Service have
developed a new powdered milk product that tastes good and keeps its flavor. It tastes
like fresh milk when first reconstituted and retains an acceptable flavor in powdered
form for months even without refrigeration. Dried milk sometimes develops off-flavors
-- from exposure of the milk fat to air, from high pasteurization temperatures before
drying, or from long storage. The method used by the USDA chemists involved deodor-
izing the milk fat separately, then recombining it with pasteurized skim milk -- all
the time protecting the fat from exposure to air. The recombined product was then
concentrated and dried by the foam spray process. After refrigeration for six months,
only a few experts can distinguish it from fresh milk. Even without refrigeration,
the flavors remains good -- actually better than that of control powders made from
fresh milk and stored under refrigeration.


Families Share Work and Harvest. Community gardens in which families work together
and share the crops, are helping low-income families in Mississippi put more food on
the table. Aides employed in Extension Service's Expanded Food and Nutrition Program
organized the gardens, getting local residents and businesses to donate some of the
needed funds and supplies. Participating homemakers work in the gardens almost daily;
one woman walked eight miles each way from her home to her community garden. Families
are shown how to harvest and can their home-grown foods. Head Start children and
others are invited to see the gardens and to learn how food results in good nutrition.
A total of 62 families or more than 300 individuals are benefitting from the project
in Carrollton, Black Hawk, and Vaiden, Mississippi. The Extension Service now has
more than 10,000 aides -- women who live in the communities in which they work --
teaching hard-to-reach poor families how to feed their families more nutritious meals,
get more food for their money, use available resources, and improve their food pre-
paration skills. For more information on the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program,
contact your local Extension office.


On Teaching Meat And Poultry Safecuar:, Proper ways to buy, handle, and cook meat
and poultry products are covered in a new teaching guide from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. In developing the guide, USDA's Consumer and Karketing Service kept in
mind teachers of home economics and related fields, Extension agernts working with nu-
trition education, leaders of consumer education groups, and other such persons. The
guide gives suggested learning experiences, sample tests, and topical background in-
formation on the steps inspectors take to help insure the wholesomeness of meat and
poultry products. Among the three sections of the guide are units on teaching label
reading for wise, economical buying and steps consumers can take to keep meat and
poultry safe for eating at home. Lists of resources materials--publications, films,
posters, and tabletop exhibits -- are included. Copies of "Inspection, Labeling, and
Care of Meat and Poultry -- A Consumer Education Guide," (AH-416) are available for
50 cents each from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402.


Addendum To Safeguards. A new color movie, released just in time to fit nicely as
resource for the new USDA consumer education guide (see above) provides some valuable
insights into what government does to help assure the safety of the Nation's meat and
poultry supply. Equally important, it shows the shopping, handling, storage, and pre-
paration steps that consumers can take to get the best buys and to insure the safety
in meat and poultry products. The 18-minute film, "That The Best Will Be Ours," traces
the growth and development of Federal meat and poultry inspection from its beginning
in 1906. It shows exacting handling, processing, and labeling requirements that meat
and poultry packers must heed, and the inspection controls that insure the requirements
are met. For information on borrowing or buying prints of the film, write Motion Pic-
ture Service, Office of Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.


Series For Food Service Workers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced
plans to produce an educational television series on nutrition which could be used by
states in accreditation programs for school food service personnel. The 10-program
series, which will be completed next year, will stress the importance of improving the
diets of children and youth and of the nutritional requirements for growth and deve-
lopment. While the series is aimed primarily at school food service workers, it pro-
poses also to communicate nutrition information to others, especially parents, to assist
them in maintaining the total health of the child. In addition to the program broad-
casts, a structured course with course materials and tests will be provided for school
food service workers. USDA's Food and Nutrition Service is funding the project by
contract with the New England State Educational Council. Experts from Harvard Univer-
sity will serve as content consultants and the series will be produced by Station WGBH-
TV, Boston. After televising in the six states comprising the New England Educational
Council, the series will be available to other states.


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NATURAL FIBER IS IN 3 1262 08740 0932

The Situation About Cotton. Teenagers have a craving for all things natural, including
cotton. They go for cotton in two of its plainest, more rugged forms -- denim and
corduroy. These old-fashioned fabrics have antique names of French origin. Blue denim
was first known as "serge de Nimes," after the factory town which produced it, while
softer corduroy was none other than "cord du roi" -- the king's cloth. Today's denim
and corduroy fashions are definitely American, and definitely "in," translated into
colorful mod apparel ranging from bellbottoms to hot pants. Eagerness for these fab-
rics is evident; American cotton mills in the last half of 1970 and early 1971 turned
out half again as much denim and a third more corduroy than a year before. This added
output used cotton grown on nearly 200,000 acres of land, about a 300-square mile


What's It All About? Through the Plentiful Foods Program, the U.S. Department of Ag-
riculture keeps consumers and all segments of the food industry informed about foods
expected to be in abundant supply and needing marketing help. The monthly lists are
compiled by USDA commodity specialists from fact-finding sources available in govern-
ment and the food industry. All this fact-finding has resulted in some mouth-watering
Plentifuls for October: fresh apples, canned applesauce and apple juice, fresh pears,
canned pears, potatoes, pork, and eggs. For November, the Plentiful Foods List will
include rice, pork, potatoes and potato products, prunes and prune juice, apples, ap-
plesauce, apple juice, cranberries, cranberry sauce, cranberry juice cocktail, fresh
and canned pears, turkeys, eggs, and broiler-fryers.


Tra La. .Spring flowering bulbs are hardy plants that require little care. They
provide early color in the garden or yard -- planted in borders, grouped for large
masses of color, or scattered in lawns and among shrubs as ground cover. Some make
excellent flowering plants for indoors garden arrangements. In most areas, spring
flowering bulbs should be planted in the fall so the roots can develop before the
ground freezes. "Spring Flowering Bulbs" (G-136), a bulletin prepared by horticul-
turists of USDA's Agricultural Research Service, discusses selection of bulbs, plant-
ing, care, and forcing. The 14-page publication includes charts and illustrations
and mentions the well-known spring bloomers -- tulip, jonquil, crocus -- and some of
the uncommon ones -- squill, oxalis, winter aconite. "Spring Flowering Bulbs" is
available for 15 cents a copy from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

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; telephone (202) DU8-5437.
Please include your zipcode.

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