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IA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
JNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF INFORMATION WASHI 0250
SEPTEMBER 1972 o. 104
NEVER TOO OLD
To Learn To Cook. About two years ago, the Chambe
Nowata, Oklahoma, decided to develop some programs 0di
people. This northeastern Oklahoma town has a high pere e of
senior citizens -- 28 percent of the town's residents are over 65
as compared with the State average of 11 percent. The Chamber was
surprised that a cooking class was the first program in which the
older people expressed interest. But perhaps, this is not really
so astonishing when you consider that some of the senior citizens
are preparing food for one or two whereas they formerly cooked for
entire families, and cooking for one often leads to lack of incen-
tive. In addition, many in the community receive USDA-donated
foods and either don't know how to prepare them or tire of "the
same old thing." At first the Chamber of Commerce handled all the
expenses. Later, food was obtained from the State agency which
administers the food distribution program in cooperation with
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service. A retired railroad chef was
enlisted to teach the cooking class. Then these duties were
taken over by a lady who had been cooking for the same Nowata
family for 22 years. Attendance at the semi-monthly meetings
usually is around 35. Many who do not attend the meetings obtain
recipes and ideas from their neighbors who participate in the (
classes. However, program leaders urge attendance since they feel
the fellowship is as important as the information.
SHOW AND TELL
For Bacon Packages and Cured Meat Labels. Two regulation changes
recently announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will give
consumers more information on which to base selections of bacon
and cured meat products. One regulation amends the requirement on
bacon packaging. It will require the window in windowed packages
of sliced bacon to be at least 1 inches wide and to show at least
70 percent of the length of a representative strip of bacon. The
second regulation change requires that all cured meat or products
containing cured meat -- such as frozen dinners containing ham --
be labeled to tell the consumer the ingredients used in the curing
process. Cured meats have not had to carry ingredient statements
in the past since USDA felt consumers generally knew that these
products were made with meat and a simple curing solution. As more
complex curing solutions have come into use, consumers may no longer
be aware of the ingredients used. Both changes will become effective
in mid-February 1973.
FALL FOOD PREVIEW
As you put away the picnic gear for another year, bring out the recipe box with your
favorite menus. nippy days and hearty stews. busy school nights and easy-
fixing casseroles. holiday gatherings and family favorites.
In fitting your mealyearpi'ou food budget, here's what's in store at the super-
market: Grocery ppdoe.Jw:1h' ya e steady for fall after some increase earlier
this year. Prior 'tt fall, smal- uit and vegetable crops stimulated fresh pro-
duce prices, and jsialler pork out utplus extra-ordinary beef demand put meat prices
well above 1971.- tAowever, fall m prices will be lower than this summer, and
prices of many other food items w l1rise little if any. Autumn harvests bring
prices of many fruit and vegetab ~ Idown from summer levels. On the whole, your
grocery bill probably averages lap'er than last year. Those thousands of food items
in the supermarket rd Averagn'g 4t percent higher in price this year than last. A
basket of foods which cost'$i00'in 1967 cost $116.40 last year, and will cost an es-
timated $121.40 during 1972.
So. shop with strategy. Begin by thinking about your total food budget. Typically,
we spend most for meats, then fruits and vegetables, dairy products, bakery and
grain products, poultry and eggs, and other foods. Concentrate on the steadily
priced items, and buy more of the higher priced foods as they are on special. Look
on your freezer and shelf space as warehouses for stocking up on the bargains.
Plan meat buying carefully. Meat may account for about a fourth
of the family food bill.
Beef price relief is imminent. Earlier this year, a record-breaking beef supply
from both American and foreign cattlemen was not sufficient to satisfy the booming
demand. But now that supplies are larger they are likely to cause a moderate price
rollback. You'll see ups and downs in beef prices, but fall's retail prices will
average below those of summer.
FIRST AID FOR FLOODED HOMES
When Nature Gets Out Of Hand And Into Your Home. Floods have always plagued man-
kind. They happen somewhere every year and at anytime of the year. They have no
respect for lives or property anywhere -- urban or rural. And dangers and devas-
tation remain even after the waters have gone -- unsafe water supply, undermined
building foundations, clogged home heating systems, loose plaster, and a general
filthy mess. Pointers on what to do and what not to do when returning to a flooded
home or farm after the inundation are given in a booklet issued by the U.S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture. Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Public Health Service
and other Federal agencies, State agricultural colleges and universities, the Ameri-
can Red Cross, and safety organizations, the booklet is intended to help persons
clearing, rebuilding, and trying to reduce their losses. It contains information
on the house itself, foods, clothing and household textiles, insect and rodent con-
trol, relief and rehabilitation services available, and a checklist of rehabilitation
steps. Although we hope you will never need a copy, the booklet is available free
from the Office of Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
20250. Ask for "First Aid For Flooded Homes and Farms," (AH-38).
FALL FOOD PREVIEW
Pork is past its peak price period. On sultry summer days, when farmers market the
fewest hogs, prices usually go up. In the fall, the volume rises and prices ease.
Pork's been in relatively short supply all this year, an aftermath of a cutback in
production by farmers squeezed between low prices and high feed costs way back in
1970. The volume is gradually building up steam, but the supplies really won't be
big enough to favor prices at the meat counter until late next year.
Fruits and vegetables follow meat in portioning up the consumer's
food dollar. This has been a summer of tight produce supplies,
both fresh and processed.
Although lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, and carrots were priced lower this summer than
last, most fresh vegetables were moderately higher as fast-rising production costs
caused farmers to diminish acreage for the third year in a row. Early fall brings
peak harvest and lower prices for potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. From December
on, fresh vegetables from Florida will be augmented by Mexican imports.
Growers of processing vegetables planted more to replenish canned and frozen goods.
With prospects for larger new packs this fall, canned and frozen vegetables prices
will generally remain steady.
Delicious, nutritious, and colorful, red and golden Delicious apples lead a larger
fresh apple supply this fall. But other noncitrus fruit crops have been heavily
curtailed by this season's capricious weather. After Halloween's apple dunkings,
you'll probably find an abundance of Navel and other early-season oranges. Early
reports suggest a fine crop developing in the groves.
This summer's meager harvest for many fruits will affect canned and frozen fruit
prices. However, clingstone peaches, pie cherries, pears, and fruit cocktail will
be in better shape than other fruit and may be featured items this fall in food
Dairy-product prices are near last year's levels, give or take a
penny or two. Cows are giving a more generous milk supply,
keeping prices down even though retail sales have shown spark.
Cheese has been especially popular. You'll note some slight price
increases on dairy items this fall, but such dishes as macaroni
and cheese and omelets will remain economical sources of protein.
Poultry and eggs present a mixed picture but show potential for fall meals. A tip
of the pilgrim's hat for turkeys, as cheap this fall as they were in 1970. There
will be more on the market than last fall, too. Chicken will be cheaper than in
summer. Eggs, though, after a long spell of low retail prices, will go up this
fall as producers trim output.
Hosting for the holidays? Check these for baking and entertaining:
Prices of flour, sugar, margarine, and butter are about the same as
a year ago. However, raisins, dried fruit, and nuts will be higher.
Sugar prices will rise a little, but honey and maple syrup output
is up this year after last year's ususually small crops and higher
prices. Coffee and tea prices will be up for fall because of smaller
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
II lllI II IIII III l 1Af(IIII II I l I
SEPTEMBER PLENTIFUL 31262 8740 874
Gobblers and Goobers Featured. Turkeys and peanuts will offer consumers good buys
at the food markets in September. Other foods on the September Plentiful Foods
List include broiler-fryers, eggs, dry beans, fresh apples, and frozen french fried
potatoes. For October the Plentifuls will be fresh apples, canned applesauce and
apple juice, rice, dry beans, wheat products, broiler-fryers, turkeys, and eggs.
COLOR YOUR SUMMER
Plant A Nandina. A Clematis, Or A Mimosa. In most gardens color is a springtime
thing. In the heat of the summer, the garden is usually limited to green, green,
and green. If this one-color monotony turns you green, think about adding a few
flowering shrubs, vines and trees for contrast. The great variety of these plants
allows home gardeners to choose colors, heights, and shapes for a colorful and
beautiful garden all summer. Considering the small amount of care required by
flowering shrubs, vines, and trees, they can be just as rewarding a display as an-
nuals and perennials in your garden. Planning a garden for summer color is easy.
But, as the saying goes: Plan ahead. A new publication from the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, "Shrubs, Vines, and Trees For Summer Color," (G-181) can help with
your blooming summer: finding the suitable locations in your garden for the various
plants, selecting the plants that bloom harmoniously together or in sequence,
choosing the plants that grow well in your area. Besides listing and describing
different kinds of shrubs, vines, and trees, the booklet gives planting and care
instructions and information on geographic locations in which each is best suited.
Single free copies of G-181 are available from the Office of Information, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
SIGNS TO HUNT AND FISH BY
Conservation And Sportsmanship. To the founding fathers, the magnificent abundance
of game and fish was an amazement and blessing of the New World. As the New World
has grown older, there is less opportunity for both us and wildlife to roam about.
But there is still wildlife for us to see and to hunt. Much of this wildlife is an
agricultural crop -- called "farm game" because it is grown on privately owned farms
and ranches that produce other agricultural crops. The food, cover, and water needed
by wildlife are byproducts of soil and water conservation practices by farmers and
ranchers. Stripcropping, hedges, windbreaks, field borders, ponds, and many other
conservation practices are signs of good hunting and fishing. Learning to recognize
and knowing the effects of these conservation measures can make your hunting and
fishing better. And whether you hunt with a gun, a camera or just with the eyes,
your welcome on farms and ranches will be greater if you remember the signs of good
sportsmanship. USDA's Soil and Water Conservation Service has developed a little
guide to both kinds of signs. Tips on identifying the various conservation areas
and the kinds of game likely to inhabit each area are given. Along with these are
some practical suggestions on good sportsmanship. Copies of the booklet, "Signs of
Good Hunting and Fishing," (PA-1012) are available free from the Information Divi-
sion, Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
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
Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.
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