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Store Formats and Patterns in Household Grocery Purchases

by Richard Volpe, Annemarie Kuhns, and Ted Jaenicke
USDA Economic Research Service

What Is the Issue?

store formatsAmericans are buying more and more of their “food at home,” or groceries, from stores that are not conventional supermarkets. According to Nielsen Homescan data, U.S. households spent 80 percent of their grocery dollars at traditional supermarkets in 1999 but only 62 percent there in 2010. Over the past 20 years, a number of non-traditional store formats—including supercenters (such as Wal-Mart), dollar stores, and club stores—have gained market share and prominence in the food retail landscape. Whether traditional or nontraditional, store formats differ in prices, product assortment, advertising strategies, and location, and each of these characteristics can affect consumers’ food choices. This report broadly outlines the associations between store format choices and food-purchasing decisions, accounting for the role of demographics. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Access to Local Foods for School Meals: Key Drivers

by Katherine Ralston, Elizabeth Beaulieu, Jeffrey Hyman, Matthew Benson, and Michael Smith
USDA Economic Research Service

What Is the Issue?

local foodsUSDA’s Farm to School Program was established in 2012 to improve access to local foods in eligible schools through grants and technical assistance. Farm-to-school programs bring locally or regionally produced foods into school cafeterias; provide hands-on learning activities such as school gardening, farm visits, and culinary classes; and integrate food-related education into the regular, standards-based classroom curriculum. Promotional activities and experiential learning also serve as an additional form of nutrition education to increase student awareness and interest in healthier foods. Frequent use of local foods in school meals has also been suggested as a way to expand the market for local agricultural producers. Read the rest of this entry »

USDA Announces Eradication of New World Screwworm in Florida

Screwworm Larvae

Screwworm Larvae

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing the successful eradication of the New World screwworm (NWS) from Florida.

“I want to personally thank our many collaborating partners at the Federal, State, and local levels,” said Dr. Jack Shere, USDA Chief Veterinarian.  “Through their dedication and professionalism close to 154 million sterile flies have been released, 16,902 animals have been inspected at checkpoints, and almost 430 hours of active surveillance in the Keys and 250 hours of active surveillance on the mainland have been completed.  Their tireless work has allowed us to eliminate New World screwworm from the United States once again.” Read the rest of this entry »

Commissioner Black and Chairman McCall Tour Freeze Damage

commissionerCommissioner Gary W. Black joined House Ag Committee Chair Tom McCall late last week to survey the damage to fruit and vegetable crops from freezing temperatures that hit the state on Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16. The extreme temperatures were felt border to border, with farmers experiencing temperatures as low as 22 degrees as far south as Homerville, Georgia , located on the Florida state line. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Biodiesel Industry Calls Out Illegal Trading

industryThe
National Biodiesel Board
filed an antidumping and countervailing duty petition, making the case that Argentine and Indonesian companies are violating trade laws by flooding the U.S. market with dumped and subsidized biodiesel. The petition was filed with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission on behalf of the National Biodiesel Board Fair Trade Coalition, which is made up of the National Biodiesel Board and U.S. biodiesel producers. Read the rest of this entry »

USDA Funding to Provide Fellowships for Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates

usda
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced more than $5 million in grants for fellowship opportunities for undergraduate students at colleges and universities. These awards are made through NIFA’s Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduate (REEU) Fellowships program, part of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Education and Literacy Initiative. Read the rest of this entry »

Meat Groups Want Disease Protection in Farm Bill

disease
Beef, turkey, sheep and pork industry representatives all testified in favor of a stronger program to protect animals from disease, especially foot-and-mouth disease. The Hagstrom Report says the groups gave testimony on Tuesday at a hearing before the House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council both testified in favor of spending $150 million on an FMD vaccine bank. Read the rest of this entry »

Consumer Groups Rally Against Rollbacks

consumer groups
A dozen consumer groups have banded together to work against legislation that would make it more difficult for the government to issue regulations. The groups have dubbed it the “filthy food act,” which they say will make it more difficult to keep the American food supply safe. Read the rest of this entry »

Brazil Meat Scandal an “Economic Embarrassment”

brazil
Brazil President Michel Temer (Mee’-shell Tuh-mehr’) called the recent scandal around Brazil’s sale of expired meats to other countries an “economic embarrassment” on Tuesday while more countries suspended meat imports from his nation. Read the rest of this entry »

3.3% Rise Seen in 2017 Soybean Acres

soybean acresThe U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its Prospective Plantings Report on March 31. In the days leading up to it, several organizations are making predictions as to what the report will show. An Ag Web Dot Com article says Met Life Agricultural Finance is the latest to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

Trump Ag Assistant Lists Administration Priorities


North Carolina native Ray Starling is still new to his role as Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Agricultural Trade, and Food Assistance. Read the rest of this entry »

USDA on Tainted Brazilian Meat

None Has Entered U.S., 100 Percent Re-Inspection Instituted

meat
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced additional steps to keep the food supply safe for American families in light of the recent investigations of Brazil’s meat industry.

While none of the slaughter or processing facilities implicated in the Brazilian scandal have shipped meat products to the United States, FSIS immediately instituted additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat products from Brazil upon hearing reports of the Brazilian investigation.  FSIS has also increased its examination of all these products at ports-of-entry across the country. The agency will indefinitely maintain its 100% re-inspection and pathogen testing of all lots of FSIS-regulated products imported from Brazil. Read the rest of this entry »

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