January 22, 2016 |
Federal regulators have launched an investigation into a Montgomery County farm accused by animal rights activists of mistreating animals it breeds for pet stores. Tanya Espinosa, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said the agency began investigating Holmes Chinchilla Ranch of Douglass Township last month for possible violations of animal welfare laws. Holmes, which breeds hamsters and other small animals, came under scrutiny after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released videos and testimony alleging improper treatment and deaths at the farm.
June 27, 2015 |
Bent on making fresh fruits and vegetables available to more Americans, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sent one of its top officials Thursday to the Clark Park Farmers Market to tout its efforts at doing just that. "We're trying to nudge low-income households to eat more nutritious foods," U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said in an interview before talking to the merchants and shoppers about ways to get more healthy foods in their diets. Americans on food stamps spent a record $18.8 million at farmers markets and local farm stands last year, a roughly sixfold increase since 2008, according to Concannon.
June 26, 2015 |
Just two years after hawking his first slabs of home-cured bacon at the Lansdowne Farmers Market, Ari Miller is preparing to take his artisanal charcuterie nationwide. 1732 Meats, his new, 4,000- square-foot plant in Yeadon, recently received USDA certification and began production. Miller is hoping for the same reception around the country that he's gotten from local chefs for his high-quality, sustainably raised salumi. "The quality of Ari's product is unmatched as far as domestic salumi is concerned," said Joe Cicala, chef and partner at East Passyunk's Le Virtu and Brigantessa.
September 5, 2014 |
High rates of hunger persisted in the United States in 2013, with 49 million Americans - 16 million of them children - unable to consistently eat nutritious food. In 360,000 U.S. households, conditions were so severe that children skipped meals, or didn't eat for a whole day because there wasn't enough money for food. Overall, levels of hunger remained essentially unchanged between 2012 and 2013, although hunger declined slightly between 2011 and 2013. The findings are from a federal annual report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Household Food Security in the United States in 2013," the official measure of hunger in America.
June 12, 2014 |
A YEAR AGO, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a scathing report, accusing the food-safety division of the agency of not fulfilling, or even understanding, its legal obligations where humane slaughter enforcement is concerned. Specifically, the OIG found that the USDA does not meaningfully attempt to stop repeat violations of the Humane Slaughter Act and that many USDA inspectors do not even understand what is required of them. Even when OIG inspectors monitored their actions openly, inspectors still did not understand or carry out their slaughter-oversight mandate.
November 15, 2013
DEPENDING HOW you count it, Meatless Monday, endorsed by City Council this fall, is a movement that's been around for a decade - or a century. In 2003, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future put its official stamp on Meatless Mondays - simply eating meat-free on that day to avoid the known health liabilities of meat and get more mouth-time for fruits and veggies. But there were also "Meatless Mondays" back in World War I, launched by the United States Food Administration to conserve resources.
July 12, 2013 |
CHEERS TO Ganesh Selvakumar of Broomall! His vegan recipe for Lentil-Spinach Soup and Mint Chutney earned him a trip to the White House this week as the Pennsylvania winner of the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. You may remember Michelle Obama's all-organic White House kitchen garden two months into President Obama's first term. After a shot across the bow from disgruntled pesticide advocates, the first lady toned down the organic talk and put an emphasis instead on exercise with her 2010 launch, "Let's Move!"
July 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Kids, your days of blowing off those healthier school lunches and filling up on cookies from the vending machine are numbered. The government is on to you. For the first time, the Agriculture Department is telling schools what sorts of snacks they can sell. The new restrictions announced Thursday fill a gap in nutrition rules that allowed many students to load up on fat, sugar, and salt despite the guidelines for healthy meals. "Parents will no longer have to worry that their kids are using their lunch money to buy junk food and junk drinks at school," said Margo Wootan, a nutrition lobbyist for the Center for Science in the Public Interest who pushed for the new rules.
June 27, 2013 |
Already under scrutiny for taking too long to process unemployment checks and home-energy assistance claims, Pennsylvania is also too slow in approving food-stamp applications, compelling the federal government to order the state to improve its performance. Pennsylvania ranks among the worst in the nation for getting food stamps to the needy within 30 days, as required by federal law, according to an Inquirer examination of data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the food-stamp program.
February 25, 2013 |
C. Roland Eddy, 98, a research chemist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 31 years who also taught college courses, died Tuesday, Feb. 12, at Meadowood, a continuing care community in Worcester. Mr. Eddy discovered several compounds and developed and managed the Agriculture Department's first computer center in the 1960s. He worked at the Agriculture Department from 1941 to 1972. During the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, he was a part-time instructor at Temple University, teaching courses including thermodynamics and electrochemistry.