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Secretary's Column: Happy Thanksgiving

Beginning with the American pilgrims, Thanksgiving has always focused on celebrating the harvest and the abundance of food we are able to share with our friends and family.

This year is no different.  As we take stock of what we are thankful for, I hope that Americans will think of our farmers, ranchers and growers – and recognize the incredible contributions they make to the health and strength of this country we all love.

Disfrute los Días Festivos: Prepare Comidas Inocuas y Saludables

Serie especial para los días festivos- 5to blog de 5

Durante la pasada semana, la Dra. Janey Thornton, subsecretaria comisionada de Alimentos, Nutrición y Servicio al Consumidor del USDA y yo hemos compartido con ustedes recetas de bajo costo con consejos simples para un manejo adecuado de alimentos que les ayudaran a preparar cenas saludables e inocuas para los días festivos. Hasta ahora, hemos compartido con ustedes recetas para un delicioso pavo,  relleno, y acompañantes como manzanas y camotes (batatas) al horno y salteado de ejotes . Pare este último blog, nos enfocamos en el pastel de calabaza, uno de los manjares de la cena festiva. Al igual que otros platos festivos que contienen huevos, la preparación del relleno para el pastel de calabaza puede envolver pasos que lleven a enfermedades transmitidas a través de los alimentos, si no se hacen con cuidado. La receta para el pastel de calabaza envuelve pasos para manejar cada alimento cuidadosamente, desde el paso de mezclar los ingredientes hasta el paso de guardar las sobras del pastel. Le incluimos una hoja informativa que le puede ayudar a contestar cualquier duda que pueda tener sobre cómo cocinar con huevos crudos durante esta temporada festiva. En adición, usted puede llamar a la Línea de Información sobre Carnes y Aves del USDA al 1-888-674-6854, de lunes a viernes, desde las 10 a.m. a 4 p.m. (hora del este), y desde 8 a.m. a 2 p.m. durante el día de Acción de Gracias.

¡Disfrute y tenga un feliz día de Acción de Gracias!

Enjoy the Holidays: Preparing Healthy and Safe Meals!

Special holiday series – Blog 5 of 5

Over the past week, Dr. Janey Thornton, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, and I have provided low-cost recipes incorporating simple food safety tips to help you prepare healthy and safe holiday meals. So far, we’ve posted recipes for turkey, stuffing, baked apples and sweet potatoes, and green beans. For the final blog in this series, we’re focusing on pumpkin pie, one of the mainstays of holiday meals. Like other holiday treats containing eggs, pumpkin pie filling can be messy to prepare and may lead to foodborne illness if not done carefully. This pumpkin pie recipe incorporates food safety tips at every step from mixing to storing leftovers. If you have further concerns about cooking with eggs this holiday season, this fact sheet should be really helpful. Additionally, I invite you to call USDA’s Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m EST, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST on Thanksgiving Day.

Enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

USDA Rural Development Assists the Stinson Family in the Aftermath of the Bastrop, Texas, Wildfires

On Sunday, September 4, 2011, a firestorm known as the Bastrop County Complex Fire engulfed Bastrop, Texas, located just 25 miles east of Austin.  By September 30, the fire had destroyed 1,645 homes, burned 34,000 acres, and killed two people.  It is now regarded as the most catastrophic wildfire in Texas history and has set a somber state record for the most homes lost in a single fire.

Moving Toward a Restoration Economy

While people have squabbled over the direction of federal forest management, many landscapes have declined. Take southwestern ponderosa pine, for example. Where thick grasses once waved under big orange-barked pines, thickets of spindly trees now threaten natural and human communities alike through outbreaks of insects and disease, followed by devastating fires.

Active Living by Design Helps Get Communities Moving

Three community supporters of Let’s Move are moving towards healthier lives. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Faith and Communities initiative, these communities are leading the way in creative solutions to health issues through mobile grocery markets, convenient bicycle accommodations, and safe routes to school. These innovative ideas are brought to life through the funding and partnership of organizing group Active Living by Design.

Grant Makes Big Difference In Tribe’s Quest To Bring Nutritious Traditional Foods Back To The People

The Apache people were hunters and gatherers. Their food offered much variety…wild herbs, fruit, berries, wild game and pinto beans. They also relied on hunting, mainly wild turkeys, rabbits, deer, bears, and buffalo.

Once settled into villages, they began to grow their own food, primarily corn and squash. Corn, squash and beans—supplemented by the meat that the hunters provided—was a healthful combination.

In Arizona, families of the San Carlos Apache people settled on 2-3 acre plots, many near the San Carlos River which runs through the reservation. Here they grew the traditional Apache foods. But in the 1960s the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), in order to provide additional housing, broke up those small 2-3 acre plots to make room for more homes.

Disfrute los Días Festivos: Prepare Comidas Inocuas y Saludables

Serie especial para los días festivos- 4to blog de 5

¿Está buscando una sabrosa receta con vegetales que pueda incluir en su menú para la comida festiva? La Dra. Hagen y yo con gusto podemos ayudarle! Les proveemos recetas para comidas festivas, de bajo costo, con consejos sencillos para un manejo adecuado de alimentos que le ayudarán a preparar comidas saludables e inocuas durante los días festivos. Hasta ahora, hemos compartido recetas para el pavo, relleno, y para un acompañante de manzanas y camote (batatas) al horno. Hoy tenemos una receta deliciosa para un salteado de ejoles. Asegúrese de ver nuestro próximo blog, mañana, para la receta final – pastel crujiente de calabaza. ¡Buen Provecho!