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Food And Nutrition

Farmers Market Food Safety Tips

Farmers markets not only offer some of the freshest produce and vegetative products you can find, but they also create opportunities to buy locally, and support small farmers, ranchers, and agricultural businesses. As you explore farmers markets in your area, it is important to keep food safety top of mind. Germs that cause foodborne illness can grow rapidly in temperatures between 40 and 140°F. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), adhering to food safety guidelines may reduce the risk of foodborne illness. FSIS serves as the lead food safety agency within USDA and conducts broad range of food safety activities to ensure everyone’s food is safe.

USDA Roundtable Highlighted Food Waste Reduction Success Stories

On September 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a virtual roundtable titled Exploring Food Waste Solutions: Success Stories from the U.S. and Beyond. This event showcased innovative policies and approaches to reducing food waste in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom. The moderator, Emily Broad Leib from the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, discussed how food laws can be a barrier to food waste reduction when they are confusing and a motivator when they align incentives, such as to donate wholesome excess food to those in need.

Key Messages on the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

Around the world, roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted from farm to table, amounting to around 1.3 billion tonnes per year. Covid-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in our food systems and heightened the need to remedy food loss and waste (FLW), both locally and globally.

Thrifty Food Plan Re-evaluation Puts Nutrition in Reach for SNAP Participants

More than 42 million of our neighbors rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to feed their families. USDA recently re-evaluated the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), used to set SNAP benefits, which increased the purchasing power of the plan by 21% for the first time since it was introduced in 1975. As a result, on October 1, SNAP maximum benefit amounts will increase.

The Thrifty Food Plan: What It Is and Why It Matters

At the direction of Congress and with the support of President Biden as part of the administration’s Build Back Better initiative, USDA is re-evaluating the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) to ensure that it reflects the cost of a practical, nutritious, budget-conscious diet. The re-evaluation is based on four factors: the cost of food, nutrients in food, nutrition guidance, and what Americans eat. USDA plans to publish its re-evaluation soon.

You Spoke, We Listened: The Challenges of Purchasing Healthy Food with SNAP Benefits

As directed by Congress in 2018, USDA is re-evaluating the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP)—the estimated cost of an affordable, nutritious diet. The TFP is used to calculate SNAP benefit levels. To complement the re-evaluation efforts and gather insights from those who will be impacted by the result, USDA recently hosted five listening sessions with SNAP participants, researchers, advocates, and others. Here’s some of what we heard: