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Food And Nutrition

ARS Research Innovates to Reduce Food Loss and Waste: An Interview with Gene Lester

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is USDA’s chief scientific in-house research agency. More than 2,000 scientists at 90 research centers in the U.S. and abroad work to investigate solutions to agricultural challenges from farm to table. What are USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists doing to help reduce food loss and waste? This interview features insights from Gene Lester, ARS, National Program Leader for Product Quality and New Uses, and Biorefining/Bioproducts.

Eat with Confidence

The Pesticide Data Program (PDP), part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), recently published its 2019 PDP Annual Summary (PDF, 10 MB). This yearly report found that nearly 99 percent of almost 10,000 samples of fresh, frozen and processed foods had pesticide residues below levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of these samples were of fruits and vegetables. This means you can eat with the confidence that your food is safe and nutritious for you and your family.

New Chef in the House? Use Food Safety to Cook Easy Meals

If someone in your house is new to cooking, how do you get started? Cooking can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. For some adults, cooking may be a new task if you normally dine out or get takeout. If you’re a parent, this is a great time to teach your kids how to prepare their own meals. Frozen foods are a simple solution for cooking easy and delicious meals. There are a variety of frozen foods that can satisfy the pickiest of eaters, and you can buy them at any grocery store. While frozen foods offer detailed instructions, use these food safety principles to stay healthy.

Shopping Online? Look for the USDA Grade Shield

Whether you are shopping online or in the grocery store, the USDA grade shield on meat, poultry and eggs is a sign that the product meets certain voluntary national quality standards and has been graded by an USDA employee based on those standards.

Good Samaritan Act Provides Liability Protection For Food Donations

Food donations to help those in need have been an important part of America’s safety net during the challenges posed by COVID-19. Did you know that the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act of 1996 (PDF, 207 KB) (42 U.S. Code § 1791) provides limited liability protection for people who make good faith donations of food and grocery products to nonprofits that feed the hungry? The act also provides limited liability protection, both civil and criminal, for those who distribute food and groceries, such as food banks[i].

USDA Ensures Food, Funding during Pandemic

This is a challenging time for many Americans when access to food is more essential than ever. Thankfully, USDA’s vital partners are helping feed those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. And for that, we couldn’t be more grateful. To support these important efforts, USDA is stepping up to provide over $6 billion worth of food and administrative resources in response to the crisis.

Federal Incentives for Businesses to Donate Food

If businesses have an excess inventory of wholesome food, they can donate it to hunger relief organizations, such as food banks, food pantries, and community-based organizations, to help families in need. These donations are particularly important in challenging economic times. Donating food can also help businesses with their bottom line and divert food from being dumped in landfills, which in turn helps the environment.