Skip to main content

Research and Science

Food for Thought from USDA Nutrition Teammates

Frequent family meals have consistently been associated with better health outcomes in children. It should come as no surprise that USDA nutrition employees were one of the first groups within our Department to formally convene around our new USDA Strategic Goals. That’s why USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) hosted a first-of-its-kind USDA Intra-Departmental Nutrition Workshop Series. More than 70 staff from across the Department participated, with the goal of maximizing USDA nutrition-relevant agencies’ individual and collective abilities to ensure data-driven approaches to provide Americans with safe, nutritious, and secure food.

Opioid Crisis Affects All Americans, Rural and Urban

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. That’s three people every hour.

As if the death rate wasn’t bad enough, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, and addiction treatment.

USDA Agencies Work Together to Eradicate an Old Foe: the Screwworm

Early in October 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was faced once again with New World screwworm, which had been eradicated from the United States more than three decades ago. Infestation of this flesh-eating parasite was confirmed in deer from the National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys.

Collaboration Across Agencies Supports Food Assistance Research

Who participates in federal food assistance programs, and how does participation affect their lives? Who doesn’t participate, and why not? Policymakers need high-quality data on such questions to make informed decisions about these programs, which affect millions of lives each year. That is why two USDA agencies are collaborating with the U.S. Census Bureau to produce research that sheds new light on the programs.

NIFA Programs Support Soil Health

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one-third of the planet’s soils are degraded. This condition is caused by a number of natural factors, including wind and water erosion and nutrient imbalances, but people also leave an indelible impact on the earth. About 38 percent of the worlds’ surface is dedicated to agriculture to feed a population of 7.2 billion. That population is projected to increase to over 9 billion by 2050.

APHIS Leads Ongoing Series of Surveys and Studies about Antibiotic Use on Farms

The human and animal health communities recently celebrated World Antibiotic Awareness Week.  Did you know that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) plays an important role in the conversation about antibiotic use?  We gather real-world data on the use of antimicrobial agents on U.S. farms – and you, the producers, can help us with our efforts.