Wednesday, March 16, 2011

US Food News

USDA has a new report on where our food money goes, changing our estimate of where it used to go too. Food services get 1/3, food processing 1/6, and farmers 1/7. For farmers, this represents an increase since 2006 when they got 1/9. The food dollar breakdown is shown, right.

FAO’s latest predictions for cereal production are 8 million tons higher than they were previously, but in exchange its estimates for cereal consumption are 18 million higher as well.

[Public] schools typically receive a little less than $3 for each meal served to a child eligible for a free meal. And that total must pay not only for ingredients, but for lunchroom staff, kitchen equipment, the manager’s salary, and all the reports and other paperwork required by state auditors. The average school is left with about a dollar to spend on food.
--Margot Sanger-Katz, Boston Globe, on cheaper than cheap food

Rural food deserts – example: Cody, Nebraska is 40 miles away from the nearest grocery store.

GAO continues to call for a consolidation of US food agencies to improve food safety. Given they have asked for it for 20 years, little chance.

Speaking of food safety, scientists tested the five second rule. 99% of bacteria transferred immediately. There really is nothing to it.

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