U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2014

    Rancho Feeding Recall: Why Sick Dairy Cows Might Be to Blame

    Rancho Feeding Corp., a slaughterhouse in Petaluma, California, has suspended operations indefinitely and is recalling more than 8.7 million pounds of meat that has reached 30 states. In the words of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: The meat is "unfit for human food." The facility has "processed ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2013

    Here Are Four Other Invasive Species in New York Besides the Cold-Resistant Cockroach

    Now is the winter of our discontent, New York: The recent discovery of a cold-resistant cockroach at the High Line will have this writer keeping vigil over the air vent over his bed for the next six months. But Periplaneta japonica, or the Yamato cockroach as it is sometimes known, isn't the only ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    February 27, 2013


    Let your nose lead the way

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2012

    Are Organic and Biodynamic Wines Worth It?

    Last week I attended a panel about biodynamic and organic agriculture and its influence on the wine industry. Roger Cohen's recent op-ed in the New York Times was a hot topic -- the one in which he enthusiastically (and myopically) applauded a study by Stanford University that concluded organic food ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 5, 2012

    Estrogens in Dairy Wastewater Persist for Years

    The Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has conducted a study showing that wastewater from large dairy farms is very high in estrogens which can persist for months, or even years. The levels found by the study are high enough to lower the sperm counts of fish living i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2012

    Kill The Geese, Now! (Or People Might Get Killed by Them)

    Avians and airplanes are a bad mix -- and the skies above New York City are no exception. On Tuesday, a bird strike prompted a JetBlue plane to make an emergency landing. Last week, also, a bird strike forced a Delta flight to make an emergency landing. And don't forget the Miracle on the Hudso ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 10, 2012

    New Study Finds Food Stamps Help Reduce Poverty

    Finally, there's some good news about food stamps that doesn't have to do with fraud or Octomoms. A new study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the food stamp program (SNAP) reduced the poverty rate by eight percent in 2009.

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2012

    USDA Shutters Hundreds of Outposts

    The agency that helps farmers and ranchers -- and basically just makes sure that the country's food production goes smoothly and that Americans are fed -- is shutting down hundreds of regional offices to save money, the Associated Press reports.

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2011

    Cheesecake Factory Ranked Consumer Fave, Again; Only 2% of Food Imports Inspected

    Kraft is recalling three flavors of Velveeta Shells & Cheese single-serve microwavable cups due to possible thin wire bristle pieces in the cups. [Chicago Tribune] In a widespread market survey, consumers ranked the Cheesecake Factory their favorite casual-dining restaurant for the second year in a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2011

    Harvard to USDA: Our Plate Is Better Than MyPlate

    Harvard School of Public Health​ Last June, the USDA replaced its long-suffering food guide pyramid with the more plain-spoken MyPlate. Its merits quickly became a source of debate among nutritionists and public policy types, including those at the Harvard School of Public Health. And now sci ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2011

    New Super-Preservative Discovered; No Food Deserts in NYC?

    ​Mushrooms have been added to the growing list of foods suspected of radiation poisoning in Japan. [Bloomberg] Researchers have discovered a preservative, called bisin, that could extend the food's (and wine's) lifespan for years, even without refrigeration. [Daily Mail] As more and more pr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2011

    Now That The Food Pyramid's Gone, Maybe the Food Label Will Follow

    Renee Walker​Earlier this summer, the USDA retired its food pyramid, which was getting a little long in the tooth, in favor of a food plate. And while it's been praised for its relative clarity and lack of crudely drawn livestock, the food nutrition label has continued to confuse people. But n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2011

    Meat Eater's Guide Reveals Carbon Footprint of Your Steak, Chicken, Cheese Platter

    How is eating meat like driving? This handy graphic says it all.​ Did you know that eating cheese is worse for the environment than eating pork? And eating fish is less eco-friendly than eating chicken? (Sorry, pescatarians and dairy-friendly vegetarians.) Learn more fun facts about the carbon ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2011

    Greenmarket Vendors Can Once Again Cut the Cheese

    Refracted Moments/Flickr​Fans of both cheese and reason can breathe a sigh of relief: The state Department of Agriculture and Market is once again letting Greenmarket vendors cut their cheese.

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2011

    People Seem to Have No Idea What to Do With Fresh Produce

    ​Smorgasburg's food artisans (or "fartisans," as we like to call them) love to advertise their use of farmers' market produce. At this point, it's more or less become gastronomically incorrect not to. But, in one of the more poignant instances of irony we've seen in awhile, these artisanal pre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2011

    Pulque a Big Hit With Mexican Hipsters; Congress Makes Cuts to Food Safety Program

    ​Young Mexico City hipsters are reviving an old Aztec drink called pulque, made by fermenting the heart of the blue maguey plant. [Washington Post] Produce can be certified organic by the USDA even if it's sprayed with pesticides, as long as the chemicals are derived from nature. [NPR] Small ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2011

    Organic Food Is Often Grown With Organic Pesticides

    Muffet/FlickrBummer.​Well, here's a bit of news guaranteed to make shopping at the Park Slope Food Co-op a little less smug: turns out that even organic produce can contain commercial pesticides.

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2011

    Bottle Service Is Back, Baby; Upscale Restos Do Fast Food

    ​Jason Wang of Xi'an Famous Foods and Jonel Picioane of the Ridgewood Pork Store and the Sunnyside Meat Market are examples of second generations in food families taking their businesses into the 21st century. [NY Times] Au Bon Pain has announced a redesign to stores and a menu expansion that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2011

    Basically, the American Meat Institute Wants Us to Eat Shit and Die

    Nothing to see here, folks!​Europe is currently in the grip of what has become one of the deadliest E. coli outbreaks in history. As one might imagine, that has inspired some soul-searching here in the United States. Food-safety experts have spent years trying to persuade the USDA to step up E ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2011

    What the USDA's New Food Desert Locator Means to NYC

    No food deserts here.​In an effort to acknowledge struggling communities around the country, the USDA has launched its new food desert locator. For the purposes of this interactive map, food deserts have been defined as "low-income census tracts where a substantial number or share of residents ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    Goose Assassin Hired by New York City Department of Sanitation

    ​When federal agents slaughtered more than 250 geese in Prospect Park midway through the summer last year, boxing them up and tossing them into a gas chamber under the cover of darkness, we hoped the worst was over. But according to a new report in the Brooklyn Paper, the city is going after t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2011

    USDA Dietary Guidelines: Eat Less Crap

    El Gran Dee/FlickrHere's looking at you.​The USDA published its 2010 Dietary Guidelines today. The takeaway: eat less crap.

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2011

    Lawsuit Claims That Taco Bell's Meat Is Indeed a Mystery

    Robert SietsemaNo, you don't want to know what's inside that burrito.​This shouldn't really come as a surprise, but according to a lawsuit filed in Alabama, the "meat" used in Taco Bell dishes isn't really meat.

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2011

    Taco Bell Says Lawsuit Is 'Absolutely Wrong'

    Taco BellHoo, boy.​Following this morning's news of the class-action lawsuit claiming that what Taco Bell calls "beef" doesn't meet the USDA's minimum requirements for anything called "beef" or "seasoned ground beef," the company is doing damage control.

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2011

    A New E. Coli-Tainted Beef Recall for the New Year

    ​Three days into 2011, the nation has landed its first food recall. Once again, E. coli has reared its nasty, sadly predictable little head, this time in organic beef. Per the USDA, the California-based First Class Foods has recalled some 34,373 pounds of the stuff due to suspected contaminati ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2010

    Meat to Ring in New Year With Nutritional Labels​File under Things You Probably Don't Want to Know: beginning on Jan. 1, meat will carry the same nutritional labels found on just about everything else you can buy in the supermarket.

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2010

    Cheese Lobby is Making America Fat on Behalf of the Government

    ​The United States Department of Agriculture is pairing with businesses like Domino's Pizza and Taco Bell to make you fat by loading up already bad food with more cheese. They're doing it through a middle man, Dairy Management, a "marketing creation" of the government, which is responsible for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2010

    Bloomberg's Soda Ban: It Depends What You Mean By "Improve"

    ​In this corner: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grant New York City a two-year waiver to ban the purchase of soda with food-stamp cards, saying it's a matter of public health. In the far corner: Joel Berg, New York Coalition Against Hunger director ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2010

    Bloomberg's Food-Stamp Soda Ban: Illegal, Immoral, Fattening?

    ​If you've been remotely awake today (or at least clicking on your morning Runnin' Scared links), you're no doubt aware that Mayor Bloomberg has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow New York City to bar its 1.7 million citizens with food-stamp cards from using them to buy soda. "T ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2010

    Americans' Spice Consumption Skyrockets

    ​Every now and then there is good news on All Things Considered. NPR reports that Americans' consumption of spices has grown almost three times as fast as the population--the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that we use 600 percent more chile, 300 percent more cumin, and 1,600 percent more ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2010

    E. Coli Tracking: There Is Now a Product Recall App

    Follow E. coli here, there, any everywhere!​Can't keep track of whether it's spinach or peanut butter that's tainted with salmonella, or which industrial food product E. Coli's worked its way into week? The FDA wants to help. It's teamed up with the Department of Agriculture, the Consumer Prod ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 16, 2010

    USDA Closes Its Organic Milk Loophole

    markhillary/flickr​Back in 2002, the USDA instituted a set of organics rules that stated that cows must have access to pasture. This created a whopping loophole that allowed big producers to sell so-called organic milk from cows who weren't fed much -- if anything -- in the way of actual pastu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2010

    Pork Rinds Are the Hot Snack of Moment; Nut Roasters Are Disappearing from the City

    ​Johanna Kolodny is the in-house forager for Print, the restaurant in the new Ink 48 hotel, where she has brought in chestnuts from the forestry department of the University of Missouri and Greek-style yogurt from upstate New York. [NY Times] Pork rinds -- or pigskins -- are becoming the snac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2010

    U.S. to Relax Its Haggis Ban: Lamb's Lungs All Around!

    zoonabar/flickrBehold, the chieftain o' the puddin' race.​ Just in time for Burns Night, and the U.S. government has bestowed upon haggis lovers a gift unequaled since Bobby Burns first immortalized the stuffed, boiled sheep's stomach in Address to a Haggis.

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2009

    Legal Complaint Filed Against Dean Foods for Trying to Pass Off Non-Organic Soy Milk as Organic

    ​Back in the early days of 2009, Dean Foods, the manufacturer of Silk soymilk, quietly changed the soybeans in Silk from organic to conventional without altering the product's packaging and barcodes, perhaps hoping that consumers wouldn't notice or care. Now, the Cornucopia Institute, a nonpro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 29, 2009

    The Bronx tops food stamp list

    New York Times graphic​Bronx County, with a 13.3% unemployment rate, has joined Hidalgo County, TX as the US counties of their size with the greatest share of people receiving food stamps at 29%. Nationally, 1 in 8 adults and one in 4 children are using food stamps, according to data collected ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2009

    The Blogroll Gazette: Big Gay Ice Cream Men Face Guy Fieri; Yet Another Freight Elevator Lunch

    This week in food blogs... Eat Me Daily sent the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck's Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff to the Guy Fieri Road Show to witness flair bartending and a pork-cooking encore. The Food Section unearths a new site called TasteStopping that solely publishes food photographs rejected by oth ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2009

    Last Year, 14.6 Percent of American Families Went Hungry

    Just in time for Thanksgiving comes a report from the Agriculture Department stating that the percentage of families who "had difficulty providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources" rose from 11.1 percent in 2007 to 14.6 percent in 2008.

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2009

    If Tomato Blight Wasn't Bad Enough...

    Farms have not had an easy time of it this year, according to a report just released by the Agriculture Department. The report states that net farm income is forecast to plummet 38 percent in 2009, "$9 billion below the average of $63.2 billion in net farm income earned in the previous 10 years." ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2009

    Jell-O as the Perfect Recession Food; The High Price of Cheap Food

    ​Could Jell-O be the perfect food in these tough economic times? At $1.09 for a box of Jell-O or $1.59 for a box of unflavored Knox gelatin, it's cheaper and easier than many desserts. [Salon] The recent comprehensive review of organic food that resulted in the conclusion that it's not more n ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    May 27, 2009


    A new documentary on how our food gets made

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2009

    Ethiopia Stops Coffee Flow

    Only five out of 40 foods can be traced all the way through the supply chain, according to investigators from the Health and Human Services office. The faulty system could undermine our ability to solve a disease outbreak or bioterrorism attack. [AP via Google] The Agriculture Department will dole ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2009

    No Hooves for Jamon Iberico

    Following a USDA ruling, all Spanish Iberico hams must now come into the country with their telltale black hooves removed, meaning that the already expensive ham will cost twice as much. [Serious Eats]A UK-based aviation research organization says airline food has improved over the last five years. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2009

    Starbucks Trying to Seem Affordable

    In an attempt to seem recession-affordable, Starbucks is rolling out a new breakfast pairing promotion where $3.95 will get you a latte and and an oatmeal or coffee cake.[WSJ]In Indiana, a rising demand for local, organic produce is resulting in a big increase in the number of small farms.[Chicago T ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 5, 2009

    People Will Always Need to Eat

    People will always need food, a fact that will help farmers weather the economic downturn better than many others.[AP]British police found 15 suspected illegal immigrants covered in cocoa powder in the back of a truck en route to the Mars chocolate factory.[CNN]New secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsa ... More >>

  • People

    November 1, 2005

    Beyond Organic

    Farmers say the O word is not what it used to be

  • NYC Life

    June 28, 2005

    Fruit on the Bottom

    A different kind of food pyramid

  • NYC Life

    February 1, 2005

    Yolking Around

    At dinnertime, eggs is the new meat

  • News

    December 30, 2003

    Slaughterhouse Jive

    Where's the Beef? Good Question.

  • News

    December 30, 2003

    Slaughterhouse Politics

    Ranchers Fought Rules That Might Have Prevented Mad Cow

  • More >>