USDA


Photo: __Jens__/Flickr

Lunch in the Time of COVID-19: What Schools Need Now to Ensure Kids Don’t Go Hungry During a Pandemic

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Regular readers will know that I take a pretty dim view of the Trump administration’s Department of Agriculture and many of its anti-science, anti-farmer, and just plain mean-spirited actions over the past three years. The administration is also getting a lot of things (very) wrong in its response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). But last week, the USDA got something right when it moved to help two states facing serious virus outbreaks ensure that schoolchildren can access free and reduced-priced meals even when schools are closed during this emergency. Unfortunately, schools and the children they serve across the nation are likely to need a lot more of this support in the weeks and months ahead. Read more >

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Bettina Elias Siegel’s “Kid Food” Explains My Daughter’s Love Affair with a Fast Food Chain

, Economist

I’m not a purist about much when it comes to parenting, and that’s by design. And so, I confess: on occasion, our family indulges in a fast food meal, mostly out of what feels like necessity—think ill-planned long car rides or exhaustion after a stomach bug that started at 1 AM. Read more >

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Trick or Treat? 5 Ways the USDA Secretary Has Pranked Us

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

It’s fun when little kids put on costumes and pretend to be things they’re not. It’s less fun when high-ranking government officials disguise their true identities and intentions. The Trump administration is rife with officials who pose as public servants but are actually swamp creatures—doing the bidding of various industries, lining their own pockets, or both. It goes right up to the top. But the official I want to talk about during this week of masks and disguises is the administration’s Secretary of Agriculture. George Ervin Perdue III goes by the folksy nickname, “Sonny.” And that’s just the beginning of the façade. Read more >

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Trump Axing Advisory Committees Is Bad for Farmers and Nation’s Food Supply

, Economist

Earlier this summer, the Trump administration issued an Executive Order that would arbitrarily eliminate one-third of all federal advisory committees (FACs) not mandated by statute across the government, while restricting an agency’s ability to form new FACs. FACs provide an avenue for outside experts and stakeholders to weigh in on federal programs and policies, including roughly 150 that advise the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on a variety of food and farming issues. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and other agency and department heads have until today to make these cuts. Read more >

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Adults Behaving Badly: Climate Edition

, Economist

Young people shouldn’t have to organize a global climate strike. That’s our job. Read more >

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